The Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem (NDS) is a community-based, client-centered, holistic public defense office located in Harlem, providing criminal, civil, and family representation to residents of Northern Manhattan who cannot afford to hire a lawyer. NDS clients are represented by multidisciplinary teams including attorneys, advocates, team administrators, investigators and social workers. NDS is seeking a Staff Attorney to join the Immigration Defense Practice.  


The Immigration Defense Practice works as part of NDS’s Civil Defense Practice to minimize the immigration consequences of contact with the criminal justice and child welfare systems and assist Northern Manhattan residents in accessing immigration relief. The Staff Attorney will provide plea consultations to our Criminal Defense Practice; defense in removal proceedings and related appeals and petitions to the BIA and Second Circuit; and representation in affirmative applications for relief before USCIS.

Role and Responsibilities:

The attorney will be part of an interdisciplinary team who will assist clients in immigration matters, including:

  • Embrace NDS’s philosophy of client-centered, community-based, holistic representation and commitment to excellence;
  • Advise non-citizen clients regarding the full range of immigration consequences associated with contacts with the criminal justice system and consult with criminal defense attorneys to mitigate potential immigration consequences;
  • Represent detained and non-detained clients in removal proceedings before the EOIR and the Board of Immigration Appeals as well as in related appeals and petitions before the Southern District of New York and Second Circuit as needed;
  • Filing applications and representing clients before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, including applications for adjustment of status, naturalization, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, and other benefits with USCIS.

Desired Capabilities and Qualifications:

  • The candidate will have a demonstrated knowledge of criminal immigration matters;
  • A commitment to immigrant rights, criminal justice, and social justice issues and experience working with diverse and indigent individuals; 
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and ability to manage a diverse and high volume caseload;
  • Admitted to practice law in any state or eligible for admission after bar examination; 
  • A valid driver’s license is required to travel throughout New York City and New Jersey to various courts and detention facilities;
  • Spanish language fluency.


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

How to Apply:

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

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