Client Advocates




The Center for Appellate Litigation (CAL) is a leading legal services 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) that 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 CAs for the projects and practice areas listed below. Please note that some CAs will split time between two projects/practices while others will work full time in one project/practice.

More information about each project/practice can be found on CAL’s website:


Access to Appeals Project (“A2A”): helps low-income New Yorkers preserve the right to appeal their convictions and obtain appellate counsel. Seeking to ensure that no individual is forgotten after their sentence is imposed, A2A works directly with trial defender organizations in the Bronx and New York County to provide training, support, and client outreach. The A2A CA will work full-time in the A2A project.

Clemency Project: advocates for sentence commutations or pardons for clients who have served long sentences and made significant strides towards rehabilitation. The Clemency CA will work part-time with Clemency and part-time with the YEARS project.

Conditions of Confinement Project (“Conditions”): advocates for incarcerated clients facing issues related to mental and physical healthcare, harassment and violence, physical and sexual assault, and solitary confinement. The Conditions CA will work full-time in the Conditions project.

Immigrant Justice Practice (“IJP”): pursues post-conviction relief for noncitizen clients to advance their rights and protect them from the threat of ICE incarceration and deportation because of their criminal conviction. The IJP CA will work full-time in the IJP practice.

Sex Offender Registration Act Practice (“SORA”): represents clients in post-conviction SORA hearings that assess our clients’ purported risk of reoffending and concomitant level of community notification and/or monitoring. The SORA practice also represents clients appealing previous SORA hearing decisions and those seeking to modify their risk level after a change in circumstances. The SORA CA will work full-time in the SORA practice.

YEARS Project: works to achieve sentencing justice for clients who were given inhumane decades-long and even life sentences for crimes committed when they were juveniles or emergent adults. The YEARS CA will work part-time with YEARS and part-time with Clemency project.


All CAs are responsible for carrying a client caseload, corresponding with clients via legal calls, in-person visits, and mail – typically as the first point of contact. This role also entails collaborating with attorneys, speaking with family members, and other community supporters, written and oral advocacy that often requires research on a wide range of topics; ordering and reviewing records; assisting with in-house tracking systems and other resources. CAs’ roles and responsibilities vary by practice and project. Additional duties for the CAs joining SORA, IJP and A2A are described below.

The CAs joining the SORA practice and IJP practice are responsible for providing full-time administrative support to the attorneys in their respective Practices by, among other things, gathering records from various administrative/governmental agencies; maintaining organized and updated databases or trackers of current cases and related resources; and, for CAL's SORA practice, drafting and filing legal documents.

The CA joining the A2A project will be responsible for filing appellate motions, including notices of appeal, late notices of appeal and motions for assignment of appellate counsel; maintaining detailed and comprehensive project spreadsheets that track motion filings and client information; communicating with trial attorneys, clients, and court staff to help ensure the project’s function; attending and participating in all project meetings and assisting with training (content creation and presenting); developing and improving appellate resources, including templates, filing guides, etc. Maintaining the A2A project email, which includes responding to all inquiries A2A receives from individuals, paralegals, and trial attorneys; and logging and tracking large amounts of filing data in our spreadsheets. Proficiency in Adobe Acrobat, Canva formatting, and Google Sheet formatting and programming is not a prerequisite, but the ability and willingness to learn such skills is required.

The CA program is coordinated by CAL’s Holistic Advocacy Supervisor and CAs are supervised by their individual practice or project directors. The ideal applicant will remain in the CA position for at least two years.

CAs are members of the bargaining unit.


  • Bachelor’s degree or 2-3 years of relevant experience;
  • Spanish fluency is required for the IJP CA position;
  • 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;
  • an ability to write creatively, persuasively, and strategically;
  • strong organizational skills and a diligent work ethic;
  • empathy and respect for people who have been convicted of serious offenses;
  • 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;
  • ability to work closely with attorneys, and the cohort of client advocates, 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 as one pdf file and include which project and/or practice you are interested in. Applicants can apply for one or more CA positions. 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.