full time legal

Job Details

The Center for Family Representation Inc. (CFR) is an award-winning, innovative law and policy organization that serves primarily Black and Brown families and youth in Queens and Manhattan with an interdisciplinary legal defense model that serves more than 2400 clients every year. CFR was originally founded in 2002 to dramatically change the trajectory of indigent parents being prosecuted by the City’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) and our goal is to reduce the harm of family separation and prevent or minimize the time any child spends in foster care. CFR provides interdisciplinary family defense to parents charged by ACS with a model that was unique at our founding and that is now being replicated nationally: we assign every client an attorney and a social work staff member, and teams have the support of parent advocates, who are parents with direct personal experience losing children to foster care and safely reunifying their families. CFR was the first agency in the... country to integrate parents with lived experience into legal teams. In 2015, CFR expanded its practice to provide legal and social work services to parents in immigration, civil legal services and criminal defense matters.

CFR’s Juvenile Justice Practice provides holistic, interdisciplinary defense to youth being prosecuted in family court in Delinquency proceedings and in Adolescent Offender removal cases that originate in Youth Parts in Supreme Court. CFR’s Community Advocacy Project represents parents during a child protective investigation (prior to court involvement) and assists parents in clearing their names from state maltreatment records. We annually train over 500 practitioners in the city, state and around the country on strategies to promote family preservation and interdisciplinary representation and we provide community based “Know Your Rights” presentations to parents, youth and service providers. We advocate at the city, state and national level for policies that promote parent engagement and justice for youth and families.

CFR has immediate openings for a Paralegals in both our Queens and Manhattan office.

The Paralegal’s primary responsibility will be to work collaboratively with attorneys representing parents in Family Court who are respondents in Article 10 and Termination of Parental Rights proceedings, and to support attorneys in CFR’s Civil, Criminal, and Immigration practices.

Paralegal tasks and responsibilities include the following:

  • Assist program staff with case preparation and management.
  • Assist program staff when they conduct intake interviews in court.
  • Conduct timely conflict checks in the client database.
  • Open and close client virtual and physical files.
  • Assist with the borough office’s file maintenance organization and upgrades.
  • Enter all client data into the database accurately.
  • Prepare and serve legal papers throughout the five boroughs and Long Island.
  • Initiate and follow up on requests for records, including travel to NYC courthouses, hospitals, clinics and other agencies.
  • Initiate and follow up on time sensitive transcript requests.
  • Research case citations on Westlaw.
  • Assist with the administration of our Continuing Legal Education program
  • Produce practice and training materials
  • Assist with front desk coverage, including answering and directing phone calls, sorting mail and packages, and greeting visitors.
  • Participate in office-wide policy initiatives.
  • Bilingual paralegals help interpret for clients and translate documents.

Paralegals receive ongoing supervision and support from Litigation Supervisors. Paralegals participate in CFR’s internal professional development training opportunities for program staff on our Cornerstone Advocacy model, child welfare, family court, client interviewing, and other critical skills. CFR is dedicated to providing ongoing professional development in best practices in all these areas in a variety of training forums for all staff.


Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree, preferably with some prior experience, including internships, with the NYC child welfare, education, housing or public benefits’ systems or other social justice experience. Applicants should be able to demonstrate a strong undergraduate academic record, strong interpersonal and communication skills, a commitment to supporting families, and a desire to share in both the exhilaration and challenges of a growing endeavor.

CFR is committed to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and diverse candidates are encouraged to apply; CFR is an EOE

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