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 is accepting applications for the position of Supervising Investigator 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, 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. 

Role and Responsibilities

Reporting to the Managing Attorney of the Criminal Defense Practice, the Supervising Investigator will supervise and coordinate the work of the practice’s investigator team as well as carry a small caseload of their own cases and clients.  The individual in this role will:

  • Supervise the Criminal Defense Practice investigators who are responsible for:
    • Working closely with team members in preparing clients’ cases;
    • Conducting the team’s investigative work, including:
      • Identifying, locating, and interviewing witnesses;
      • Visiting, photographing, and diagramming locations;
      • Obtaining documents, reports, and other materials from a variety of sources;
      • Preparing investigative reports and trial exhibits, including multimedia presentations;
      • Reviewing discovery, video and documents received from the prosecution;
      • Testifying at trial;
      • Document investigative work in the case management system; and
      • Serving subpoenas.
  • Carry a small caseload of their own clients by providing them the services listed above;
  • Work as part of the interdisciplinary team, including attorneys and other non-attorney advocates, to determine case strategy;
  • Conference supervisees’ cases and ensure training opportunities are available to staff;
  • Perform a number of other similar or related duties which may not be specifically included within this position description, including administrative duties, but which are consistent with the general level of the job and the responsibilities described;
  • Respond quickly and communicate clearly with clients, their families, and case workers;
  • Develop strong relationships with service providers to address client needs;
  • Represent NDS at meetings outside the office with other legal service organizations and at government hearings regarding indigent legal services.

Desired Capabilities and Qualifications

NDS is seeking applicants with a demonstrated commitment to indigent defense, social justice issues and/or the Northern Manhattan communities;

  • Must possess substantial experience (at least five years) of conducting a wide variety of investigations and/or direct services with clients involved in the criminal legal and/or child welfare systems.
  • Must possess the ability and readiness to quickly learn and use various industry relevant computer software, including but not limited to:
    • Mobile forensic tools such as Cellebrite or Axiom;
  • Encase, Forensic Tool Kit or other forensic tools;
  • Forensic artifacts/terms such as Disk Partition, Free Space, Unallocated Space, Slack Space, Swap File, Offset, Created/Modified/Access Date/Time, Hashing, Cache, Thumbs.db, and Metadata;
  • knowledge and experience with the following operating systems: Windows, Macintosh, Linux or UNIX, iOS, and Android;
  • Understanding of Peer-to-Peer technology;
  • Adobe Premier Pro and Adobe After Effects
  • Apply knowledge and experience with forensically sound evidence-gathering and handling procedures in order to retrieve, handle, analyze, and preserve such data in accordance with those standards utilizing write-blocking technology. Must be familiar with chain-of-custody requirements necessary for the admissibility of evidence in court and competent to fulfill those requirements.
  • Create forensic copies of data sources, including hard drives, portable storage media, tablets, smart phones, and cloud data.
  • Interpret Call Detail Records and generate Cell Tower Maps.
  • Perform video, photo, and audio forensics.
  • New York Process Server License, or able to become licensed.
  • Conduct examinations of digital evidence and prepare reports and/or exhibits for use in court.
  • Must possess experience working in an interdisciplinary setting.
  • Must be able to provide supervision from an interdisciplinary perspective.
  • Must possess excellent interpersonal, analytical, writing, and communication skills.
  • Must possess strong organizational skills in order to supervise staff carrying high caseloads in a fast-paced environment.
  • Must be comfortable in a court environment;
  • Bilingual applicants are encouraged to apply. Spanish language fluency is preferred.


Compensation is commensurate with experience and is in adherence to the NDS Compensation Scale.  For this position, the salary range with 5-10 years of experience is $63, 000- $71,000. Full medical and dental benefits, as well as other benefits, are provided.

How to Apply

Interested applicants should email a cover letter, resume and writing sample to Danielle Jackson at with the subject line “Supervising Investigator, Criminal Defense Practice.”  Please send your application as a one document attachment, preferably PDF.  For more information about NDS, please visit our website at

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.