Position Information

Position Information Message
Felony Criminal Defense Attorney
Job Description

The Legal Aid Society, the nation's oldest and largest social justice legal services organization, has immediate openings for dedicated, passionate Staff Attorneys in the Criminal Defense Practice Trial offices throughout the city with felony trial experience. The Criminal Defense Practice is the primary public defender in New York City, providing holistic, client-centered vertical representation to over 200,000 people facing misdemeanor, felony, and homicide charges.


A Felony Criminal Defense Attorney will provide zealous advocacy in all phases of a person's criminal legal matter from arraignments through hearings and trials, as well as other related proceedings.  Attorneys in these positions must have some experience representing clients charged with felony charges. 


The ideal candidate is an NYS admitted criminal defense attorney who demonstrates a commitment to serving marginalized persons and communities, has extensive criminal court experience, and who vigilantly elevates the value of client centered advocacy using a race, gender equity and social and economic justice lens. Attorneys will be team members that are committed to shaping the defense and client litigation strategy in partnership with other defense professionals and will contribute to a collaborative culture. 



  • Provide client-centered, comprehensive representation from arraignments through trial, disposition or dismissal
  • Provide representation at arraignments including interviewing clients; connecting with family and others to aid in bail advocacy; connecting with supervised release, social workers and others to assist in addressing client needs and advocacy; presenting bail arguments and follow up with appropriate referrals
  • Prepare cases for advocacy and litigation, including submitting referrals for investigation, referrals for social work services and/or community-based programming as needed, and gathering information and researching law for effective representation
  • Conduct bail review hearings and writs of habeas corpus to secure client’s liberty post arraignments
  • Coordinate with specialty units to assist in advocacy including DNA Unit, Digital Forensics, Decarceration, Immigration and others
  • Consult and coordinate with supervising attorneys for case reviews
  • Review discovery materials to challenge certificates of discovery compliance, contest statements of readiness, secure all disclosures under discovery law, and prepare for litigation
  • Conduct any preliminary hearings, Crawford hearings, suppression hearings, and other pretrial hearings, and conduct trials
  • Prepare mitigation materials to advocate for diversion courts in connection with community-based programs or to advocate for sentencing
  • Advise and enter appropriate pleas in consultation and consent of clients addressing any collateral consequences of such plea.
  • File appropriate notices of appeal and coordinate with appellate counsel
  • Other duties as assigned
Required Documents

Please submit the following documents as a single pdf through our online portal: Cover letter, Resume, and Writing Sample. You must also INCLUDE a list of trials where you served as first chair and whether they were misdemeanors or felonies. Please submit the list, along with the other required documents as a single PDF.

Deadline: Open Until Filled, Unless Date Is Posted Below (Deadline is 11:59 PM EST For Date Listed)


The posting reflects the range of potential salaries for the role.  The specific salary offers will be dependent on candidate qualifications, including collectively bargained salary steps for unionized roles.


Salary Range

$79,591 - $130,308 



The leadership of The Legal Aid Society believes in attracting and retaining exceptional talent committed to serving our clients. We offer a generous benefits package including health insurance, paid vacation, disability, and life insurance, and more. Salaries for our unionized jobs are governed by our Collective Bargaining Agreement. Please visit our Careers page for additional information. Salary and benefits information will be available to applicants, when and if, an offer is made.



The Legal Aid Society is a qualified employer for the purposes of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness. This position allows an employee to take advantage of PSLF and other State and Federal loan forgiveness programs 


Additionally, employees who are New York residents may be eligible for assistance from New York state to assist with loan repayments, depending on years of practice.? 






The leadership of The Legal Aid Society is committed to a work culture of zealous advocacy, respect, diversity and inclusion, client-oriented defense, access to justice and excellent representation. We are dedicated to building a strong professional relationship with each of our clients, to understanding their diverse circumstances, and to meeting their needs. Our ability to achieve these goals depends on the efforts of all of us.



The Legal Aid Society is taking precautions and implementing safety measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to comply with New York City's requirements concerning Covid-19. All members of the Legal Aid community have a shared responsibility to support and comply with policies and protocols to protect the health and safety of our community. Learn more about our COVID-19 policy by visiting our website.



All applications must be completed online. We do not accept paper submissions. Please visit our Careers Page to review all current job postings, and instructions on the application process. For technical difficulties or questions regarding this posting, please email jobpostquestions@legal-aid.org.


As an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Employer, The Legal Aid Society prohibits discriminatory employment actions against and treatment of its employees and applicants for employment based on actual or perceived race or color, size (including bone structure, body size, height, shape, and weight), religion or creed, alienage or citizenship status, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity (one’s internal deeply-held sense of one’s gender which may be the same or different from one’s sex assigned at birth); gender expression (the representation of gender as expressed through, for example, one’s name, choice of pronouns, clothing, haircut, behavior, voice, or body characteristics; gender expression may not conform to traditional gender-based stereotypes assigned to specific gender identities), disability, marital status, relationship and family structure (including domestic partnerships, polyamorous families and individuals, chosen family, platonic co-parents, and multigenerational families), genetic information or predisposing genetic characteristics, military status, domestic violence victim status, arrest or pre-employment conviction record, credit history, unemployment status, caregiver status, salary history, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Position: Felony Criminal Defense Attorney
Organization: The Legal Aid Society
Location: New York,  NY 
United States
Salary: $79,591 - $130,308
Posting Start Date: 7/6/2023
Date Posted: 7/7/2023

Candidates MUST have: 

  • A minimum of 3 years of demonstrated commitment to public defense, racial equity, and social justice with some experience handling felony matters here in NYS or in other jurisdictions. 
  • Track record of strategically guiding casework, projects and/or relationships, applying good judgement and routinely pushing through roadblocks to achieve your goals
  • Clear and effective oral and written advocacy and experience and a high level of organization to meet multiple competing deadlines
  • New York State bar admission (or ability to waive into New York State from another jurisdiction)
Status: This listing expires on: 10/5/2023
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Organization Information
The Legal Aid Society
199 Water Street

New York,  NY 10038
United States
HR Recruitment