Client Advocate - Survivors Advocacy Project




The Center for Appellate Litigation (CAL) is a leading appellate public defense organization dedicated to providing high-quality post-conviction representation to low-income New Yorkers. We are committed to ensuring that every individual has access to fair and just legal representation in the appellate courts and in a full panoply of post-conviction litigation. Our team of dedicated attorneys, client advocates, and staff work tirelessly to advocate for our clients’ rights and uphold the principles of justice.

CAL has a cohort of committed Client Advocates (CAs), coordinated by CAL’s Client Advocate Coordinator, who stand on the front lines of this holistic approach to advocacy. CAs play an essential role in delivering a wealth of important services to our clients. CAs work directly with clients and are typically the first point of contact.

CAL is hiring one full-time CA to join its Survivors Advocacy Practice. The Survivors Advocacy Practice advocates for the post-conviction relief for survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence who have been convicted of crimes connected to their victimization. For our domestic violence survivor clients, we file motions pursuant to the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act (DVSJA). For our human trafficking survivor clients, we file motions pursuant to the Survivors of Trafficking Attaining Relief Together Act (START Act). A successful DVSJA motion results in our client’s sentence being reduced; a successful START Act motion results in our client’s conviction(s) getting removed from their criminal record. In order to establish our clients’ eligibility for relief under these laws, our CA conducts critical investigation before an attorney is assigned to write the motion.


The Survivors Advocacy Practice CA is responsible for providing full-time administrative support to the project by, among other things, gathering records from various administrative/governmental agencies and maintaining organized and updated databases. The CA also engages in trauma-informed interviews with clients to understand how they were victimized, and the connection between their victimization and their conviction.
The Survivors Advocacy Practice CA is also responsible for carrying a client caseload, corresponding with clients via legal calls, in-person visits, and mail. This role also entails collaborating with attorneys, speaking with family members, and other community supporters. The Survivors Advocacy Practice CA is supervised by CAL’s Survivors
Advocacy Practice Director. The ideal applicant will remain in the CA position for at least two years.
CAs are non-exempt employees and members of the bargaining unit.


• Bachelor’s degree or 2-3 years of relevant experience;
• ability to manage an independent caseload;
• commitment to CAL’s mission statement and client-centered advocacy;
• deep understanding of the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion and commitment to cultivating a culture rooted in anti-racism;
• ability to independently exercise good judgment and keep sensitive information confidential;
• strong written and oral communication skills;
• an ability to work with and organize data;
• knowledge of, or willingness to learn trauma-informed interview skills;
• an understanding of, or willingness to learn, what behaviors constitute domestic violence and human trafficking;
• an eagerness to explore clients’ experiences of domestic violence and human trafficking as well as the details of their conviction via one-on-one interview;
• empathy and respect for people who have been convicted of serious offenses;
• Spanish proficiency is preferred;
• general computer and technological proficiency, including comfort with Microsoft Office and the ability to quickly become proficient with firm-specific programs and software;
• an ability to write creatively, persuasively, and strategically;
• strong organizational skills and a diligent work ethic, with attention to detail and deadline-consciousness;
• strong interpersonal skills, especially in the face of crisis or disagreement;
• experience serving and/or advocating for disenfranchised communities;
• exceptional problem-solving skills with the emotional intelligence to work effectively with people from all backgrounds;
• patience and the capacity to interact with bureaucratic agencies;
• ability to work closely with attorneys, and the cohort of client advocates, interns, and fellows, as well as independently; and
• a willingness and ability to work within the dehumanizing environments of prisons, jails, and detention facilities.


The position is based at CAL’s New York City office. CAL has a hybrid remote office policy and CAs are permitted to work remotely 8-10 days per month.


Salary will be based on experience and will range from $54,000 for new college graduates or those with one year of experience up to $60,500 for applicants with three years of experience. CAL offers comprehensive medical benefits, a retirement account, and generous vacation time, holidays, personal, and sick days.


Please submit a resume and cover letter. To apply, click on the link below or go to and fill out the form, which asks for some basic information, and submit your resume and cover letter in a single pdf. [APPLY HERE]. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.


At CAL, we embrace and value our staff’s diversity, recognizing that our differences strengthen our community and advance our mission. We strongly encourage candidates of all identities, orientations, experiences, and communities to apply. CAL is proud to be 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.