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Program Statement

As part of an ongoing initiative to provide professional support, training, and resources to panel attorneys, the Assigned Counsel Resource Center, sponsored by the Legal Aid Society of Westchester County, and in collaboration with the New York State Office of Indigent Legal Services, is seeking high-caliber criminal defense attorneys to serve as mentors to less experienced panel attorneys.  The second Assigned Counsel Mentorship Program of Westchester County will run for six months and kick off in Fall 2019. Mentors must be able to attend a one day "Train the Trainers" program on either October 18th or 21st (exact date TBD), and all three days of lectures during initial training on October 28, 29 and 30, which will be CLE credit bearing. Among other program requirements, mentors must be able to meet with their mentee, at least one hour per month, observe their mentee all day in court and allow the mentee to observe them, and participate in and attend four days of a trial training skills program on January 10, 2020, February 7, 2020, March 6, 2020 and March 27, 2020 . There will also be three brown bag lunches for mentees to brainstorm about their cases. An honorarium will be given to all mentors who participate and successfully complete all program requirements.

Applications will be accepted through August 28, 2019.  The Screening Committee will have decisions no later than September 6, 2019.    Unlike our pilot mentorship program, mentors and mentees are welcome to apply from all geographic areas throughout the County. Westchester is building an Assigned Counsel Program with national, state and county recognition. Come be a part of it!


Mentors must have at least eight (8) recent years of dedicated criminal defense experience on felony cases and have tried cases to verdict.  

The Selection Committee is seeking attorneys with the following skills and experience:

  • Ability to fully interview a client

  • Cultivate a client-centered ethos in each case

  • Investigate cases and obtain formal and informal discovery

  • Identify factual and legal issues, including strategy

  • Appropriate and make creative use of experts, including sentencing advocates

  • Legal research and motion practice, including written and oral advocacy

  • Plea negotiations with a good grasp of sentencing ranges and consequences

  • Addressing collateral consequences, especially in the area of Immigration Law

  • Pre-trial hearings

  • All phases of a criminal jury and non-jury trial

  • Good organization and office management skills

  • Interest and commitment to the professional development of junior colleagues in the Bar

Mentors will receive an honorarium of $2000 per mentee during the course of the six month term.  ALL mentors must attend the Train the Trainers session on October 21st, 2019, must be available for all three days of mentee training on October 28th, 29th and 30th, 2019, and fully participate in the four day trial training skills program on January 10th, February 7th, March 6th and March 27th, 2020.



Mentees will benefit by learning from more experienced attorneys.  While there is no additional monetary compensation for participation, mentees will receive recognition upon successful completion of the six month program.  Attorneys practicing less than seven (7) years in the area of criminal defense are encouraged to apply.  Among other program requirements, ALL mentees must fully participate in three full day training sessions on October 28th, 29th and 30th, 2019, and attend all four trial training skills sessions on January 10th, February 7th, March 6th and March 27th, 2020.