The Family Defense Team at NDS represents parents in child welfare and related family court cases, including custody, visitation and termination of parental rights proceedings. Through our holistic approach to representation, the Family Defense Team provides parents with the help they need—both inside and outside of court—to keep their families safe and stable. Parents are represented not only by a high-quality attorney, but also social workers, team administrators, and parent advocates. NDS is committed to advancing due process rights for parents by fighting unwarranted state intervention in their lives and advocating for related systemic change.

Role and Responsibilities:

  • Manage, lead and oversee teams consisting of attorneys, social workers, parent advocates and team administrators, as well as college, law school, and social work interns who represents clients charged with abuse and/or neglect in Family Court;
  • Train and supervise staff. Provide oversight and direction to supervisors and employees in accordance with NDS’ policies and procedures;
  • Foster a spirit of teamwork and unity among department members;
  • Provide direct representation to a limited number of clients; and
  • Travel on a daily basis between the main office in Central Harlem and New York County Family Court in Lower Manhattan.
  • Responsible for planning and maintaining work systems, procedures and policies that enable the optimum performance of the Family Defense Team;
  • Contribute leadership and coordination of the integrated holistic services that NDS provides to clients through our criminal defense, family defense, and civil practices;
  • Maintain employee work schedules including assignments, training, vacation and paid time off;
  • Prepare periodic reports for management, as necessary or requested, to track strategic goal accomplishment;
  • Communicate regularly with other managers, the Chief of Staff, and other designated contacts within NDS.

Desired Capabilities and Qualifications:

  • Must possess a minimum of seven years of experience as a family defense attorney and a demonstrated track
    record of excellence in the profession;
  • Must possess a proven commitment to holistic defense and/or social justice issues;
  • Must be able to work cooperatively in a team setting and possess a strong ability to communicate clearly and effectively through writing;
  • Must possess a high level of organizational skills.


Compensation is commensurate with experience and is in adherence to the NDS compensation scale. 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 with the subject
line, “FDT Managing Attorney.”

Neighborhood Defender Service, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer.