The Legal Aid Society – New York City Seeks Criminal Defense Practice Community Organizer-CJU

The Legal Aid Society is seeking a driven, inspired, and energetic Community Organizer who will work with The Legal Aid Society’s Community Justice Unit (“CJU”) to build grassroots community participation in efforts to reform the criminal justice system.

The Society’s CJU provides legal services/case consults in a specific catchment area in each of the five boroughs providing anti-violence services through the CeaseFire model (now called “CureViolence”). This is a public health model originated in Chicago that responds to gun violence with services in the community–mediation, social services, violence interrupters, etc. The model works on the theory that if conflicts can be worked out by people in the community, further violence can be avoided.

The ideal candidate is an experienced organizer who has worked on grassroots, policy and advocacy campaigns. The ideal candidate is committed to The Legal Aid Society’s mission, is flexible and effective in a fast-paced environment. This is not an office-based job. The ideal candidate will be working with our CureViolence partners throughout the five boroughs, engaging with and supporting community members who have been impacted by the criminal justice system.


·     Assist Community Justice Attorneys in providing training and outreach to CureViolence community partners

·     Develop social media campaigns to highlight program success

·     Work with other units of The Legal Aid Society to create opportunities for community members

·     Participate in implementing a client advisory board

·     Lead street outreach and other community-based canvassing;

·     Measure and track outcomes; enter data to track outcomes

·     Ability to work flexible hours beyond 5:00pm and Saturdays and Sundays


·     Other duties as assigned

Location: Citywide


·     Bachelor’s degree preferred, but not required

·     Previous community organizing experience preferred; a demonstrated commitment to activism and mobilizing communities required

·     Experience developing members into leaders and employing grassroots strategies for social change

·     Experience working on coalition-based campaign to effect policy change

·     Basic knowledge of and interest in criminal justice reform, including a serious commitment to ending mass incarceration

·     Deep and meaningful ties to the community and community driven policy reform

·     Comfortable working with clients and their families

·     High energy, strong interpersonal, public speaking and problem-solving skills; an outgoing personality and willingness to take risks are essential to succeeding in this position

·     Basic computer skills, including ability to use the internet, email, word processing (e.g. Microsoft Word) and spreadsheets (e.g. Excel) programs

·     Comfort working with a team in a fast-paced and dynamic environment

·     Experience working in New York City and State preferred, but not required

·     Collaborative instincts, sense of humor, and charm

·     Valid driver’s license

·     Proficiency in languages other than English is desirable, but not required

Only PDF documents will be accepted. If your document is not a PDF your application will not be processed. Applications submitted without all the required materials will not be processed.

The Legal Aid Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer — Women, People of Color, Gays and Lesbians, Transgender People, Veterans and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

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