The Appellate Bureau of the Monroe County Public Defender’s Office (located in Rochester, New York) is looking to add a staff attorney to its 13-member team.  The appellate bureau represents individuals aggrieved by the most consequential of dispositions – criminal convictions and sentences, orders affecting parental rights, and sex offender risk level determinations.  Under the guidance of an experienced supervisors, staff attorneys represent Public Defender clients on appeal to New York’s intermediate and highest appellate courts and in other post-conviction state court proceedings.  The MCPD’s appellate bureau prides itself on being able to deliver high-level client centered representation by working hard to gain the trust of its clients and making creative and well-crafted arguments for relief.  As members of an office that provides trial-level representation as well, the staff appellate defenders are also called upon to assist  the office’s trial attorneys on legal questions to ensure that the trial attorneys too can provide the quality of representation the office's clients need and deserve and that they lay a strong foundation for arguments on appeal.     

The Public Defender’s appeals bureau is looking for individuals who are admitted, or who will soon be admitted, to practice of law in New York, and who have what it takes to provide excellent representation to those who need it most. 

Applicants should have:
  • Strong analytical, research and writing, and oral argument skills; 
  • A passion for criminal and constitutional law;
  • A commitment to client-centered representation, particularly of marginalized members of society;
  • The discipline necessary to set and meet deadlines to ensure clients’ appeals are timely heard;  
  • The communication skills to build a working relationship with clients who are experiencing distress and distrusting of the criminal justice system; and
  • Empathy for individuals with backgrounds and experiences different from their own.
Fluency or proficiency in a language commonly spoken with the diverse communities of Rochester is highly desirable. 

The Monroe County Public Defender's Office is an equal opportunity employer.   It celebrates diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive and respectful workplace for all employees.  Candidates from underrepresented backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. 

To apply, please submit (to ) your resume; a cover letter stating (1) why you are interested in working for the Monroe County Public Defender’s appellate bureau and (2) what about your background, skills, and experiences will make you a strong appellate defender; and at least one writing sample.