NEIGHBORHOOD DEFENDER SERVICE has created NDS Texas, a new client-centered, holistic public defense office to address the humanitarian crisis at the southern border by providing criminal defense representation and Padilla consultations to individuals arrested by Texas law enforcement along that border through Operation Lone Star. 

NDS Texas represents mostly non-citizen clients who are charged with crimes and who 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 needs of clients. NDS Texas is funded by the Texas Indigent Defense Commission.

The first NDS Texas office is based in San Antonio and opened in January 2022. A second office opened in Houston in August 2022. Flexible work arrangements and partial telecommuting will be available. Periodic travel to border counties and the jails will be required. Many legal proceedings will initially occur via Zoom.

The Supervising Attorney will report to the Managing Attorney of NDS Texas.

RESPONSIBLITIES:

  1. Embrace NDS’ philosophy of client-centered, community-based, holistic representation and commitment to excellence.
  2. Oversee teams charged with representing clients accused of crimes.
  3. Train, supervise, and mentor staff, and coordinate the work of teams made up of Senior Trial Attorneys, Staff Attorneys, Padilla Attorney, Client Advocates, Intake Coordinators, Investigators, and Team Administrators.
  4. Provide vigorous direct holistic representation to clients in a limited number of cases.
  5. Ensure collaboration among all team members to obtain meaningful, comprehensive legal outcomes for clients.
  6. Handle oversight responsibilities as the supervisory staff member for the NDS Texas San Antonio office.
  7. Work collaboratively with Houston’s supervising attorney to develop litigation strategy.

QUALIFICATIONS: The ideal candidate will bring:

  1. A demonstrated commitment to criminal and immigration justice, indigent defense, racial equity, social justice issues, and a substantive understanding of the biases impacting our clients.
  2. A demonstrated commitment to holistic defense and a client-centered approach to representation.
  3. An ability to quickly build relationships with people of varying identities, income levels, races, and ethnicities.
  4. At least seven years of experience representing clients in criminal cases.
  5. Experience representing clients in criminal cases and litigating criminal cases at hearing and trial, including as lead counsel in at least five jury trials and five suppression hearings.
  6. Experience working with and challenging expert witnesses in litigation.
  7. Previous experience training, supervising, teaching, or mentoring attorneys or legal interns.
  8. Active listening skills and ability to give and receive constructive feedback.
  9. A high level of organizational and administrative skills to handle a high caseload.
  10. Clear and effective communication skills, both orally and in writing.
  11. An ability to work cooperatively in a team setting.
  12. A license to practice law in Texas or in another state; and/or the capability of becoming licensed to practice law in the State of Texas within six months. Attorneys admitted to the Texas Bar with experience in criminal courts of Texas are strongly encouraged to apply.

Compensation: Compensation is commensurate with experience and is in adherence to the NDS compensation scale. Exceptional benefits package includes full medical and dental for employee and family, retirement, life and AD&D insurance, paid vacation, holiday, and sick time.

How to Apply: Interviews are being held on a rolling basis, and applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Interested applicants should email a cover letter and resume to texashiring@neighborhooddefender.org with the subject line, “San Antonio Supervising Attorney.” 

For more information about NDS, please visit our website at www.neighborhooddefender.org.

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 values and specifically seeks applicants who are people with incarcerated loved ones, formerly incarcerated people, people of color, women, queer, transgender, gender non‐ conforming, and gender fluid people.