Forensic Social Worker



The Center for Appellate Litigation (CAL) is a leading legal services organization dedicated to providing high-quality appellate representation to indigent defendants in New York. 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.


Social work is a critical component of holistic defense. The purpose of this role is to support CAL’s incarcerated clients and collaborate with CAL attorneys to assess client needs to determine the best defense strategy. The forensic social worker will be responsible for drafting psychosocial and sentencing reports, diagnosing mental status and providing treatment recommendations for incarcerated clients, visiting incarcerated clients, creating program plans for incarcerated clients, counseling incarcerated clients who are in crisis, assisting with mitigation investigations, and when necessary, working with incarcerated clients who are represented by CAL’s parole advocacy, DVSJA, SORA, and clemency projects. The forensic social worker reports directly to the Supervisor of Social Work. The forensic social worker will be a member of the bargaining unit.


LMSW and 3+ years working as a forensic social worker at a criminal defense office;

  • 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 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 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 this position is permitted to work remotely 8-10 days per month.


Salary will be based on experience and will range from $77,848 for applicants with three years of social work experience to $86,912 for someone with 7 years of social work experience. CAL offers comprehensive medical benefits, a retirement account, generous vacation time, holidays, and sick days.


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 deadline 6/21/2024.


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.