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 to residents of Northern Manhattan who cannot afford to hire a lawyer. NDS clients are represented by multidisciplinary teams including attorneys, advocates, team administrators, investigators and social workers. NDS is seeking a Staff Attorney to join the Immigration Defense Team. 


The Immigration Defense Team works as part of NDS’s Civil Defense Practice to minimize the immigration consequences of contact with the criminal legal and child welfare systems and assist Northern Manhattan residents in accessing immigration relief. The Staff Attorney will provide plea consultations to our Criminal Defense Practice; defense in removal proceedings and related appeals and petitions to the BIA and Second Circuit; and representation in affirmative applications for relief before USCIS.

Role and Responsibilities:

The attorney will be part of an interdisciplinary team who will assist clients in immigration matters, including:

  • Embrace NDS’s philosophy of client-centered, community-based, holistic representation and commitment to excellence;
  • Advise non-citizen clients regarding the full range of immigration consequences associated with contacts with the criminal and child welfare systems, and consult across practices to mitigate potential immigration consequences;
  • Represent detained and non-detained clients in removal proceedings before the EOIR and the Board of Immigration Appeals as well as in related appeals and petitions before the Southern District of New York and Second Circuit as needed;
  • Filing applications and representing clients before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, including applications for adjustment of status, naturalization, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, and other benefits with USCIS.

Required Qualifications:

  • A commitment to immigrant rights, criminal justice, and social justice issues and experience working with diverse and indigent individuals;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of criminal-immigration matters;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and ability to manage a diverse and high volume caseload;
  • Admitted to practice law in any state or eligible for admission after bar examination;
  • A valid driver’s license is preferred to travel throughout New York City and New Jersey to various courts and detention facilities;
  • Spanish language fluency.


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. 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.


Interested applicants should email a cover letter and resume as one PDF with the subject line, “Staff Attorney, Immigration Defense Team” to: 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 encourages people with incarcerated loved ones, formerly incarcerated people, people of color, women, queer, transgender, gender non-conforming, and gender fluid people to apply.