The Bronx Defenders (BxD) – an innovative, progressive, holistic indigent defense office in the South Bronx – seeks a passionate housing attorney with a commitment to social justice to fill a new position as housing attorney.

BxD is a public defender non-profit that is radically transforming how marginalized people in the Bronx are represented in legal systems, and, in doing so, is transforming the system itself. BxD seeks thoughtful, creative, energetic individuals with a strong commitment to social justice to join our dynamic and diverse staff. Our staff of over 400 includes an interdisciplinary referral practice made up of criminal, civil, immigration, and family defense attorneys, as well as social workers, advocates, investigators, and team administrators, all of whom collaborate to provide holistic advocacy to address the causes and consequences of legal system involvement and to create access to rights and services. Through this integrated referral-based structure, we have developed a groundbreaking, nationally recognized model of representation called holistic defense that achieves important outcomes for the people we represent. 

Each year, we defend over 20,000 Bronx residents in criminal, civil, family, and immigration cases, and reach thousands more through our community intake, engagement, and outreach programs. Through impact litigation, policy advocacy, and community organizing, we push for systemic change at the local, state, and national level. We take what we learn from the people we represent and communities that we work with, and launch innovative initiatives designed to bring about real and lasting change. 

Civil Action Practice  

Our Civil Action Practice (CAP) provides comprehensive civil legal services to the people we represent and their families by integrating civil representation with our criminal, immigration, and family defense practices. Our goal is to minimize the severe and often unforeseen fallout from criminal, family and immigration court proceedings and facilitate the seamless reintegration of the people we represent into their communities.   

Our Civil Action Practice attorneys and legal advocates represent people in every forum in New York City – administrative, state, and federal – providing comprehensive representation to assist our the people we represent in overcoming civil legal barriers to housing, eviction, employment, and public benefits, as well as addressing instances of police misconduct, criminal record errors, and civil forfeiture.     

The Civil Action Practice, in its 24th year, provides comprehensive civil defense and legal services to the people we represent and their families by fully integrating civil representation, services and advocacy with our criminal, family defense and immigration practices, by providing the right to counsel in housing court and by providing community facing services and education.  

Civil Holistic Defense Team 

Our goal is to minimize the severe and often unforeseen fallout from criminal, family and immigration court proceedings and facilitate the seamless reintegration of the people we represent into the community. Our Civil Action Practice attorneys, advocates and social workers represent and advocate for impacted people in every forum in New York City – administrative, state, and federal – to address these problems. Our civil staff provide comprehensive representation to assist in overcoming civil legal barriers to housing, eviction, employment, and public benefits, as well as addressing instances of police misconduct, criminal record errors, and civil forfeiture.  

Housing Justice and the Right to Counsel Team 

Recognizing the challenges to accessing affordable, quality and safe housing in New York City, The Bronx Defenders has a team exclusively dedicated to providing tenants at risk of losing their homes with defense attorneys for their Housing Court cases. Our Housing Team was developed in response to the 2017 New York City Right-to-Counsel Law, which provides tenants facing eviction in Housing Court and New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) administrative proceedings with access to free legal representation.  We are one of seven institutional providers effectuating the Right to Counsel in Housing and have dedicated attorneys and advocates on a housing team serving and representing tenants in the community and in Housing Court. 

Community Intake Team

The Bronx Defenders has Community Intake advocates across all practices which allows members of the Bronx community to walk into our office or call our community hotlines and proactively seek legal assistance with criminal, family, immigration, and civil legal issues. This new role would provide early intervention; assistance in navigating evictions, repairs and housing problems that impact housing access, quality and stability; direct representation in Housing Part actions, illegal lockouts, eviction proceedings, and other legal proceedings and actions; and high-quality advice and referrals for hundreds of community members each year. Intervention at this early stage helps people address housing issues before they spiral into crises and to avoid housing displacement.


• Engage in intensive client interviewing, counseling, research, writing, oral advocacy, and negotiations as part of legal representation

• Staff our community intake to assist with and represent community members with housing legal issues, advise people of their options, and make referrals to other organizations for services we do not provide

• Manage our housing hotline to address housing questions and issues community members may call in about

• Collaborate with our Benefits Access team, Right to Counsel team and other teams, practices and departments to address the housing needs of community members

• Identify holistic needs, make referrals, and work with attorneys and advocates to address and mitigate the enmeshed consequences of legal system involvement

• Represent, advise, counsel and advocate for individuals in eviction proceedings, Housing Part (HP) actions, Illegal Lockout proceedings and other housing matters and fora, including appeals, for housing advocacy and services

• Develop, staff and lead community clinics to address housing needs

• Develop and maintain fact sheets and informational materials for pro se and community litigants

• Work with our community engagement team and community partners and tenant organizers, including the Bronx Leadership & Organizing Center (BLOC) to create community events and clinics

• Effectively litigate, confidently negotiate and skillfully advocate with adversaries 

• Co-counsel cases in other venues, including Criminal, Family, Immigration Court and Administrative Hearings, when necessary 

• Lead and assist with external and internal trainings and presentations on housing law and policy

• Participate in coalition and collaborative meetings within The Bronx Defenders and with stakeholders, community-based organizations and government agencies to address housing needs

• Collaborate with members of the community intake team to develop and improve the team’s intake protocols 

• Maintain client case information and data in BxD’s case management system as required by funders 


We are specifically seeking applications from candidates with Spanish language skills and/or those from racially/ethnically marginalized communities disproportionately impacted by systemic injustice whose lived experiences contribute to more culturally conscious client representation.

To be eligible, applicants must have:

• License to practice law in New York or be eligible to become licensed to practice in New York

• At least one year of housing law experience or relevant/equivalent experience 

• Spanish language proficiency

Candidates must demonstrate:

• Commitment to directly defending people with limited financial resources placed in removal proceedings or facing immigration consequences based on contact with the family and/or criminal legal system 

• 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 an interdisciplinary team of lawyers and non-lawyers

• Commitment to fierce advocacy, and willingness to strategically challenge authority in defense of the people we represent

• Effective research, writing and courtroom advocacy skills

• Strong analytical skills and capacity to employ non-legal resources in cases

• 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

• 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

This is a primarily in-person position.

Salary is commensurate with experience. For candidates with 2-5 years of directly relevant experience, the salary range for this position would be approximately $78,000-$88,000. 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 when and 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 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.