The Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem (NDS) is a community-based, client-centered, holistic public defense office located in Harlem, providing civil, criminal and family representation to residents of Northern Manhattan. NDS seeks to hire an experienced attorney for our Housing Defense Practice within our Civil Defense Practice.

As part of NDS’ commitment to community-based representation the Housing Defense Practice works to prevent the destabilizing impacts that stem from housing instability through representation of Northern Manhattan residents under the Universal Access to Counsel program.


The Staff Attorney will work with the Housing Defense Practice to represent individual Northern Manhattan residents in housing court proceedings including: non-payments, holdovers and HP actions. This includes conducting monthly intake at New York County Housing Court and may include community intake at NDS’ primary office in Harlem.

Additionally, the attorney may be responsible for representing NDS at Coalition meetings and community based initiatives on housing issues.


NDS is looking for attorneys with a demonstrated commitment to civil defense and social justice issues. In addition, the job requires energy, enthusiasm, a commitment to excellence and an unwavering commitment to clients. Applicants must also:

  • Be admitted to practice law in New York State or be eligible for admission.
  • Have experience providing direct services to low-income tenants, with preference given to applicants who have at least two years of experience in legal services.

Preference will be given to applicants with fluency in both English and Spanish.


NDS offers a generous compensation package, including a competitive base salary as well as health, dental, 403(b) matching and extensive vacation benefits.


Interested applicants should email a cover letter, resume and one writing samples as a PDF with the subject line, “Staff Attorney, Housing Defense Practice” to:  We are looking to fill this position immediately.

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