Careers & Internships

Thank you for your interest in joining our team!

CFR strives to create an inclusive and antiracist environment for all of its staff. Candidates from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply; CFR is an EOE.

Please go to CFR’s Career Portal to see a list of our job postings, and to submit your cover letter and resume.

Summer 2022 Legal Internship

CFR plans to host law student interns in both our  Manhattan and Queens offices for Summer 2022. Please note that, at this point, we expect that much or all of the internship will take place in person.

About the Internships

Interns will work collaboratively with CFR  attorneys and social work staff in one or more of our practice areas.  Interns will participate in comprehensive training and receive individualized supervision and mentoring.  Interns will get direct, hands-on experience with  advocacy, client counseling, crisis intervention, negotiation and case management.  Interns will pursue  individual research and writing assignments, have the opportunity to work on projects related to the specific practice area to which they are assigned, appear on the record in court pursuant  to student practice orders if appropriate, and more. 

This year CFR is offering internships in several different practice areas.  

Family Defense Through the family defense practice CFR represents parents in abuse and neglect cases in family court, providing our clients with high quality legal defense and meeting objectives such as keeping children out of foster care, shortening lengths of stay for children in foster care, promoting quality visiting arrangements and insuring that families receive services that are well-tailored to expediting safe and lasting reunification.  

Criminal Defense:  About a third of CFR clients face a criminal case based on the same allegation that brought them to family court.  CFR is one of few organizations in New York City with a dedicated practice for people facing a child welfare investigation and a criminal case.  When a client is assigned to CFR in family court and the family defense team is told that the City is prosecuting the client for the same allegation in criminal court, the team makes an immediate referral to CFR’s criminal defense practice. Our criminal defense attorneys understand the impact a criminal case can have on our clients’ family court cases so they work closely with the family defense team to make sure their advocacy in criminal court supports the goals of the advocacy being offered in family court. 

Civil Legal Services: This team represents clients of our family defense practice in housing court and administrative proceedings to avoid eviction, secure repairs of heat, stoves and plumbing and access benefits to obtain stable housing, like ACS vouchers.  In addition the team helps our clients gain or maintain SNAP (food stamps), cash assistance, and Medicaid benefits, accompanying them to eligibility appointments and representing them in administrative proceedings when their benefits are cut off through City error. All these efforts help families maintain stability and the resources they need to keep their children home.

Immigration: A third of the clients CFR represents are immigrants and to defend them and their families, our Immigration team offers them specialized attorney, social work and paralegal assistance. When the City charges non-citizen parents with neglect, whether they are undocumented or have a “green card,” the charge can put their immigration status in jeopardy and can create a risk that they will be detected by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), separated from their children, taken into custody, held in detention, and even deported. That risk is even greater if they also have a criminal case.  The immigration team helps parents apply for legal status, and if they are at risk of deportation, defend them.

Youth Defense: CFR’s Youth Defense 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.  When low-income youth are incarcerated even briefly, the consequences can fuel the cycle of poverty and have serious long-term effects. Keeping young people out of the justice system is one of CFR’s priorities. Our interdisciplinary Youth Defense teams advocate for young people who have been arrested, to help keep them out of prison, at home and in school.

Policy: CFR is actively engaged in policy reform and advocacy to bring systemic change to the policies and laws that disproportionately impact families and youth, particularly the laws and policies that create racial harm to the mostly Black and Brown clients we serve.  CFR staff meet with elected officials (City and State), participate in coalitions with other parents, defenders and advocates, draft legislation, write and provide public testimony to City and State bodies, write op-eds and Letters to the Editor, and give Know Your Rights presentations to the community.


CFR will consider law students with a demonstrated interest in our work.  

Application Instructions:  

To apply, please send a cover letter, resume, writing sample and at least 3 references to  Emily Wall ([email protected]) by February 25, 2022. Kindly put “CFR Summer Internship” in  the subject line and please specify which of the practice areas listed above you are interested in. You may indicate more than one practice area, if applicable.

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Investigator Internship

CFR seeks an undergraduate college student with a commitment to social justice issues for our Investigator Internship. 

CFR seeks an undergraduate college student with a commitment to social justice issues for our Investigator Internship.  Investigator interns will, by the end of their internship, be exposed to Investigative Training centered on parent and youth representation in Family Court, adolescent offender cases in the Youth Part, and criminal defense cases in Criminal and Supreme Courts.  The internship program is structured around the following pillars: Understanding Elements of Crimes and Offenses; Interview Skills; Writing Investigative Reports; Photographing for Evidence; and Record Keeping.  While some of the intern’s work will take place in the office, much of it will be out in the field—in private homes, local businesses, on the streets and in the greater community. Ideal applicants should be comfortable working all over Manhattan and Queens and should possess characteristics necessary to approach and interact with strangers about sensitive subjects.  Candidates must be able to work in a collaborative setting and be able to produce high-quality written work.

Required qualifications and abilities:

– Excellent interpersonal and communication skills

– Interest in parent representation, youth or criminal defense and the rights of the accused

– Fluency in another language is highly desired, but not required


This internship is unpaid. We strongly encourage interns to apply to grants, fellowships or any other funding available through school or third-party organizations. 

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