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.  NDS Clients are represented by multidisciplinary teams.  NDS is accepting applications for the position of Supervising Attorney with the Criminal Defense Practice.

The Criminal Defense Practice at NDS represents residents of Northern Manhattan who are charged with 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 also provides pre-arrest representation to clients under threat of arrest.  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.


  1. Embrace NDS’ philosophy of client-centered, community-based, holistic representation and commitment to excellence.
  2. Manage a team charged with representing clients accused of crimes.
  3. Train and supervise Staff Attorneys, and coordinate the work of a team made up of Staff Attorneys, a Social Worker, Investigator, and Team Administrator.
  4. Provide vigorous direct holistic representation with to residents of Northern Manhattan in Manhattan’s criminal courts in a limited number of cases.
  5. Ensure collaboration with cross-practice colleagues (family defense, immigration defense, housing defense and other civil defense) to obtain comprehensive legal outcomes for clients.
  6. Flexibility as it relates to work location—attorneys will be expected to split their time between Manhattan’s downtown courts and the main office in Central Harlem.


  1. Must possess a demonstrated commitment to indigent defense, social justice issues and/or the Harlem communities.
  2. Must have a demonstrated commitment to holistic and client-centered approach to representation.
  3. Must have at least five years of experience representing clients in criminal cases.
  4. Must have experience litigating criminal cases at hearing and trial, including as lead counsel in at least five jury trials and five suppression hearings.
  5. Must have experience working with and challenging expert witnesses in litigation.
  6. Must possess the high level of organizational and administrative skills and be able to multitask in a fast-paced environment.
  7. Must have active listening skills and ability to give and receive constructive feedback.
  8. Must be able to work cooperatively in a team setting.
  9. Must be able to communicate clearly and effectively, both orally and in writing.
  10. Must have previous experience training, supervising, teaching or mentoring attorneys or legal interns.
  11. Bi-lingual (Spanish) candidates are encouraged to apply.


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, “Supervising Attorney, Criminal Defense Practice.”  Please send your application as one document, 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.

Neighborhood Defender Service, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer.