Lead Librarian/Law Library Associate(s)

position Description

ORGANIZATION

Youth Justice Network (YJN) was founded in 1990 to anchor, support and build capacity among young people released from jail in New York City. We break cycles of incarceration and promote an equitable justice system by providing young people with opportunities to grow thrive, and lead. We leverage authentic relationships and local resources so that young people can forge their pathways to well-being and positive development.

HOURS: Flexible - part-time, full-time, or per diem consultant

Reports to: Deputy Executive Director

Location: Bronx and Brooklyn - Horizon and Crossroads Juvenile Centers

Position Background and Description:

In partnership with the City’s ACS/Division of Youth and Family Justice, YJN launched a Youth Justice Library service for adolescents held at the Horizon and Crossroads detention centers. Law Library services are designed to provide information and facts to detained adolescents relevant to their defense. Young people in these two facilities are faced with serious charges, with cases primarily prosecuted in New York City’s adult criminal justice system.

Youth Justice Network is seeking a licensed attorney(s) in New York State with 3 to 5 years of recent experience in felony criminal defense representation in New York City, and with an interest in youth justice. This role is to provide legal information only; it is not to offer legal advice or representation, which is provided by the young person’s criminal defense attorney. Incumbent attorneys must assist young people in understanding their cases, thereby giving them the tools and information needed to participate in their own defense. They will also need to connect with a youth’s defense attorney. A deep understanding of New York State’s recent discovery reforms is essential, as well as the ability understand and navigate the nuances inherent in offering young people facts and information, not legal representation.

Applicant JDs should demonstrate a strong commitment to justice-involved young people and be comfortable working in a custodial setting. The ideal candidate will have the ability to work independently with good judgment, be self-motivated, consistent with and respectful of young people.

Objectives of this Role

Given the nature of this position and the need for an attorney with experience in NYC felony practice, we will be flexible in our approach and consider the following types of candidates: 

1. 1 part-time individual for both facilities (16-20 hours per week) OR

2. 2 part-time individuals, one for each facility (8-10 hours per week) OR

3. 1 full-time individual for both facilities 

The structure, and hours (full-time or part-time) will be determined and shaped by the pool of candidates who apply. 

Summary of Responsibilities: 

  • Support and provide direct legal information services to adolescents in Horizon and/or Crossroads facilities whose developmental capacity is not aligned with their capacity to understand the weight and consequences of an adult criminal justice system where most of their cases are heard.
  • Engage with young people in the detention facilities to provide information that supports them in understanding their cases, ranging from rudimentary needs such as how to contact their attorney, the court process, basic criminal justice terminology, reading and understanding Discovery or other relevant case matters, sentencing law, the collateral consequences of a conviction, the distinction between Youthful Offender, Juvenile Offender, and Juvenile Delinquency, the difference between parole and probation, sentencing guidelines and the many other issues that young people may have questions about. 
  • Work collaboratively with DYFJ facility and program staff for access and facility protocols.
  • Have a deep understanding and appreciation of Discovery and the ability to explain elements of Discovery to youth.
  • Maintain data on requests and their follow-up including the nature of requests and responses, to evaluate satisfaction of the program.
  • Have a clear boundary between legal information and legal advice. 
REQUIREMENTS

Qualifications:

  • JD, licensed and felony certified in New York State, with a minimum of 3-5 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney in NYC.
  • Experience working in or going to custodial settings to meet with clients preferred
  • Experience working with adolescents is preferred
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Excel and databases.

Youth Justice Network is privileged to have a profoundly committed and caring staff - one that believes unconditionally in our youth members' ability to do right and do well. We take our work very seriously, but we strive to make time for joy and self-care. We look for staff from all walks of life who have integrity, humor, and a strong work ethic, and who are passionate about young people and committed to addressing the harms caused by incarceration.

Depending on full or part-time status, benefits include a competitive vacation/sick leave policy including three days off between Christmas and New Year's Day, four-day summer weeks through July and August, generous health insurance, 403b match.

Salary Range, depending on experience and qualifications:

Hourly Range: $40-$45

Annual Salary Range: $85,000 - $90,000

Please send a resume and cover letter to Tahirah Wornum, Finance and Administration Coordinator at twornum@youthjustice.org

To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to:

careers@youthjustice.org
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