Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem Fellowship

THE NEIGHBORHOOD DEFENDER SERVICE OF HARLEM (NDS) is a community-based, holistic public defender office located in Harlem. NDS represents residents of Northern Manhattan who are charged with crimes who cannot afford to hire a lawyer. Clients are represented by teams composed of lawyers, investigators, social workers, and team administrators. NDS also provides pre-arrest representation to clients under threat of arrest. NDS adheres to a client-centered approach to representation that emphasizes a heightened responsiveness to clients’ needs prior to arrest, while a case is pending, and after the case concludes.

NDS seeks recent law school graduates for a two-year post-graduate fellowship.

NDS Fellows will assume the responsibilities of a Staff Attorney, representing clients on misdemeanor cases. This includes appearing in court at clients’ arraignments, regular court appearances, plea negotiations, hearings, and trials. NDS Fellows interview clients and their families in the office or the local jails, conduct legal research, and write pre-pleadings, motions and pre-sentencing memoranda on behalf of clients. NDS Fellows will also spearhead and coordinate work performed by team members (investigators, social workers, team administrators).

NDS is looking for recent law school graduates with a demonstrated commitment to criminal justice and/or social justice issues. In addition, the job requires energy, enthusiasm, a commitment to excellence, and an unwavering commitment to clients. Applicants must possess a demonstrated ability to communicate clearly and effectively through writing, and must have a high level of organizational skills in order to represent many clients.  Fluency in Spanish is preferred, as is prior clinical, externship or internship experience in a public defender office.

Interested applicants should email a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to NDS at with the subject line, “NDS Fellowship.”  For more information about NDS, please visit our website at

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