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 Clients are represented by multidisciplinary teams.  NDS is accepting applications for the position of Spanish Language Translator/Interpreter.


NDS represents residents of Northern Manhattan who are entangled in the criminal, civil or family court systems in Manhattan and who cannot afford to hire a lawyer.  Clients are represented by teams composed of lawyers, investigators, social workers, team administrators and interns.  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.  The Translator/Interpreter supports staff working in Manhattan Courts, our Harlem and downtown satellite offices, in the neighborhoods and communities NDS serves and in local jails.

Role and Responsibilities

  • Provide simultaneous and consecutive Spanish language interpretation and translation services
  • Translate bi-directionally into English and Spanish.
  • Translate and proofread translations of legal documents, statements, and audio and video recordings for accuracy.
  • Assist with interviews of witnesses, communication with clients at our office, in the field or in local jails.
  • Assist with screening and summarizing Spanish audio recordings, in written or oral form, and in producing accurate transcriptions and translations, among other language related tasks.
  • Coordinate requests for language services other than Spanish.

Desired Capabilities and Qualifications

  • Applicants must possess a demonstrated commitment to civil rights, indigent defense, social justice issues and/or the Harlem communities.
  • Applicants must possess a strong bi-cultural awareness as well as a strong ability to speak, write, and use expressions and colloquialisms in both English and Spanish (prior knowledge of legal language is preferred but not required.).
  • Must possess strong organizational skills in order to multi-task in a very fast-paced environment.
  • Must possess excellent interpersonal, analytical and communication skills.
  • Must be able to work cooperatively in a team setting.
  • Must have training or an advanced degree in translation and/or interpreting, preferably a Master’s degree (or close to completion) in the field of languages – ideally translation.


Compensation is commensurate with experience and is in adherence to the NDS compensation scale.  Full medical and dental benefits, as well as other benefits, are provided.

How to Apply:

Interested applicants should email a cover letter and resume to with the subject line, “Translator/Interpreter.”  Please send your application as a one document attachment, preferably PDF.

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.