The Center for Appellate Litigation (CAL), a 50-attorney non-profit public defender agency in New York City, responsible for representing indigent criminal defendants in all aspects of post-conviction proceedings, is seeking to hire several paralegals/client advocates. Client advocates at CAL interact with clients extensively and serve at the “front lines” of our holistic advocacy. They are charged with providing client and litigation support in a variety of realms. These responsibilities may include but are not limited to:

  • Visiting clients in prisons across New York State and immigration detention centers;
  • Interviewing and liaising with clients and their families in the office and in court;
  • Locating clients, tracking cases and gathering records from the courts and other agencies;
  • Working closely with attorneys on substantive writing projects, including briefs, motions, and affidavits in post-conviction matters;
  • Preparing clients for parole appearances and submitting materials on their behalf to the Parole Board;
  • Helping clients resolve the day-to-day problems they face during their incarceration;
  • Interpreting and translating between English and Spanish.



Although Client Advocates share many of the responsibilities listed above, CAL’s wide array of projects requires specialization from each advocate. Should any of the specializations below draw your interest, please indicate as much in your application. Additional details on each role will be provided during the interview process. CAL is seeking a commitment to stay in the position for two or three years.

Immigrant Justice Project and non-citizen client support

  • The IJP and non-citizen client support advocates will spend a majority of their time helping our team eliminate or reduce the often devastating immigration consequences our clients face due to their criminal records.

SORA Project support

  • The SORA Project advocate will provide full-time administrative support for the representation of the most stigmatized clients in the criminal justice system: individuals on the sex offender registry.

Conditions of Confinement Project support

  • The Conditions advocate will spend a majority of their time helping our team track and remediate quality-of-life issues arising from our clients’ incarceration, as further discussed on the “Client Support Services” page of our website.

Reception and administrative support

  • This role involves staffing reception, Parole Project administration, serving as an administrative assistant to the executive director, brief formatting, interpreting, and translating.



  • Bachelor’s degree;
  • Excellent organizational skills;
  • Computer proficiency;
  • Strong writing ability;
  • Empathy for people who have been convicted of serious offenses or who are facing immigration consequences and a commitment to advocating on their behalf;
  • A willingness and ability to work within the dehumanizing environments of prisons, jails, and detention centers;
  • Spanish fluency is required of the IJP and administrative support positions and is preferred for the other positions;
  • A driver’s license and comfort with driving long distances is required for the Conditions position and is preferred for the other positions. No car is necessary.


At CAL, we embrace and value our staff’s diversity, and we welcome applications from people of color; people with disabilities; and people of LGBTQ+ identities. CAL is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without unlawful discrimination on the basis of age, arrest or conviction record, caregiver status, citizenship status, color, credit history, creed, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, national origin, marital status, partnership status, pregnancy, race, religion, salary history, sexual and reproductive health decisions, sexual orientation, status as a covered veteran or active military service member, or status as a victim of domestic violence, stalking, and sex offenses in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws.

Starting salary for July 2020 for recent college graduates will be $45,000; salary for more experienced applicants will be commensurate with experience. A generous benefits package will be provided.


How to Apply:

Applications must be submitted through the form linked below. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the positions are filled.

Application Form

Alternatively, applicants without a gmail account may email their materials to:

Brittany N. Francis
Assistant Managing Attorney  
120 Wall Street, 28th FL
New York, NY 10005

Because of the expected high number of applications, we ask that applicants not contact the office to inquire about the status of their application. Any necessary updates to an application should be sent to with the subject line “2020 Client Advocate Position Update.” Additional information about the organization can be found at You can also find us on Facebook at  and Twitter (@_cfal).