Neighborhood Defender Service of Detroit is 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. We are seeking a highly organized, self-driven, and resilient individual dedicated to our mission. The Criminal Defense Practice at NDS Detroit represents 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 ideal Research and Training Attorney is an experienced attorney who demonstrates a commitment to serving marginalized persons and communities, preferably with experience in a public defender office. The Research and Training Attorney 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 Research and Training Attorney approaches the cultivation of a positive office culture and the representation of indigent clients with equal rigor and commitment.

Responsibilities:

  • 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.
  • Provide one-on-one research assistance to assigned criminal defense counsel handling felony cases in the Third Circuit Court during a daily set of on-call hours. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the research and training attorney will provide assistance remotely. Once the court has safely re-opened, the research and training attorney will be stationed at the defense attorney lounge at Third Circuit Court during court hours in order to respond to urgent needs for research and training.
  • Train assigned criminal defense counsel on how to use available resources including online resources.
  • Assist in the preparation of legal documents and court filings.
  • After court hours, the research and training attorney will assist in the development of training modules for assigned criminal defense counsel.
  • Determine ongoing training needs and assist in planning, organization, and presentation of training
  • Represent clients in a small number of felony cases.

Qualifications:

  • A demonstrated commitment to criminal justice, indigent defense, racial equity and social justice issues, and to the Wayne County community.
  • Experience representing clients in criminal cases and knowledge of criminal procedure from arraignments to appeals (preferred but not required).
  • Skilled in legal research and analysis.
  • Willingness to train or help other people.
  • An ability to quickly build relationships across varying identities, income levels, races and ethnicities.
  • A high level of organizational and administrative skills.
  • Clear and effective communication skills, both orally and in writing.
  • A license to practice law in Michigan or in another state; and/or the capability of becoming licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan within six months.
  • Attorneys admitted to the Michigan Bar with experience in the criminal courts of Wayne County (and Michigan generally) are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Bi-lingual (Spanish or Arabic) attorneys are encouraged to apply.

How to Apply:
Interested applicants should email a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to DetroitHiring@ndsdetroit.org with the subject line, “Detroit Research and Training Attorney.” Please send your application as one document, preferably PDF.

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 encourages people with incarcerated loved ones, formerly incarcerated people, people of color, women, queer, transgender, gender non-conforming, and gender fluid people to apply.