Position Information

Position Information Message
Adolescent Defense Project Attorney


The Bronx Defenders (BxD) – an innovative, progressive, holistic indigent defense office in the South Bronx – seeks an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney to join BxD as an attorney in the Adolescent Defense Project (ADP). 


The Bronx Defenders is a public defender non-profit that is radically transforming how low-income people in the Bronx are represented in the legal system, and, in doing so, is transforming the system itself. BxD seeks thoughtful, creative, energetic individuals with a strong commitment to social justice to join our dynamic and diverse staff. Our staff of over 400 includes interdisciplinary teams made up of criminal, civil, immigration, and family defense attorneys, as well as social workers, benefits specialists, legal advocates, parent advocates, investigators, and team administrators, who collaborate to provide holistic advocacy to address the causes and consequences of legal system involvement. Through this integrated team-based structure, we have developed a groundbreaking, nationally-recognized model of representation called holistic defense that achieves better outcomes for the people we defend.  


Each year, we defend more than 20,000 low-income Bronx residents in criminal, civil, child welfare, and immigration cases, and reach thousands more through our community intake, youth mentoring, and outreach programs. Through impact litigation, policy advocacy, and community organizing, we push for systemic change at the local, state, and national level. We take what we learn from the people we defend and communities that we work with and launch innovative initiatives designed to bring about real and lasting change.


The Adolescent Defense Project 


The Adolescent Defense Project (ADP) is a specialized division of the Criminal Defense Practice (CDP) which provides representation for our youngest clients, 14-17 year olds who are charged with felonies. Every youth receives the expertise of a trained adolescent defense attorney, social worker, and education attorney/advocate. Working together, they address the issues that drive the young people we represent into the criminal justice system, mitigate the consequences of their arrest, and provide the people we represent with holistic support, helping them navigate the education systemaccess mental health support, and attain future goals. As one of many specialized programs at BxD, ADP forms part of a larger interdisciplinary team that includes family defense attorneys, immigration attorneys, and civil legal advocates.  


In addition to providing the youth we represent with zealous and holistic defense, the Adolescent Defense Practice also advocates for youth justice reform on the local and state levels, and conducts best practices training for other youth defense attorneys in the region.


The Adolescent Defense Project Staff Attorney will represent 14–17 year-olds charged as adults with mostly violent felonies. The attorney will also follow those cases that are transferred to Family Court under the recent “Raise the Age” legislative changes and represent young people in juvenile delinquency proceedings.   


Representation of Youth Charged as Adults 


  • Represent 14–17 year-olds charged as adults in Bronx Supreme Court, advocating for removal to family court on each case 
  • Litigate issues related to the recent “Raise the Age” law regarding the prosecution of youth 
  • Conduct frequent evidentiary “retention hearings” in Supreme Court where the prosecution contests transfer to Family Court 
  • When a case is removed to Family Court, continue to represent youth with felony charges from arraignment through motion practice to fact-finding and disposition 
  • When a case is not removed to Family Court, represent youth with felony charges in Supreme Court, including at the grand jury stage, through motion practice, and at trial and/or sentencing  
  • Co-counsel ADP hearings and trials with ADP colleagues 
  • Identify holistic needs, make referrals, and work with other attorney and non-attorney advocates to address and mitigate the enmeshed consequences of criminal legal and family system involvement   


Provision of Intensive Case Management to all ADP Clients 


  • Maintain consistent contact and communication with the youth we represent 
  • Regularly meet with the youth we represent in person, in the office, and/or in detention facilities  
  • Maintain regular phone contact with the youth we represent who are not in custody 
  • Make program visits, where appropriate 
  • Maintain consistent contact and communication with caregivers (parents, grandparents, foster parents, siblings, etc.) 
  • Maintain communication with other key individuals who can impact case outcomes for the youth we represent, including: 
  • Family court attorneys, if there are open juvenile delinquency cases, Person in Need of Supervision (PINS), or child abuse and neglect cases 
  • Juvenile probation officers  
  • Guidance counselors, teachers, and other school personnel 
  • Program representatives 
  • Case workers 


Collaboration with ADP Social Workers and the Education Project 


  • Collaborate with social workers, the Education Project staff and youth to identify their needs, strengths, and goals 
  • Jointly develop case plans for each young person based on their needs and goals, including educational, mental health, substance use, vocational, and family counseling services to the extent they are interested or court mandated 


Development of Expertise in Issues Related to System-Involved Youth  

(Prior knowledge in these areas is not required, training will be provided) 


  • Gain proficiency in the following areas: 
  • Adolescent Offender (AO) statutes 
  • Juvenile Offender (JO) statutes 
  • Youthful Offender (YO) adjudication and sentencing 
  • Felony sentencing for adults, for the youth who are not YO-eligible 
  • Juvenile Delinquency proceedings 
  • Office of Children and Family Services custody 
  • Social science research related to adolescent brain development 


There are also opportunities, at the ADP Staff Attorney’s discretion, to speak at conferences regarding justice youth ensnared in carceral systems, conduct internal training for CDP attorneys, and engage in youth justice policy advocacy.


To be eligible, candidates must have: 


  • Membership in good standing to the New York Bar or eligibility for admission to the New York Bar 
  • At least three (3) years of criminal defense practice and the ability to handle all levels of felony cases other than homicide cases 
  • Experience in representing youth is desirable, but not required 


Candidates must demonstrate:  


  • Commitment to defending youth charged with criminal offenses in the Bronx  
  • Commitment to holistic defense and client-centered representation 
  • Commitment to challenging systemic injustice and carceral systems  
  • Experience working in and with racially and ethnically marginalized communities targeted by carceral systems 
  • Ability to effectively and respectfully communicate, collaborate, and connect with people from various backgrounds, identities, experiences and positions 
  • Ability to work well independently as well as collaboratively with an interdisciplinary team of lawyers and non-lawyers in our criminal, immigration, and family defense practices 
  • Commitment to fierce advocacy, and willingness to strategically challenge authority in defense of the young people we represent 
  • Effective research, writing, and courtroom advocacy skills 
  • Effective communication and active listening skills 
  • Effective problem-solving skills 
  • Ability to multitask, maintain order and meet deadlines in a fast-paced, high stakes environment 
  • Ability to establish and maintain collaborative relationships with external stakeholders 
  • Ability to think critically and creatively under pressure 
  • Meticulous attention to detail  
  • Ability to receive constructive feedback, demonstrate introspection, and shift behavior accordingly 
  • Ability to exercise good judgment, discretion, and confidentiality around sensitive issues 
  • Commitment to raising one’s cultural consciousness and challenging oppressive practices on an interpersonal and institutional level  


At this time, this is a hybrid position. The ADP Staff Attorney will be expected to be in-person as required for court appearances, client meetings, visiting the people you represent at jails and juvenile detention centers, and other tasks which require an in-person presence. When not performing these tasks, the ADP Staff Attorney is free to work remotely.   


As of October 29, 2021, all city-funded employees with any potential of in-person contact with community members or staff are required to show proof of full vaccination. You can find more details regarding this mandate here 


Approximately 70% of The Bronx Defenders' staff, including attorneys and non-attorneys, are represented by UAW Local 2325 - Association of Legal Aid Attorneys (AFL-CIO). This position is within the bargaining unit. 


Salary is commensurate with experience. For candidates with 3-8 years of directly relevant experience, the salary range for this position would be approximately $74,000 - $86,000. Full-time employees are also eligible for a comprehensive benefits package including but not limited to medical, dental and vision coverage; a 403(b) plan with employer contribution; a generous vacation, sick leave, and parental leave policy. More specific information about salary and benefits will be provided when and if an offer is extended. 


The application deadline is September 16, 2022. Please contact Robyn Goldberg, Adolescent Defense Project Director, via email at robyng@bronxdefenders.org, with any questions regarding the position. 


The Bronx Defenders is an equal opportunity employer and is cultivating an anti-oppressive workplace that embraces staff with a diversity of backgrounds, identities and experiences. We acknowledge the ways in which systemic oppression and injustice can undermine access to professional opportunities and are committed to conducting hiring and promotion processes that are equitable and accessible to those commonly excluded from the workforce. We do not discriminate against and in fact specifically encourage applicants from marginalized communities to apply, including those who identify as Black, Indigenous, people of color, queer, transgender, gender non-conforming, disabled, neurodivergent and those directly impacted by criminal, civil, family and immigration legal systems. We value lived as well as professional experience and particularly welcome applications from the Bronx community that we work with. 

Position: Adolescent Defense Project Attorney
Organization: The Bronx Defenders
Location: Bronx,  NY 
United States
Salary: Dependent on experience: For candidates with 3-8 years of directly relevant experience, the salary range for this position would be approximately $74,000 - $86,000.
Posting Start Date: 8/18/2022
Date Posted: 8/18/2022
Requirements To apply, please go to the posting here. The application deadline is September 16, 2022.
Please upload your resume and a cover letter in one document when prompted. If writing a cover letter is not accessible to you, you may upload your resume as a document and separately upload a video or audio statement instead of a cover letter if that is more accessible to you. Your cover letter or video/audio statement should share why you want to do this work at our office, some key lived and/or professional experiences that have prepared you for this position, and any additional information you would like for us to consider. Your cover letter may be up to one page if written or up to 3 minutes if an audio/video statement. This information allows us to understand your distinct perspective, experience and potential beyond the work history summarized on your resume. Please remember that you may submit a written cover letter or an audio/video, but not both, and applications without either will not be considered. 

Status: This listing expires on: 11/16/2022
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Organization Information
The Bronx Defenders

Bronx,  NY 10451
United States
Robyn Goldberg