The Family Defense Practice at NDS represents parents in family policing cases (sometimes called “child welfare” cases) filed by the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) as well as related family court cases, including custody, visitation and termination of parental rights proceedings.  Through our holistic approach to representation, the Family Defense Practice provides parents with the help they need—both inside and outside of court—to keep their families safe and stable. Parents are represented not only by a high-quality attorney, but also social workers, team administrators, and parent advocates.  NDS is committed to advancing due process rights for parents by fighting unwarranted state intervention in their lives and advocating for related systemic change.  The Supervising Attorney will manage a team which represents parents in family policing and related family court cases. 


  • Embrace NDS’ philosophy of client-centered, community-based, holistic representation and commitment to excellence;
  • Manage a team which represents clients charged with abuse and/or neglect in Family Court;
  • Train and supervise staff, including staff attorneys, social workers, investigators and team administrators;
  • Provide representation to a limited number of clients with energy, enthusiasm and a commitment to trauma-informed, anti-racist, intersectional, non-judgmental, and truly holistic advocacy throughout the case;
  • When courts are safely open, travel on a daily basis between the main office in Central Harlem and New York County Family Court in Lower Manhattan.


  • Must possess at least five years of experience as a family defense attorney;
  • Must possess a demonstrated track record of excellence in the profession;
  • Must possess a proven commitment to social justice issues;
  • Must be able to work cooperatively in a team setting;
  • Must possess a strong ability to communicate clearly and effectively through writing;
  • Must possess a high level of organizational skills.


NDS offers a generous compensation package, including a competitive base salary as well as health, 403(b) and vacation benefits. Salary is commensurate with experience.

How to Apply

Interested applications should email a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to Zainab Akbar at zakbar@ndsny.org with the subject line, “NDS FDP Supervising Attorney Posting.” Please send your application as one document, preferably PDF

Applications should be submitted no later than September 4, 2020, candidates will be interviewed on a rolling basis and the position will remain open until filled. 

The Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem is committed to maintaining a diverse environment that reflects the community we serve. NDS is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer.  We strongly encourage candidates of all identities, orientations, experiences, and communities to apply.