New York City Counsel

Please make sure to attach your resume to complete your application.


As New York City Counsel, you will play an integral role in supporting animal cruelty investigations and prosecutions throughout New York City (NYC).

In 2014, the ASPCA and the New York City Police Department (NYPD) established a unique and groundbreaking partnership to address animal cruelty. The NYPD responds to and investigates reports of animal cruelty and other animal-related crimes, while the ASPCA provides case assistance, including investigative and legal support, forensic expertise, and sheltering, behavioral assessments, and placement of animal cruelty victims.

New York City Counsel, working under the supervision of NYC Senior Counsel, plays a critical role in this work and is principally responsible for (1) working in coordination with the ASPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement Liaisons to provide legal support to NYPD officers responding to and investigating complaints of animal cruelty and other animal-related crimes; (2) serving as principal point of contact with and providing legal support to the Assistant District Attorneys who prosecute these cases in each of the five boroughs; (3) litigating proceedings under New York’s security posting law (NY AML § 373(6)); (4) providing legal guidance to other ASPCA teams that provide expert services in animal cruelty cases in NYC, including forensic veterinarians, animal behaviorists, and medical and sheltering staff, and to the ASPCA’s Community Engagement (CE) team which provides a range of safety-net services for at-risk animals and their guardians to prevent cruelty before it happens.

New York City Counsel serves as an integral member of the Legal Advocacy and Investigations (LAI) department, which works to increase legal protections for animals by providing investigative and legal assistance to law enforcement and prosecutors handling animal cruelty cases nationwide; engage in civil litigation likely to have a significant impact on animal welfare; and provide legislative and regulatory analysis and drafting expertise to the ASPCA’s Government Relations department. The LAI department also includes the ASPCA’s Puppy Mill Initiative.


Job responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Case Work (70%)

  • Review all animal-related NYPD cases and provide real time guidance on legal issues, including approval for animal transports, scope of legally permissible care, and legal status of animals.    

  • Provide back-up and hands-on legal assistance to NYC prosecutors and members of the NYPD through legal advice, charging recommendations, legal research, drafting of motions, jury instructions, and other case related materials. 

  • Develop and cultivate strategic relationships with prosecutors, law enforcement and other external stakeholders, including social service agencies, involved with animal cruelty matters in NYC.

  • Draft, file and conduct security petition hearings under NY AML § 373(6) for all NYC cases involving seized animals.  Appropriately respond to and argue motions stemming from security petition decisions, including any motions for stays or other appeals.  

  • Work in connection with other departments to ensure the collection, review, and production of appropriate and responsive discovery materials pursuant to Article 245 of the Criminal Procedure Law.

  • Working in consultation with NYC Senior Counsel, collaborate with other teams to create and improve protocols aimed at reducing hold times for NYPD animals.

  • Connect prosecutors and police to other ASPCA teams and resources, including forensic veterinarians and behaviorists.

  • Review and approve all subject matter expert reports generated in connection with NYPD cases.

  • Working in consultation with NYC Senior Counsel, collaborate with media and development teams to appropriately highlight and promote the ASPCA’s involvement and work on animal related cases in New York City.  

  • Maintain complete and up-to-date case files and records, including entering case data into electronic database(s).

  • Attend cross-departmental meetings to discuss and advise on legal updates regarding animals from NYPD cases.

  • Participate in CE case review; provide legal advice, guidance, and training to the CE team; act as legal liaison between CE and other agencies on all legal matters.

  • Review and respond to referrals of suspected cruelty from other ASPCA teams including the CE and NY Community Medicine teams.

  • Work collaboratively with other ASPCA teams on criminal cases, including Legal, Media & Communications, and Development.

Training and Outreach (25%)

  • Work with department leadership and other teams, including Forensics, Humane Law Enforcement, and CE to conduct animal cruelty and animal fighting trainings for NYPD, prosecutors, veterinary partners, and other approved external stakeholders.

  • Assist department leadership with the development of a strategic and targeted cruelty case training program for law enforcement and other stakeholders (internal and external).

  • Develop high-quality presentation materials as approved by department leadership and deliver clear and effective presentations.

  • Represent the ASPCA and/or the department with professionalism in a variety of internal and external venues as assigned.

Other (5%)

  • Collect criminal case and other program data for internal and external reporting as needed.

  • Participate in continuing education and professional development opportunities as approved/required.

  • Other projects and duties as assigned.

Exemplifies the ASPCA’s Core Values:

  • Has Commitment and dedication to improving the lives of animals

  • Demonstrates Ownership and feels responsible for outcomes

  • Believes in Team – that we are stronger together

  • Seeks to Elevate others and reimagine what is possible

  • Focuses on Impact, specifically making change for animals


  • Juris Doctor Degree from an accredited law school is required


  • Minimum of five (5) years of experience practicing law is required

  • Experience as a criminal prosecutor or criminal defense lawyer required, preferably in New York City

  • Experience practicing in New York City/New York State courts preferred

  • Trial/hearing experience required

  • Appellate practice experience a plus

  • Admission to New York State Bar required


  • Strong legal writing, research, and oral advocacy skills

  • Strong negotiation skills

  • Strong written and oral communication skills

  • Strong interpersonal skills

  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and handle highly sensitive information

  • Highly motivated and detail-oriented

  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively

  • Ability to juggle multiple, high-priority tasks

  • Ability to excel in high-paced and high-stress situations

  • Commitment to professional growth and development

  • Flexibility and adaptability to meet the needs of a dynamic and evolving department

  • Demonstrated commitment to animal welfare issues

  • Familiarity with animal welfare issues

  • Familiarity with New York State Criminal law and procedure

  • Working knowledge of New York City criminal court system and procedures

  • Familiarity with Article 26 of the Agriculture and Market law

  • Computer proficiency and knowledge of Microsoft Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, and Adobe Acrobat Pro

Additional Information:

  • This position will be based from our Long Island City office and will also require in-person court appearances, trainings, etc. This position can work remotely one day a week as training and schedule permits.

  • Ability and willingness to travel up to 5% of the time as needed

  • On call availability (evenings and weekends) required

  • Candidates selected to advance in the hiring process will be asked to submit a writing sample

  • A cover letter is required for this position. Please submit a tailored cover letter with your application.

Compensation and Benefits:

Starting pay for the successful applicant will depend on a variety of factors, including but not limited to education, training, experience, location, business needs, internal equity, market demands or budgeted amount for the role.

The target hiring range is for new hire offers only, and staff compensation may increase beyond the maximum hiring range based on performance over time. The maximum of the hiring range is reserved for candidates with the highest qualifications and relevant experience.

The expected hiring salary range for this role is set forth below and may be modified in the future.   

  • The target hiring range for this role is $133,700 - $139,700 

  • For more information on our benefits offerings, click here.  

Stay Connected – Join Our Talent Community:

If you are interested in joining our team but do not see a position listed that fits your experience or interests, please join our Talent Community to stay connected to future opportunities with the ASPCA.


See above for qualifications details.



English (Required)

Education and Work Experience:

Doctorate: Law (Required)


Our EEO Policy:

The ASPCA is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, gender, gender identity or expression, age, marital or domestic partner status, citizenship status, sexual orientation, disability, genetic information, military or veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local laws, regulations or ordinances.

Applicants with disabilities may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation under the terms of the Americans with Disabilities Act and certain state or local laws.  A reasonable accommodation is a change in the ASPCA’s standard application process, which will ensure an equal employment opportunity without imposing undue hardship on the ASPCA.  Please inform the ASPCA’s People Team if you need an accommodation in order to complete any forms or to otherwise participate in the application process.

Individuals seeking employment are considered without regards to race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, gender, gender identity or expression, age, marital or domestic partner status, citizenship status, sexual orientation, disability, genetic information, military or veteran status,  or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local laws, regulations or ordinances.

ASPCA is an Equal Opportunity Employer (M/F/D/V).

Please don’t forget to attach your resume to complete your application.

About Us:
The ASPCA was founded in 1866 on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment by humans and must be protected under the law. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation with more than two million supporters nationwide, the ASPCA is committed to preventing cruelty to dogs, cats, equines, and farm animals throughout the United States.

The ASPCA is headquartered in New York City, where we maintain a full-service animal hospital, spay/neuter clinic, mobile spay/neuter and primary pet care clinics, a rehabilitation center for canine victims of cruelty, kitten nursery, adoption center, and two community veterinary centers.

The ASPCA also operates programs and services that extend nationwide. We assist animals in need through on-the-ground disaster and cruelty interventions, behavioral rehabilitation, animal placement, legal and legislative advocacy, and the advancement of the sheltering and veterinary community through research, training, and resources.

At the ASPCA, we are committed to fostering a collaborative and compassionate culture and we welcome all voices to contribute to our lifesaving mission. Our staff represent a vast array of backgrounds and diversity dimensions, bringing with them valuable experiences and perspectives. They join the ASPCA to learn, grow, and continually do their best work on behalf of animals. We are inspired by our staff, partners, and the communities we support across the country who work to improve animal lives. We are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion at the ASPCA because it elevates our organizational culture, aligns with our Core Values, and enables us to move further and faster toward the ASPCA’s vision – that all animals live good lives; valued by society, protected by its laws, and free from cruelty, pain and suffering.