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 represents 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. 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. The second office opened in Houston in August 2022. Flexible work arrangements and partial telecommuting will be available. Periodic travel to the jails and the border counties may be required. Most legal proceedings will initially occur via Zoom.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

  1. Embrace NDS’ philosophy of client-centered, community-based, holistic representation and commitment to excellence.
  2. Work as part of an interdisciplinary team, including attorneys, social workers, client advocates, and investigators.
  3. Provide administrative support for representation of clients accused of crimes in criminal court and encountering immigration proceedings.
  4. Enter data regarding clients and their cases accurately and completely into a case management system.
  5. Maintain the integrity of NDS’ computer databases, which includes providing training and support to team members.
  6. Photocopy, maintain case files, assist with word processing and typing, and assembling documents.
  7. Download, organize, and maintain discovery received on clients’ cases.
  8. Assist in obtaining necessary court documents for clients’ cases, including transcripts and court files.
  9. Assist with facilitating team members’ visits and communication with clients.
  10. When needed, provide Spanish/English interpretation for non-Spanish speaking staff members.

QUALIFICATIONS: The ideal candidate will bring:

  1. A demonstrated commitment to criminal justice, indigent defense, racial equity, social justice issues, and a substantive understanding of the biases impacting our clients.
  2. An ability to quickly build relationships with people of varying identities, income levels, races, and ethnicities.
  3. A high level of organization and administrative skills to handle a high caseload and multi-task in a very fast-paced environment.
  4. Clear and effective communication skills, both orally and in writing.
  5. Knowledge of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, Access), and a basic knowledge of computer usage in a network environment.
  6. An ability to work cooperatively in a team setting.
  7. Associate or bachelor-level degree preferred.
  8. Spanish language fluency is required.

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, “Houston Team Administrator.” 

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.