We need volunteer photographers for our legal aid desks!

We are in need of professional photographers to capture images at three of our mobile legal aid desks in October 2015, at the following locations:

  • (1) October 10, 9am-12pm: Father’s Heart Ministries, 545 E. 11th St., New York, NY 10009
  • (2) October 13, 6:15pm-9pm: All Angels’ Our Place Café, 251 W. 80th St., New York, NY 10024 (a “Know Your Rights” seminar will take place before the desk)
  • (3) October 24, 10:30am-1:30pm: The Relief Bus, Park Avenue & E. 124th St., East Harlem, NY 10035


We are looking for volunteers to help us communicate the importance of our work at these sites and in these neighborhoods. Deliverables are due November 6, 2015.

About the Project

Our purpose is to transform all lives through the power of justice and hope. Only one in five low-income New Yorkers have their civil legal needs met. In civil matters (unlike criminal matters), there is no right to counsel if you cannot afford one. However, in civil matters involving the “essentials of life” (e.g. housing, health care etc.), people face devastating consequences that parallel the effects of a criminal prosecution. Without counsel, the poor have no real access to justice even when stakes are high.

Open Hands was founded in 2009 by volunteer attorneys to provide the poor with high-quality, free legal services. We take our services to partner non-profits (shelters and soup kitchens) and complement their care. For example, if a shelter works with a client on job training, but the client is hampered in his ability to get a job by his criminal record, volunteer attorneys can step in and effectuate big change.

Open Hands has grown dramatically in response to high demand. We served fewer than 100 clients in 2011, but over 600 low-income by 2014. While the laboring ore at our legal aid desks is undertaken by volunteers, an experienced public interest law practitioner is necessary for supervision and follow-up. Currently, we have one dedicated attorney on staff.

In light of increased demand, our long-term goals include hiring additional staff attorneys and becoming a full-services legal aid organization. We are now prioritizing our fundraising and communications and recently hired our first Director of Development & Communications. Our goal is that a re-branding, which includes a new website, will help us educate supporters about the civil legal aid crisis and inspire a big response. Gifted professional photographers/storytellers are essential.


  • (1) A professional photographer who will shoot at any or all of our mobile legal aid desks on October 10, 13, and 24.
  • (2) A set (or sets) of professionally edited, high-resolution images delivered in JPEG or TIFF format.



  • (1) Distribution of Prep Materials: Director of Development & Communications provides background on and goals for the photos (intended usage & number of photos needed).
  • (2) Director of Development & Communications and Volunteer agree upon a work plan including: shoot location, dates, length of shoot and materials needed.
  • (3) Photo Shoots in October 2015: Volunteer attends mobile legal aid desk and captures images of our work.
  • (4) Editing: Volunteer edits and color corrects the photos.
  • (5) Presentation of Deliverables by November 6: Volunteer delivers high-resolution images.


If interested, please contact Fay Sardjono, Director of Development & Communications, at and include samples of your work. Please share this opportunity with friends!

Law Student Volunteer Training (open to everyone)

Meet and join fellow law students from across New York City at Open Hands Legal Services' Law Student Volunteer training! Thursday, October 8, 2015 6:00 - 9:00 PM (Check-in and light dinner begin at 5:30 PM) Hope for New York

1116 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 1610

New York, NY 10036

Open Hands' purpose is to transform all lives through the power of justice and hope. We strive to faithfully respond to God's call to seek justice and defend the rights of the poor by providing legal services and counseling to the poor and indigent in New York City.

Volunteering with Open Hands is a great way to serve the city with your unique gifts, hone your legal skills, meet like-minded members of the legal community, and fulfill your New York State pro bono bar admission requirement!

Training is a prerequisite for Open Hands legal aid desk volunteers. This course is FREE to those who volunteer by January 2016. Volunteers may serve at one of the following legal aid desks: Father's Heart Ministries (East Village), All Angels' Church - Our Place Cafe (Upper West Side), The Bowery Mission, Women's Bowery Mission, and The Relief Bus. Click here to register. Deadline is October 6, 2015.

All are welcome, so please forward this to friends! Appropriate for both newly-admitted and experienced attorneys as well as new and experienced Open Hands volunteers. MCLE Credits: 1.5 Skills, 1 Ethics

Please note: This training is geared toward law students, but is open to attorneys, paralegals, and others who wish to volunteer with Open Hands. All new volunteers must attend a New Volunteer Training.

Law Students — Intern with Open Hands!

LAW STUDENT INTERNSHIP. Open Hands Legal Services offers law student internships throughout the year.  The internship program is designed to provide students with the opportunity to support the provision of free legal services in a collaborative Christian social services setting and throughout New York City. Position description.   The intern will work with Open Hands to provide Christ-centered, holistic legal services to low-income New Yorkers.  The intern will conduct legal research, regular client intake and, under attorney supervision, he/she will provide clients with legal advice in areas relating to landlord-tenant law, consumer law, family law, and re-entry, among other things.

Qualifications.  The applicant should either be enrolled in law school or have already graduated.  He/she must have an interest in social justice and legal issues, and serving low-income New Yorkers in a fast-pasted and energetic start-up environment.  He/she should have excellent written, oral and interpersonal skills, be responsible, flexible and hard working.  Interns are expected to work a minimum of 10 hours per week (Tuesday, Wednesday and/or Thursday) over a 10 to 12 week internship period.

About Open Hands.  Open Hands Legal Services’ purpose is to transform all lives through the power of justice and hope.  We are a faith-based legal services organization that provides free legal services and spiritual support to the poor and indigent in New York City.   We are lean, aggressive in our desire to effect justice and change lives and are passionate about providing hope and stability to individuals and communities.  More information is available at

Open Hands’ internship program provides students with a rich learning experience, but does not provide monetary compensation.

To apply, please submit a resume and letter of interest (no longer than one page) to  Please write “Open Hands Law Student Intern Application” in the subject line of the e-mail.  For fall 2015, one position is available.  Applications are accepted – and decisions will be made – on a rolling basis.   We will respond to those candidates we wish to interview.

New Volunteer Training

When: Saturday, July 11, 2015 Time: 1:00 - 4:00 PM (Check in begins at 12:30 PM)

Where:  Father's Heart Ministries Office 531 East 12th Street, New York, New York 10009

Appropriate for both newly admitted and experienced attorneys as well as new and experienced Open Hands Legal Services volunteers. MCLE Credits: 1.5 Skills, 1 Ethics

Volunteer training is a prerequisite for Open Hands Legal Services legal aid desk volunteers.  This course is FREE to those who volunteer with Open Hands Legal Services by October 2015.  Volunteers may serve at one of the following legal aid desks:  Father's Heart Ministries (East Village), All Angels' Church - Our Place Cafe (Upper West Side), The Bowery Mission, The Relief Bus, and Exodus Transitional Community.

You can register for the training  at

Deadline for registration is July 8, 2015.

Job Announcement



Open Hands Legal Services, a Christian, legal services, non-profit organization, is seeking applicants for the part-time position of Development and Communications Director. Open Hands’ mission is to faithfully respond to God’s call to seek justice and defend the rights of the poor by providing free legal services to low-income New Yorkers.

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Development and Communications Director is responsible for all fundraising, development and communication activities. S/he serves as a key team member and active participant in making strategic decisions affecting Open Hands. This position will also design and implement a comprehensive plan for cultivating philanthropic support of Open Hands and will build Open Hands’ visibility, impact and financial resources.

This is a new role that will require leadership, creativity and an entrepreneurial, disciplined character. The successful candidate is someone who thinks strategically and engages his or her work with flexibility, excellence and the highest standards. S/he is a professing Christian who is deeply committed to Open Hands’ mission and values and acts always as an ambassador of our work.

Duties of the Development and Communications Director

The Development and Communications Director will have an evolving role dependent on the needs of the organization. Responsibilities include the following:

Donor Development and Fundraising

• Enhance overarching strategy for resource development to methods that will increase foundation and corporate partnerships, individual giving and in-kind donations.

• In conjunction with Board of Directors and Executive Director, establish yearly fundraising target amounts and work to achieve those goals.

• Oversee and execute all fundraising activities, including grant research and writing, corporate sponsorships, in-kind donations, the annual benefit and other charitable events.

• Cultivate, solicit and steward major donors and actively cultivate lower level donors to increase giving levels.

• Implement and execute a high-quality donor experience through correspondence, donor engagement, volunteer engagement, mailings and acknowledgements.

• Work closely with the Executive Director, Young Professionals Network and Board of Directors to execute all fundraising events, including the annual Spring Benefit.

 Foundation/Corporate Grants

• Identify and cultivate foundation grantors and corporate sponsors.

• Research and submit grant requests which would benefit and enhance the ministry's programs.

• Manage an organized filing system of past and future grants and grant reports.


• Develop and lead communications and public relations strategies to promote Open Hands’ key messages to funders and the public.

• Create, design and distribute regular e-newsletters and other regular communications to Open Hands’ funders and the public.

• Design, implement and analyze a social media and web-presence plan as well as website content.


• Believe in the Apostles’ Creed and attend a Christian church.

• Bachelor's Degree (advanced degree preferred).

• An entrepreneurial spirit and enthusiasm for working in an expanding non-profit organization.

• 5+ years of development experience or an equivalent combination of experience and education.

• Strategic and creative leader and self-starter.

• Strong organizational skills with exceptional attention to detail.

• Excellent interpersonal/communication skills.

• Excellent writing skills.

• Experience with web development, HTML newsletters, graphic design, and desktop publishing.

• Sense of urgency and passion for Open Hands’ mission and vision.


• This position will start as a part-time role (20 - 32 hours/week) with the possibility of moving to a full-time position.

• This position requires evening and weekend meetings and full commitment and support to the Open Hands Legal Services team and community.

• Salary commensurate with experience.

 How to Apply

Interested applicants should send a cover letter and resume by e-mail to with “Development and Communications Director Application” in the subject line. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Due to the high numbers of applicants for this position, we regret that we can only respond to candidates that we would like to interview.