Craig Levine has joined BxD as Managing Director of the Civil Action Practice and External Affairs

The Bronx Defenders is thrilled to announce that Craig Levine has joined the organization as Managing Director of our Civil Action Practice and External Affairs. In this role, Craig will oversee a critical component of The Bronx Defenders’ groundbreaking holistic defense practice, which provides our clients with the civil legal services they need to address the devastating collateral consequences of criminal justice or family court involvement. He will also bring new focus to The Bronx Defenders’ longstanding efforts to affect systemic change in the multiple laws, systems and practices that undermine the Bronx Defenders’ clients’ ability to lead lives marked by opportunity and dignity.

Craig has dedicated his entire career to public interest lawyering and policymaking, including substantial work on behalf of vulnerable children and families, and brings over 25 years of experience to his role at The Bronx Defenders.

“We are delighted that Craig has joined The Bronx Defenders, as he brings a tremendous depth and breadth of experience to our work. Craig is already moving our Civil Action Practice forward in new and exciting ways, working to strengthen our representation of clients and the community that we serve,” said Robin Steinberg, Executive Director.

Craig’s professional background demonstrates his deep commitment to justice for low-income communities. Craig was Senior Counsel and Policy Director of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (NJISJ) in Newark, New Jersey, where he founded an innovative legal program that encompasses a range of legal, policy and programmatic efforts on behalf of vulnerable populations in New Jersey. His work at NJISJ included civil rights, prisoner re-entry, juvenile justice, economic and job development, fair housing and regional equity. In this role, Craig helped to create new public and non-profit organizations including the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Reform Coalition; researched, drafted, and organized around progressive legislation, including Newark’s “Ban the Box” law and New Jersey’s Opportunity to Compete Act; engaged in strategic litigation, including successfully challenging New Jersey’s practice of locking up children for status offenses; and helped to bring innovative programs to the state, including the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, which to date has eliminated more than 3,500 years of children behind bars. While at NJISJ, Craig also served as a consultant to the New Jersey Office of the Governor and the New Jersey Department of Human Services, drafting a comprehensive reform plan for the state’s child welfare system.

Earlier in his career, Craig worked as an attorney with Children’s Rights, Inc., as Counsel to Chief Judge Judith Kaye of the Court of Appeals of the State of New York, and as an attorney and Skadden Fellow with the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of West Virginia. Craig was also a Children and Family Fellow of the Annie E. Casey Foundation and worked in the Chancellor’s Office of the New York City Board of Education.

Craig holds a J.D. from New York University Law School, where he was a Root-Tilden-Snow Public Interest Scholar and the co-founder of the Public Service Fellowship Program. He also holds an M.P.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and a B.A from Yale University in Political Philosophy. Craig has been a lecturer-in-law at Columbia University School of Law and has also taught courses at the Woodrow Wilson School and Seton Hall University Law School of Law.

“I am enormously grateful and excited to have joined The Bronx Defenders,” said Craig Levine. “I have long been impressed by its innovative model of holistic representation and its reputation for dogged, creative advocacy on behalf of vulnerable people and disempowered communities. I am thrilled to be counted among a cadre of such talented, committed freedom fighters.”

We all look forward to working with Craig as he brings his vast knowledge, passion, and dedication to justice to his work at The Bronx Defenders.