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A Day In The Life

Utilizing Our Expertise in the Criminal Defense Practice

Alaina is defending New Yorkers in need. As a staff attorney in our Criminal Defense Practice, Alaina serves as a public defender for clients in a wide array of cases. While following her passion to help those in need, Alaina gives her fellow New Yorkers a voice in the courtroom.

Alaina and her fellow staff attorneys in our Criminal Defense Practice work on cases ranging from turnstile hopping and marijuana possession to robbery. But Alaina doesn’t work alone. She draws on the incredible resources of The Legal Aid Society to give our clients a fair chance. For Alaina, even simple things like access to an expert witness are “instrumental to helping us build a case.” While these resources are common for prosecutors, public defender organizations usually lack these tools. “That’s something I think is pretty unique to our work.”

We focus on client-centered advocacy.

In addition to outside help, Alaina also draws on the expertise of her colleagues. For many of the clients she serves, the criminal case is only the beginning: “a criminal case just exacerbates existing problems, like housing issues, immigration issues, or employment issues.” Thankfully, Alaina can refer her clients to any one of The Legal Aid Society’s specialized units and projects. Through these different units and projects, Alaina taps into “the experts within our organization,” putting the different pieces of the puzzle together “and taking a more holistic approach.”

The way that our projects work together is really unique.

The depth and breadth of the services we offer are essential for the clients. As Alaina sees it, the clients we serve can often feel overwhelmed by the criminal justice system. With limited resources and high penalties, many feel the pressure to take plea deals. However, with Alaina’s assistance, clients can have their voices heard and can truly exercise their right to go to trial. Alaina gives her clients the resources they need to fight for equal justice.

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