The New York State Defenders Association (NYSDA) is accepting applications from experienced attorneys for a part-time staff attorney position with the Veterans Defense Program (VDP). Our mission is to provide training, support, and legal assistance to promote trauma-informed, client-centered representation of veterans and service members involved in New York State’s criminal and family court systems. The program’s primary work is to comprehensively assist defense attorneys in defending veterans facing criminal charges. As a prerequisite, the successful candidate must believe in the core values of the VDP and be driven by the mission of the VDP. The values of the VDP are that every justice-involved veteran receives legal representation from an attorney who understands their military experience and culture, the effects of such experiences and culture, and who can present this information to the court in support of therapeutic outcomes.
The part-time staff attorney will provide assistance to defense teams whose veteran clients are facing criminal prosecution, and facilitate justice-system diversion for affected veterans. Duties include working strategically to enhance public defender capacity; educating defenders about military culture and mindset; assisting attorneys in preventing incarceration or mitigating sentences of veteran clients suffering the invisible wounds of war such as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); and assisting, training, and consulting with defense attorneys, particularly those involved in public defense.
The candidate should have litigation experience and possess leadership skills and excellent research and writing skills. Sentencing mitigation experience is a plus. Experience with military and veteran issues is a plus. Knowledge regarding the latest developments in PTSD, TBI, and other combat-related stressors is a positive. The successful candidate will possess criminal defense experience, the ability to engage in collaborative decision-making, and a commitment to seeking a reduction in the prosecution, conviction, and incarceration of veterans.
The successful candidate will be based in the VDP’s office in Batavia, New York, but some statewide travel will be required. Applicants must be licensed to practice law in New York. Proficiency in Spanish is a plus.
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Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, three
references, and a writing sample, Attention: Gary Horton, Esq.,
Director, New York State Defenders Association Veterans Defense Program,
to email provided.