OCBAACP Now Accepting Applications for Mentors/ Resource Attorneys

POSTING FOR MENTORS/Resource Attorneys

As part of our initiative to provide professional support and resources to panel attorneys, the Onondaga County Bar Association Assigned Counsel Program is seeking high-caliber criminal defense attorneys to serve as mentors to less experienced panel attorneys. Mentors should have a minimum of eight years of criminal defense work including recent experience in serious felony matters. Mentors must also show a demonstrated commitment to high quality indigent defense. Mentors will work with a number of mentees for approximately 12-15 hours monthly. Mentors will be compensated at $150 per hour. The selection committee will be looking for mentor-applicants with the following skills/experience:

◼ Cultivating a client centered ethos in each case
◼ Investigating cases and obtaining formal and informal discovery
◼ Identifying factual and legal issues
◼ Appropriate and creative use of experts, investigators, social workers and/or sentencing advocates
◼ Legal research and motion practice including written and oral advocacy
◼ Evaluating and making important strategic decisions
◼ Engaging in plea negotiations as well as advising client of pleas and sentencing outcomes
◼ Advising clients of collateral consequences of convictions
◼ Conducting pre-trial hearings
◼ Conducting all phases of a criminal jury trial (e.g. jury selection, opening and closing statements, direct and cross-examination of witnesses, evidentiary issues, proposed jury instructions, and trial motions, etc.)
◼ Sentencing advocacy
◼ Good organization & office management skills
◼ Computer Literacy

*Mentors cannot be employed by Onondaga County, and all applications will be reviewed for other potential conflicts of interest.



1) A posting will be distributed to members of the assigned counsel panel, posted on the OCBAACP Website, the Onondaga County Bar Association.

2) There will be a one (1) month application period. Applicants will submit the following:

a. Resume
b. Statement of Interest including their specific experience in providing indigent defense services and interest in improving the quality of indigent defense as well as experience with supervision, mentoring or teaching, if any.

3) A selection committee will be created. It shall consist of two (2) highly regarded current mentors or resource attorneys, one (1) representative from the ACP Executive Team, one (1) representative from the Professional Standards Committee, and a highly regarded non-attorney professional who regularly works with indigent criminal defenders and their clients.

4) The selection committee will review the materials submitted by applicants and choose potential mentors to interview by majority vote.

5) The selection committee will then conduct interviews to select the mentors. In reaching final selections, the committee will strive for a consensus on each applicant, and at the least require a majority vote.


Please note that the instructions for applying to be a Resource Attorney are the same but you should state your area of expertise (e.g., Family Court practice, motion practice, forensics, etc.) and relevant qualifications.


Resumes and statements of interest shall be submitted by mail or email to:
Laura Fiorenza, Esq.
Quality Enhancement Director
OCBA Assigned Counsel Program
State Tower Building
109 S. Warren St., Suite 220
Syracuse, NY 13202