Direct Representation Attorney – Holistic Legal Advocacy (Criminal & Municipal)

ArchCity Defenders

11 - 50 employees
St. Louis
Legal / Compliance
Mid Level
$60,000 - $79,999, $80,000 - $99,999


ArchCity Defenders (ACD) is a holistic legal advocacy organization that combats the criminalization of poverty and state violence, especially in communities of color. ACD’s foundation of civil and criminal legal representation, social services, impact litigation, policy and media advocacy, and community collaboration achieves and inspires justice and equitable outcomes for people throughout the St. Louis region and beyond.

ACD envisions a society liberated from systems of oppression where the promise of justice and racial equity is realized; communities where our approach to public safety prioritizes investment in well-being, health, and transformation without relying on criminalization and incarceration; and people living freely in their communities, thriving regardless of their race or income.

ACD seeks a diligent and creative individual with a strong commitment to social justice to join our dynamic and diverse staff of attorneys, paralegals, social workers, community organizers, and media and communication advocates who collaborate to provide holistic advocacy to address the causes and consequences of poverty and involvement with the legal system.

We seek a skilled and experienced attorney to join our Direct Representation team and provide holistic legal services to ACD’s clients with an emphasis on criminal and municipal defense. This individual will play an important role in supporting ACD’s four-pillar approach.


● J.D. with admission to the Missouri Bar or ability to obtain admission through waiver or reciprocity.
● Two or more years criminal defense experience is required. Experience in Missouri state court is preferred, but not required.
● Jury trial experience is strongly preferred.
● Looking for a self-starter with a passion for racial and economic justice.
● Demonstrated interest in movement lawyering and understanding of litigation as a tool for social change.
● Demonstrated ability to manage high volume workload effectively.
● Ability to use and accurately record work time in an electronic case database.
● Excellent research and persuasive writing skills, including experience drafting persuasive pleadings, motions, and memoranda of law.
● Experience with the criminal discovery process, including related motion practice, and the ability to conduct depositions and investigate cases as needed.
● Ability to identify and develop relationships of trust with impacted individuals, including by addressing other collateral legal needs.
● Access to means of transportation to courthouses and other case-related locations in the St. Louis region.
● Demonstrated experience advocating for clients in court, including the ability to argue motions, conduct evidentiary hearings and trials, and preserve a legal record.


● Embrace and support ACD’s overall mission, standards, policies and procedures, and confidentiality guidelines.
● Perform holistic intake interviews for ACD applicants
● Provide high quality legal assistance to eligible clients on matters pertaining to their situations.
● Maintain a caseload commensurate with abilities and case difficulty.
● Maintain regular communication with clients including institutional visits as necessary.
● Maintain the highest ethical standards as a member of the State Bar and remain current with updates and changes to the law.
● Support, promote, and participate in community education, outreach and develop good public relations with the client community, state and local bar, and other community groups.
● Direct and monitor activities of paralegals and, as requested by management, interns and volunteers.
● Ensure that all applicable client files (physical and electronic), data, and reports are accurate and complete.
● Attend regular organizational meetings and participate in organizational development projects as directed.
● Demonstrate knowledge and expertise of the law and legal system.
● Other duties as directed by management.


● Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
● Strong interpersonal skills: able to work well with a wide range of people.
● Experience and/or training in working with clients experiencing housing crises or homelessness.
● Experience and/or training in mental health, conflict resolution, or trauma-informed crisis intervention.
● Ability to work collaboratively as well as independently.
● Strong organizational and time management skills.
● Demonstrate dependability through good attendance and adherence to timelines and schedules.
● Good follow-through related to client needs, grant compliance, and projects.
● Good problem-solving skills.
● Demonstrate resourcefulness and ability to take initiative in development and completion of projects.
● Able and willing to continue professional development.
● Knowledge of the St. Louis region is a plus.

This is a full-time position with benefits, including health/dental/vision coverage, 401(k) with partial match, YMCA membership, work cell phone, parental and sick leave, subsidized parking, paid Bar dues, paid continuing legal education opportunities, and 26 days of PTO plus holidays. The salary range for this position is $70,000-$85,000, depending upon years of practice experience.

ArchCity Defenders is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from
people of color, persons with disabilities, women, LGBTQIA+, and gender non-conforming applicants.

We are still accepting applications for all positions, and they will be considered on a rolling basis.

Submit a resume, cover letter, and writing sample as one PDF to Ericka Thomas, Operations Manager, via the following link: