Public Defenders in the Neighborhood A Harlem Law Office Stresses Teamwork, Early Investigation


In 1990, the Vera Institute of Justice opened an agency in Harlem that bases public defenders in a community. Known as the Neighborhood Defender Service, it takes cases only from the surrounding vicinity because it believes staff can acquire a deeper knowledge of clients and their problems that way than is possible in traditional public defender agencies. N.D.S. also offers clients help with personal and family problems that lead to legal trouble.