THE NEIGHBORHOOD DEFENDER SERVICE OF HARLEM (NDS) is a community-based, client-centered, holistic public defense office located in Harlem, providing criminal, civil, and family representation. NDS is accepting applications for the position of Investigator with the Criminal Defense Practice.

The Criminal Defense Practice at NDS represents residents of Northern Manhattan who are charged with crimes and cannot afford to hire a lawyer. Clients are represented by teams composed of lawyers, investigators, social workers, advocates, and team administrators. NDS also provides pre-arrest representation to clients under threat of arrest. NDS adheres to a client-centered approach to representation that emphasizes a heightened responsiveness to clients’ needs prior to arrest, while a case is pending, and after the case concludes. NDS is committed to addressing the comprehensive legal and social service needs of clients.


  1. Work closely with team members in preparing clients’ cases.
  2. Conduct the team’s investigative work, including:
    • Identifying, locating, and interviewing witnesses;
    • Visiting, photographing, and diagramming locations;
    • Obtaining documents, reports, and other materials from a variety of sources;
    • Preparing investigative reports and trial exhibits, including multimedia presentations;
    • Reviewing discovery, video and documents received from the prosecution;
    • Serve subpoenas.
  3. Meet with incarcerated clients and attend court appearances as needed;
  4. Testify at trial;
  5. Document investigative work in the case management system.


  1. Must possess a demonstrated commitment to criminal justice, indigent defense, social justice issues and/or the communities of Northern Manhattan, including Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood.
  2. Must possess strong organizational skills in order to manage a high caseload and multi-task in a very fast-paced environment.
  3. Must possess excellent interpersonal, analytical, writing, and communication skills.
  4. Must possess energy, enthusiasm and ingenuity to gather and develop information from a broad spectrum of sources, ranging from community residents to City agencies.
  5. Must be able to work cooperatively in a team setting.
  6. Bilingual applicants are encouraged to apply. Spanish language fluency is preferred.
  7. New York Process Server License, or able to become licensed.
  8. Candidates from under-represented communities and from NYC’s five boroughs are encouraged to apply.


Compensation is commensurate with experience and is in adherence to the NDS compensation scale. For this position, the salary range with 1-5 years of experience is $48, 000 to $53,800. Full medical and dental benefits, as well as other benefits, are provided. The salary, benefits, and employment policies relevant to this position are governed by the CBA between NDS and the NDS Union, part of ALAA UAW 2325.

How to Apply:

Interested applicants should email a cover letter and resume to Danielle Jackson at with the subject line, “Investigator, Criminal Defense Practice.”  Please send your application as one document, preferably PDF. For more information about NDS, please visit our website at  

The Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem is committed to creating a diverse environment that reflects the community we serve.  NDS is proud to be an equal opportunity employer.  All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

Neighborhood Defender Service, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer.