Closing Date: 16th April, 2023


The Bronx Defenders – an innovative, progressive, holistic indigent defense office in the South Bronx – seeks a passionate attorney to fill the position as Director of Holistic Defense and Training.

The Bronx Defenders is a public defender non-profit that is radically transforming how low-income people in the Bronx are represented in the legal system, and, in doing so, is transforming the system itself. BxD seeks thoughtful, creative, energetic individuals with a strong commitment to social justice and holistic defense to join our dynamic and diverse staff. Our staff of over 400 includes interdisciplinary teams made up of criminal, civil, immigration, and family defense attorneys, as well as social workers, benefits specialists, legal advocates, parent advocates, investigators, and team administrators, who collaborate to provide holistic advocacy to address the causes and consequences of legal system involvement. Through this integrated team-based structure, we have developed a groundbreaking, nationally recognized model of representation called holistic defense that achieves better outcomes for the people we defend.

Each year, we defend more than 20,000 low-income Bronx residents in criminal, civil, child welfare, and immigration cases, and reach thousands more through our community intake, youth mentoring, and outreach programs. Through impact litigation, policy advocacy, and community organizing, we push for systemic transformation at the local, state, and national levels. We take what we learn from the people we defend and communities that we work with and launch innovative initiatives designed to bring about real and lasting change.

Reporting to the Chief Practice Office, the Director of Holistic Defense and Training will be responsible for the ongoing assessment, implementation and development of The Bronx Defenders’ holistic defense model. The Director will design and implement office-wide and cross-practice trainings related to holistic defense while also providing staff members external training opportunities to enhance holistic, interdisciplinary representation. The Director will provide support to the in-practice Training Directors and supervise our Special Project Directors and the Holistic Defense Associate Fellow.

Advancing Holistic Defense
  • Advance the four pillars of holistic defense in our work
  • Ensure access to holistic representation for the people we represent by facilitating communication among practices and departments
  • Develop new systems, tools and materials to advance and facilitate holistic defense and interdisciplinary collaboration
  • Ensure that our holistic practice is aligned with our organizational values

Holistic Defense Program Evaluation
  • In coordination with the Chief Practice Officer, Managing Directors, and other stakeholders, lead program evaluation efforts to assess the effectiveness of our holistic defense model and provide feedback on ways it can be improved
  • Supervise the Holistic Defense Associate
  • Facilitate regular individual and supervision meetings with supervisees
  • Provide equitable, culturally conscious supervision and support marginalized supervisees
  • Evaluate performance and provide constructive feedback to supervisees, aiding them in their professional development and growth in the role
  • Demonstrate a commitment to anti-oppression work in the practice and office
  • Prepare annual evaluations of supervisees
  • Monitor supervisee workflow
  • Collaborate with the Director of People, Equity and Institutional Transformation to institute policies and practices to advance equity and cultivate an anti-oppressive culture
  • Manage and direct the design, administration, analysis of annual Client Experience Survey
  • Collect staff feedback on the impact of the holistic defense model on representation
  • Incorporate feedback from the Client Experience Survey, staff, and other stakeholders to improve upon the design and implementation of holistic defense work
  • Support fundraising, grant writing, and reporting for holistic defense work

Special Projects and Holistic Defense Clinic
  • In coordination with the Chief Practice Officer, manage cross-practice projects
  • Ensure regular internal training and sharing of information by staff in special projects regarding their area of work
  • Create and implement systems for data collection and program evaluation of the impact and efficacy of special project work
  • Support efforts to secure funding and resources for cross-practice projects
  • Supervise the Director of the Columbia Law School Holistic Defense Clinic

Staff Training
  • Develop and lead cross-practice trainings on holistic defense (e.g., referrals, cross-practice communication, issue spotting, conflicts, discovery sharing)
  • Establish relationships with external programs and trainers to facilitate staff member access to valuable external training opportunities
  • Incorporate feedback from staff and the people we represent into the development of holistic defense training materials
  • Develop a holistic defense staff curriculum
  • Lead annual or bi-annual Training Team Holistic Defense Training
  • Build and lead onboarding holistic defense training for off-Training Team staff members
  • Coordinate bi-annual training and shadowing opportunities for non-client facing staff to observe reception, courthouses, and other representation spaces

Training Directors and Professional Development
  • Coordinate communication among Training Directors
  • Convene regular Training Director meetings
  • Collaborate with Training Directors to assess, track, and support internal trainings
  • In consultation with Training Directors, develop best practices guidelines for internal and external trainings that maximize engagement and effectiveness
  • Consult with Training Directors and Managing Directors on approval of staff Professional Development funds to ensure equitable access consistent with the goals and parameters of our professional development policy

CLEs and Certifications
  • In coordination with the Training Administrator and other administrative staff members, create a system for managing and issuing certifications for in-house CLEs and CEUs
  • In coordination with Training Directors, ensure availability of CLE trainings to meet New York State requirements for our attorneys
  • Manage the administration of the organizations accredited provider status for all CLE programs by preparing and submitting year-end CLE reports and accredited provider renewal applications

External Training
  • Lead our annual Bronx Defenders Academy program
  • Attend and participate in conferences, trainings, and other external events relevant to our work
  • Coordinate and track Bronx Defenders participation in external conferences, panels, and other speaking opportunities
  • Support staff in developing proposals to present at external conferences and events

Center for Holistic Defense
  • Collaborate with the Director of the Center for Holistic Defense (CHD) on technical assistance work
  • Contribute to the development of CHD trainings
  • Lead and co-lead CHD trainings
  • Facilitate engagement and participation of staff in the CHD

Contribute to developing the vision for CHD

To be eligible, candidates must have:
Experience as an attorney at the Bronx Defenders

Candidates must demonstrate:
  • Commitment to holistic public defense and interdisciplinary, client-centered representation
  • Commitment to directly defending people ensnared in criminal, family, civil and immigration legal systems
  • Commitment to fierce advocacy, and willingness to strategically challenge authority in defense of the people we represent
  • Experience working in and with racially, ethnically and socioeconomically marginalized communities
  • Ability to effectively and respectfully communicate, collaborate and connect with people with various backgrounds, identities and experiences
  • Ability to work well independently as well as collaboratively with lawyers and non-lawyers
  • Ability to multitask, maintain order and meet deadlines in a fast-paced, high-stakes environment
  • Meticulous attention to detail
  • Ability to think critically and creatively in fast-paced settings, finding innovative solutions to unique obstacles
  • Supervisory and mentoring skills, including
    • Interest in and commitment to developing and mentoring supervisees
    • Ability to provide intentional and constructive feedback
    • Flexibility in balancing needs of supervisees against their own workload
  • Ability to receive constructive feedback, demonstrate introspection and shift behavior accordingly
  • Ability to exercise excellent judgment, discretion, and confidentiality with sensitive matters
  • Commitment to raising one’s cultural consciousness and challenging oppressive practices on an interpersonal and institutional level

Preferred, but not required
  • Experience supervising and training public defenders
  • Minimum of 4 years of legal practice

This is a hybrid position that will require in-person work and contact with staff and community members.

Salary is commensurate with experience. For candidates with 5-15 years of directly relevant experience, the annual salary range for this position would be approximately $116,600 - $144,140. Full-time employees are also eligible for a comprehensive benefits package including but not limited to medical, dental and vision coverage; a 403(b) plan with employer contribution; a generous vacation, sick leave, and parental leave policy. More specific information about salary and benefits will be provided if an offer is extended.

Approximately 70% of The Bronx Defenders' staff, including attorneys and non-attorneys, are represented by UAW Local 2325 - Association of Legal Aid Attorneys (AFL-CIO). This position is not within the bargaining unit.

This position is exempt. By law, non-exempt employees are compensated hourly based on their annual rate and therefore are entitled to over-time, whereas exempt employees are not.

To apply, please click APPLY TO THIS JOB ONLINE and upload your resume and a cover letter in one document when prompted. If you would prefer to send in a video or audio statement in lieu of a cover letter, you may upload your resume as a document and separately upload a video or audio statement instead of a cover letter. Your cover letter or video/audio statement should share why you want to do this work at our office, some key lived and/or professional experiences that have prepared you for this position, and any additional information you would like for us to consider. Your cover letter may be up to one page if written or up to 3 minutes if an audio/video statement. This information allows us to understand your distinct perspective, experience and potential beyond the work history summarized on your resume. Please remember that you may submit a written cover letter or an audio/video statement, but not both, and applications without either will not be considered. Applications missing any components or not submitted in the requested manner will not be considered.

Applications will be accepted through April 16, 2023. Please contact Robyn Mar, Chief Practice Officer, via email at with any questions regarding the position.

The Bronx Defenders is an equal opportunity employer and is cultivating an anti-oppressive workplace that embraces staff with a diversity of backgrounds, identities and experiences. We acknowledge the ways in which systemic oppression and injustice can undermine access to professional opportunities and are committed to conducting hiring and promotion processes that are equitable and accessible to those commonly excluded from the workforce. We do not discriminate against and in fact specifically encourage applicants from marginalized communities to apply, including those who identify as Black, Indigenous, people of color, queer, transgender, gender non-conforming, disabled, neurodivergent and those directly impacted by criminal, civil, family and immigration legal systems. We value lived as well as professional experience and particularly welcome applications from the Bronx community that we work with.