About Us

The Federal Defenders of New York began as a division of the Legal Aid Society after the Supreme Court's decision in Gideon v. Wainwright.  In 2005, it became an independent, non-profit corporation dedicated solely to defending poor people accused of federal crimes.

Throughout its history, the Federal Defenders of New York has drawn from many of the best and brightest attorneys from other public defender offices, law firms, and public-interest organizations. Our alumni include some of the most respected private practitioners, law professors and judges in the country.

In addition to our attorneys, we have extremely talented support staff, paralegals, investigators and social workers. Our two-year paralegal program attracts outstanding recent college graduates who work tirelessly during their time with us and often go on to law school or other graduate programs.  Our investigators have many years of experience in the public and private sectors, and they receive constant training to stay current in forensic analysis across a variety of fields. Our social workers are leaders in the field, and our office is a field placement for Master's Degree candidates at top social work graduate schools.

Our staff work together to provide comprehensive representation to our clients.  We conduct thorough investigations, diligently counsel and advise clients about their options, and fight vigorously through motion practice and at trial.  If our clients are convicted, we advocate on their behalf at sentencing by developing and presenting a full picture of their lives, not one defined exclusively by their mistakes.  We also represent our clients on appeal to the United States Court of Appeals and, if possible to the United States Supreme Court.

And our work does not end after the legal case is over.  We actively participate in reentry programs for recently released inmates, and help support clients with mental health and substance abuse problems both during and after their cases. 

The current state of mass incarceration in America is one of our society's gravest ills. The United States imprisons a far greater percentage of its population than any country on earth. With five percent of the world's population, the United States incarcerates over 25% of the world's prisoners.  This was not always the case.  A mere generation ago, the incarceration rate in America was roughly equal to that of other industrialized nations.  We have far surpassed all of them now, with a rate nearly ten times their average.  This, despite the similar rise and fall in crime rates across those same countries. 

Federal sentences are among the most draconian in the country.  While the trend in many state systems is toward reduced imprisonment, the federal inmate population continues to grow.  Through our work, case by case, and in partnerships with national organizations, we hope to bring some sense of reason, proportionality and humanity to a criminal justice system that too often lacks all three. 

Office Locations and Area of Service

The Federal Defenders of New York operates in two federal districts: the Eastern District of New York, which covers Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and all of Long Island; and the Southern District of New York which covers Manhattan, the Bronx, and Dutchess County, Orange County, Putnam County, Rockland County, Sullivan County, and Westchester County.

In each federal district, we have two offices. In the Eastern District we have offices in Brooklyn and Central Islip. In the Southern District, we have offices in Manhattan and White Plains.

Southern District of New York

52 Duane Street, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10007
212-417-8700
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Southern District

White Plains, NY

300 Quarropas Street, Room 260
White Plains, NY 10601
914-428-7124
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White Plains

Eastern District of New York

One Pierrepont Plaza, 16th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201
718-330-1200
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Eastern District

Central Islip, Long Island

770 Federal Plaza
Central Islip, NY 11722
631-712-6500 
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Islip 

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