THE NEIGHBORHOOD DEFENDER SERVICE is building a community‐based, client‐centered, holistic public defense office in Wayne County and we invite you to join our team as we represent our clients with excellence. Building on 30 years of experience of providing high quality representation, we are expanding our efforts to bring the same caliber of representation to the communities of Wayne County. We are seeking a team of highly organized, self‐driven, and resilient individuals dedicated to our mission. The Criminal Defense Practice at NDS Detroit will represent residents of Wayne County who are charged with felony crimes and cannot afford to hire a lawyer. Clients are represented by teams composed of lawyers, investigators, social workers, client advocates, and team administrators. 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 while treating each client with dignity and respect.

The Investigator is an integral part of the defense team who demonstrates a commitment to serving marginalized persons and communities. As a member of the inaugural staff member at the organization, the Investigator will help shape our present and future—contributing to a collaborative environment and culture of excellence in alignment with our values. At NDS Detroit, how we represent our clients is as important as individual case outcomes and our ideal Investigator approaches the cultivation of a positive office culture and the representation of indigent clients with equal rigor and commitment.


  1. Embrace NDS’ philosophy of client‐centered, community‐based, holistic representation and commitment to excellence by providing vigorous representation with energy and enthusiasm to the residents of Wayne County.
  2. Work closely with team members in preparing clients’ cases.
  3. Conduct the team’s investigative work, including:
  4. Identifying, locating, and interviewing witnesses;
    1. Visiting, photographing, and diagramming locations;
    2. Obtaining documents, reports, and other materials from a variety of sources;
    3. Preparing investigative reports and trial exhibits.
    4. Testify at trial.
  5. Document investigative work in the case management system.

QUALIFICATIONS: The ideal candidate will bring:

  1. A demonstrated commitment to criminal justice, indigent defense, racial equity and social justice issues and the Wayne County communities.
  2. Doggedness and resilience combined with people and situation smarts.
  3. An ability to quickly build relationships across varying identities, income levels, races and ethnicities.
  4. A high level of organizational and administrative skills to handle a high caseload and multi‐task in a very fast‐paced environment.
  5. Clear and effective communication skills, both orally and in writing.
  6. Energy, enthusiasm and ingenuity to gather and develop information from a broad spectrum of sources, ranging from community residents to government agencies.
  7. An ability to work cooperatively in a team setting.
  8. An associate’s or bachelor’s degree.
  9. Bi‐lingual (Spanish or Arabic) individuals are encouraged to apply.

Compensation: Compensation is commensurate with experience. Full medical and dental benefits, as well as retirement plan with company match, robust time off perks, paid parental leave and other benefits, are provided. The salary range for this position is $37,500 – 70,300.

How to Apply:

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

The Neighborhood Defender Service 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. NDS values and specifically seeks applicants who are people with incarcerated loved ones, formerly incarcerated people, people of color, women, queer, transgender, gender non‐ conforming, and gender fluid people.