Collaborative Defense Program Manager - North Region

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Job location
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Partners for Justice
New York
New York
Job type: 
Legal - Defender
Position Description: 

Partners for Justice (PFJ) was founded to transform public defense locally and across the United States to ensure that race and wealth no longer determine legal outcomes. We are seeking a Program Manager to support our growing partnerships in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast.

PFJ equips public defenders to assist clients with the underlying circumstances driving their involvement in the legal system, secure better outcomes both inside and outside the courtroom, and ensure that more clients can walk away from the criminal legal system with their rights, life, and future protected. We do this by embedding teams of Client Advocates at public defender offices, building capacity for collaborative defense within the office, and strengthening the PDO's network of community partnerships. We also advise public defenders on implementing collaborative defense practice. Since our launch in 2018, PFJ has grown rapidly and we now work with nearly 25 public defender offices and systems across the country.

The North Region Program Manager will have partial responsibility for our partnerships with Public Defender Offices located in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Iowa. The Program Manager will help train Client Advocates, build relationships within public defender partner offices, provide resources and support to the Advocates’ on-site supervisors, build a network of local partner organizations, and provide coaching and support to Advocates. This work is critical to ensure that our public defender partners are equipped with the knowledge, capacity, and resources to implement collaborative practices.

The Program Manager will report to PFJ’s North Regional Director, Lenora Easter.

Program Manager Responsibilities

  1. Program management: The Program Manager will have shared responsibility for the success of PFJ programs in the North Region and direct responsibility for one or more PFJ programs at specific partner offices. This includes ensuring that PFJ meets all programmatic objectives and goals, including recruitment, training delivery, and service provision (with support from the PFJ national team).
  2. Technical assistance: Act as primary point of contact with designated public defender partners, building meaningful relationships with Advocate supervisors. Offer advice and best practices on integrating collaborative defense generally and the PFJ program specifically into office practice.
  3. Coach and empower PFJ Advocates: Provide one-on-one support to Advocates on personal and professional development. Ensure PFJ's Advocate performance expectations are consistently met. Work with teams to identify and integrate best practices for the PFJ program in their office. Organize regular trainings or workshops to deliver local learning experiences that meet Advocate needs (in partnership with office supervisors).
  4. Partnership development: Working with Advocates and office supervisors, identify and build relationships with community-based organizations and government agencies providing services that benefit clients.
  5. Community awareness: Maintain knowledge of local dynamics and context that affect clients, including developments in the criminal legal system or related to poverty alleviation. Help Advocates understand the communities in which they are working.
  6. National resources: Help define the PFJ Advocate role and experience. Gather best practices and contribute to national resources, projects, and programs to enhance the Advocate practice and experience. Contribute to PFJ’s annual and ongoing training events. Participate in recruiting incoming Client Advocates.
  7. Coordination: Facilitate communication between national PFJ team and local Advocate and office teams, ensuring visibility on national initiatives and local dynamics.
  8. Other duties as assigned

Compensation and other perks
This is a full-time, salaried position with a salary range from $70,000 - $85,000, commensurate with skills and experience. PFJ’s benefits package includes employer-paid medical coverage, a 401k program, and reimbursement for Bar or other professional dues. PFJ employees work remotely with the benefit of flexible hours. We also encourage our team to rest and take care of themselves, which we support with unlimited sick leave and vacation, as well as 14 office holidays.


We are deeply committed to justice, equity, and inclusion in hiring. People with lived experience or identities that overlap with PFJ’s clients are strongly encouraged to apply.


  1. Commitment to PFJ’s mission and to our vision of collaborative, client-led representation for low-income people involved in the criminal legal system
  2. Dedication to serving racially or socioeconomically marginalized communities
  3. JD or MSW and minimum of three years’ experience providing legal or social services to low-income people facing criminal charges. Other very relevant experience will be considered in lieu of these requirements
  4. While we primarily work remotely, candidates should live within the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic or Northeast region, or be willing to relocate. Deep familiarity with one of these geographies is a requirement, including knowledge of the legal system, government agencies, and other institutions that low-income people regularly interact with
  5. Ability to travel occasionally (public health conditions permitting)

Desired skills or experience:

  1. Prior work within a public defender’s office is a strong plus, especially an office with holistic or client-centered practices
  2. Experience supervising or coaching others; while direct line supervision responsibilities are preferred, this could also include serving as a teaching assistant or faculty member, a resident advisor, overseeing interns, or similar
  3. Ability to build external partnerships and lead through influence and collaboration
  4. Experience working remotely with distributed teams, while remaining effective and productive
  5. Experience working in a start-up environment
To apply: 

Please send a cover letter, resume, and two references to [email protected] with “North Region Program Manager” in the subject line. Be advised that if you do not include this subject line, we may not receive your application. We are seeking to fill this position immediately; while applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, we encourage you to apply as soon as possible.

Partners for Justice is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sexual orientation, age, veteran status, gender, pregnancy, or any other non-merit factor unrelated to job duties.
Salary range: 
$70,000 - $85,000