Legal Staff Employment


Each year more than a thousand law school graduates and practicing attorneys apply for positions as Assistant District Attorneys. There are approximately fifty openings each year for legal staff positions. Most of the staff is hired directly out of law school, while some of the staff join the office as laterals or after clerking.

New Assistant District Attorneys commit themselves to serving the office for three years. Most stay well beyond their commitment. Traditionally, the new class joins the office several weeks after taking the bar examination. After completing a six-week orientation and training program, ADAs begin work in their bureaus.

Assistant District Attorneys are given substantial responsibility early in their careers. ADAs start in the Trial Division, Appeals Bureau, or in the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor. As they gain experience, they have the opportunity to handle more serious and complex cases. They are also afforded the opportunity to transfer to the office’s Investigation Division, which is comprised of experienced attorneys who prosecute fraud, corruption, white-collar crimes, and rackets cases. Unlike many other prosecutor’s offices, we prosecute cases vertically, meaning that one ADA handles a case from its inception to final disposition.

Given the diverse nature of our community, the ability to work with people of different backgrounds is critical. In addition, the office seeks to have a legal staff that reflects the diversity of the community that we serve. To that end, we actively recruit minority applicants. The office is firmly committed to a policy against discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or employment status.

We offer a generous benefits package. Attorneys receive five weeks of paid vacation and twelve sick days. After two years of service, all attorneys are eligible for up to six months of childcare leave, which, depending on the circumstances, may be with full pay. Loan repayment assistance programs (LRAPS) relieve the debt burden of law school graduates. Various types of LRAPS are available to prosecutors in public service, including the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA), NYS Bar AssociationNYS Higher Education Tuition Reimbursement Program. Click here for additional information on loan forgiveness programs.

Public Officers Law Section 3(1) requires that all persons holding civil office be citizens of the United States. Accordingly, United States citizenship is required of all Assistant District Attorneys upon commencement of their employment, as is New York State residency. A three-year commitment to serve in the office is also required.

The New York County District Attorney’s Office is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Watch our video about why ADA’s chose to become prosecutors.

Please review all the FAQs below. If you have additional questions about our application process please contact the Legal Hiring Unit at 212-335-9361.

Application Process

At the beginning of the law school year, our office conducts interviews at more than 40 law schools and job fairs.  Applicants who do not obtain an on-campus interview are encouraged to request an in-house interview. We also conduct in-house interviews for law students attending law schools that we do not visit.

The successful applicant will complete four rounds of interviews:

  1. First interview with one Hiring Board member
  2. Panel interview with three Hiring Board members
  3. Executive Panel interview with the Director of Legal Hiring, Administrative ADA Bonnie Sard, and two ADAs from the Executive Staff
  4. Interview with District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.

The office considers academic achievement as only one indicator of an applicant’s potential. Equally important are qualities of personal character; the office seeks applicants with integrity, judgment, and maturity. Prior leadership experience and a demonstrated commitment to public service are also valued qualities. Assistant District Attorneys are selected solely on the basis of merit, without regard to political affiliation. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer.

How to Apply

All applications must be submitted online. Applicants will be required to attach a cover letter, resume, law school transcript, writing sample, and the names and telephone numbers of three professional references. Only complete applications are reviewed. Cover letters should be addressed to:

Ms. Robin R. Edwards
Director, Legal Hiring Unit
New York County District Attorney’s Office
One Hogan Place
New York, NY 10013

Please read all instructions carefully and hover over the question mark for more information. Documents should be in Word or PDF format. We strongly encourage you to review the FAQ section for more information about our application process.

Graduating Law Students

  • Graduating Law Student Application
  • Eligibility: Third-year day students and fourth-year evening students
  • Applications are accepted from August 1st through October 1st. All submissions must be submitted by 5:00 pm (EST).  Only law students graduating in 2018 may apply online.

Law Clerks

  • Law Clerk Application
  • Eligibility: Current judicial law clerks who started their clerkships immediately after law school graduation
  • Applications are accepted beginning on August 1st. We strongly encourage clerks to apply before January 1st. Employment decisions are made on a rolling basis. Law clerks may apply online.

Lateral Hires

  • Lateral Hires Application
  • Eligibility: Experienced attorneys who are currently practicing law. All attorneys who practiced law immediately after graduation and are currently clerking are considered lateral applicants.
  • All lateral candidates must have passed the NYS Bar Examination prior to submitting an application. Lateral applicants may apply online.
  • Attorneys must be admitted in New York State by the time of appointment and reside in New York State throughout the tenure of their employment.
  • Current Lateral Openings: The New York County District Attorney’s Office is currently seeking experienced attorneys for positions in various Bureaus & Units within the office. We have openings in the Trial Division, Investigation Division, and Appeals Division.