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, paralegals 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 Paralegal is ­­­­­­­­­­­­­an integral part of the defense team who demonstrates a commitment to serving marginalized persons and communities. The Paralegal 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 Paralegal 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. Provide litigation support under the direction of the case attorney, and/or the paralegal supervisor for our clients with criminal offenses in Wayne County Michigan.
  3. Work closely and collaboratively with team members in providing our professional and high-quality representation.
  4. Enter data regarding NDS’ clients and cases promptly, accurately and completely into the case management system and maintain the integrity of the database.
  5. Make frequent phone contact with clients, their families, legal and social work providers, the court, and attorneys.
  6. Foster effective communications between various team members, orally and in writing.
  7. Assist in the preparation, filing and service of legal papers for the Criminal Defense Team.
  8. Liaise with other stakeholders, including court personnel, government agencies, and community organizations in service of our clients.
  9. The paralegal will provide case support at all stages of litigation; organize and maintain voluminous discovery and electronically stored information using a range of formats and platforms; review and analyze discovery and case documents.
  10. Contribute to sentencing mitigation packages including written submissions, letters of support and/or videos.
  11. Maintain and update attorney calendars for scheduled court hearings and/or deadlines, as needed.

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. Experience working with a data management system, with word processing systems, and proficiency in MS 365/Office suite. Knowledge of Wayne County/Michigan court systems is preferred.
  3. Energy, enthusiasm and ingenuity combined with an ability to work cooperatively in team setting to achieve the goals of the representation.
  4. Doggedness and resilience combined with people and situation smarts.
  5. An ability to quickly build relationships across varying identities, income levels, races and ethnicities.
  6. A high level of organizational and administrative skills to handle a high caseload and multi-task in a very fast-paced environment.
  7. Clear and effective communication skills, both orally and in writing.
  8. Skilled at research and writing; Having the ability to research case law and prepare memorandums, prepare draft of pleadings, prepare motions and respond to motions.
  9. Paralegal certificate preferred.
  10. 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 $45,500 – 77,809.

How to Apply:

Interested applicants should email a cover letter and resume to with the subject line, “Detroit Crim Paralegal.”  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.