THE NEIGHBORHOOD DEFENDER SERVICE OF HARLEM (“NDS”) is a community-based, holistic public defense practice in the heart of Northern Manhattan.  NDS represents clients through collaborative civil, criminal and family teams. NDS is accepting applications for a Supervising Investigator.


NDS is a collaborative holistic public defender office with a long history of service to residents of Northern Manhattan.  NDS currently represents clients in an array of proceedings including criminal court, family court, housing court, immigration court, and a variety of administrative proceedings related to public benefits, housing, and employment.  Clients are represented by high-quality attorneys, social workers, parent advocates, client advocates and team administrators. Each team member is integral to addressing client needs across an array of systems.

Role and Responsibilities

Reporting to the Managing Attorney of the Criminal Defense Practice, the Supervising Investigator will supervise and coordinate the work of the practice’s investigator team as well as carry a small caseload of their own cases and clients.  The individual in this role will: 

  • Supervise the Criminal Defense Practice investigators who are responsible for:
    • Working closely with team members in preparing clients’ cases;
    • Conducting the team’s investigative work, including:
      • Identifying, locating, and interviewing witnesses;
      • Visiting, photographing, and diagramming locations;
      • Obtaining documents, reports, and other materials from a variety of sources;
      • Preparing investigative reports and trial exhibits;
      • Reviewing discovery, video and documents received from the prosecution;
      • Testifying at trial;
      • Document investigative work in the case management system.
  • Carry a small caseload of their own clients by providing them the services listed above;
  • Work as part of the interdisciplinary team, including attorneys and other non-attorney advocates, to determine case strategy;
  • Conference supervisees’ cases and ensure training opportunities are available to staff;
  • Respond quickly and communicate clearly with clients, their families, and case workers;
  • Develop strong relationships with service providers to address client needs;
  • Represent NDS at meetings outside the office with other legal service organizations and at government hearings regarding indigent legal services.

Desired Capabilities and Qualifications

NDS is seeking applicants with a demonstrated commitment to indigent defense, social

justice issues and/or the Northern Manhattan communities;

  • Must possess substantial experience (at least five years) of conducting a wide variety of investigations and/or direct services with clients involved in the criminal legal and/or child welfare systems;
  • Must possess the ability and readiness to quickly learn and use various industry relevant computer software, including but not limited to:
    • Mobile forensic tools such as Cellebrite or Axiom;
    • Encase, Forensic Tool Kit or other forensic tools
    • Forensic artifacts/terms such as Disk Partition, Free Space, Unallocated Space, Slack Space, Swap File, Offset, Created/Modified/Access Date/Time, Hashing, Cache, Thumbs.db, and Metadata;
    • knowledge and experience with the following operating systems: Windows, Macintosh, Linux or UNIX, iOS, and Android.
    • Understanding of Peer to Peer technology.
  • Apply knowledge and experience with forensically sound evidence-gathering and handling procedures in order to retrieve, handle, analyze, and preserve such data in accordance with those standards utilizing write-blocking technology. Must be familiar with chain-of-custody requirements necessary for the admissibility of evidence in court and competent to fulfill those requirements.
  • Create forensic copies of data sources, including hard drives, portable storage media, tablets, smart phones, and cloud data
  • Interpret Call Detail Records and generate Cell Tower Maps
  • Perform video, photo, and audio forensics
  • Conduct examinations of digital evidence and prepare reports and/or exhibits for use in court.
  • Must possess experience working in an interdisciplinary setting;
  • Must be able to provide supervision from an interdisciplinary perspective;
  • Must possess excellent interpersonal, analytical, writing, and communication skills;
  • Must possess strong organizational skills in order to supervise staff carrying high caseloads in a fast-paced environment;
  • Must be comfortable in a court environment;
  • Bilingual applicants are encouraged to apply.  Spanish language fluency is preferred.


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 Carolyn Klemens at with the subject line “Supervising Investigator.”  Please send your application as a one document attachment, preferably PDF.  

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