ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

June 11, 2004

2004.06.11: Re: Fwd: Housing NYC: fabulous job opportunity

Filed under: 1994 Strike,ALAA History,Funding,Indigent Defense,Key Documents,Scabs — nyclaw01 @ 12:35 pm

From: Michael Letwin
Sent: Friday, June 11, 2004 12:35 PM
Subject: Re: Fwd: Housing NYC: fabulous job opportunity

You’re wrong.  Just read the link below.

>>> [S.]6/11/2004 12:08:26 PM >>>

Is NDS responsible for Robin Steinberg’s betrayal after she left NDS and created a runaway shop?  As far as I know, NDS didn’t apply for any of the scab work, and has a stellar reputation for providing both criminal and civil legal services in a single community-based office.  It appears that you are confounding NDS’s former director with NDS.  Please let me know if I am wrong.

>>> Michael Letwin 6/11/2004 12:00:06 PM >>>

“Fabulous job opportunity”?  No.  Unionbusting?  Yes.  Scabs?  Yes.

When Giuliani illegally retaliated for the 1994 strike by transfering millions of dollars in LAS criminal funding from LAS to non-union shops, NDS submitted a bid.  ALAA/1199, Union Update #44 (January 21, 1997) <>

Ultimately, the awards went to other runaway shops, one of which is Bronx Defender Services — headed by former NDS deputy director Robin Steinberg.  But by seeking to benefit at our expense, NDS (and the other bidders) offered the critical legitimacy that Giuliani needed to get away with it.

And as a cumulative result of such collaboration, we now face layoffs.

>>> [M.] 6/10/2004 1:01:56 PM >>>




The Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem (NDS) is accepting applications for the position of Supervising Attorney of the Civil Team. NDS is a community based law office that provides holistic representation to residents of Upper Manhattan who are facing criminal charges.  The Civil Team provides legal representation in civil cases that are related to our clients’ arrests, primarily cases of police misconduct, housing, and child protective proceedings.  The Civil Team has also recently launched a Harlem Reentry Advocacy Project which uses litigation, community education, and public policy to assist formerly incarcerated people living in Upper Manhattan.


Handle all aspects of litigation in the child protective, housing and civil rights cases including: court appearances, drafting motions and briefs, negotiations with opposing counsel, settlement conferences, and trials.

He/she will be practicing in multiple legal forums including family court, housing court, federal court, and administrative proceedings.

Manage the Civil Team, which includes two post-graduate fellows, and a paralegal.  He/she will assess the caseload of the unit and determine when cases will be accepted.  He/she will closely supervise the two fellows on their cases including assisting with case strategy, negotiation, court advocacy, and trial preparation.  He/she will also meet regularly with the fellows to assist them in meeting the goals of their fellowships.  He/she is also responsible for monitoring the work of the paralegal, and providing her with work assignments that offer opportunities for growth.

Hire semester/summer interns and supervise their work assignments.

Work with the civil team and social work staff to develop the Harlem Reentry Advocacy Project.  This includes: leading Harlem RAP staff meetings, meeting with community organizations that work with people who are formally incarcerated,  attending coalition meetings, working with the fellows to develop community education materials and curriculums, and contacting the media to broadcast the project.

Develop proposals with law graduates for post-graduate fellowships from Skadden Arps, Equal Justice Works, and the Open Society Institute.

In conjunction with the executive director and fundraising consultants, draft grant proposals to apply for private funding to support the unit.

Conduct trainings for criminal staff on collateral consequences of criminal convictions.

Participate in planning process for new permanency part at the Harlem Community Justice Center.


3-5 years litigation experience required.  Experience in family court, housing court, or federal civil rights litigation preferred.  Applicant must have strong skills in the following areas: in court advocacy, interviewing, writing, negotiation, and trial skills.  Applicant must be dedicated to holistic practice and must be flexible in learning new areas of law and practicing in multiple forums.

1-2 years supervisory experience preferred.

Experience in fundraising and writing grant proposals is a plus.

Demonstrated commitment to working for indigent communities is required, and previous experience working with people with criminal records is a plus.  Ability to work with people in crisis is essential.

Salary is commensurate with experience.  NDS is an equal opportunity employer and applications from people of color, people with disabilities and gay men and lesbians are encouraged.

To apply please send a cover letter and resume by mail to:

Maya Grosz, Esq.

Supervising Attorney, Civil Team

Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem

2031 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY  10035

Or by email to:

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