177 Livingston Street 7th Floor Brooklyn, NY 11201 (718) 254-0700 info@bds.org




Brooklyn Defender Services is excited to invite our neighbors and partners to join us in celebration of the one year anniversary of BDS’ Community Office at 566 Livonia Ave.

We are thrilled to have a presence in East New York and to serve Brooklyn residents with legal information, education and assistance.

Light refreshments will be served.

RSVP here.


In this time of giving, please consider making a donation today to support BDS’s continuing advocacy through public outreach, community education, media relations, and our direct impact on the laws and policies that affect our clients.

As we enter the new year, we will build on our accomplishments in 2015:

  • Brooklyn Defender Services made significant contributions on the issue of mass incarceration and racism in the justice system through public outreach, community meetings, working with elected officials, working with the media, writing op-eds, and partnering with grassroots organizations. We testified before the New York City Council and the New York State Assembly more than 15 times combined on issues related to bail, solitary confinement, jail conditions, adolescents in the criminal justice system, discovery reform, abuse by prison officials and the intersections of the criminal justice system with survivors of human trafficking and veterans.
  • BDS’s New York Immigrant Family Unity Project won a precedential ruling in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in a decision that now assures a bond hearing and the chance at liberty for immigrants detained in proceedings in New York for more than six months.
  • BDS’s Family Defense Practice is actively engaged with other parent and child advocacy organizations and ACS to advance important reform objectives such as reducing the number of children who enter foster care and improving visiting practices.

To make a contribution, click the Donate button below or send a check to:

Brooklyn Defender Services
177 Livingston Street, 7th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201



Nella was struggling with an issue with her landlord, but had no idea how to go about handling it. Having moved not long ago from Houston, Texas, she doesn’t have a large network of people to call upon for help and her job at a non-profit doesn’t exactly pay her enough to hire a high-powered attorney. She didn’t know what to do.

Then, as she was walking down Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn, she was handed a flyer from somebody at the Brooklyn Defender Services.

“The timing really couldn’t have been better because I was going through this issue with my landlord and I didn’t know how I was going to handle it,” said Nella, who wanted her last name withheld due to said legal issues. “Coming here really helped because I got to speak with someone that understands what I’m going through and knows exactly what my rights are. I’m definitely feeling a lot better about my situation.”

The Brooklyn Defender Services, an organization that helps to provide criminal, family and immigration legal defense to over 40,000 people annually, hosted a Community Law Program Initiative at the Christ Fellowship Baptist Church in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Saturday

The event featured 15 different groups that provided everything from legal advice, to job training, to assistance finding a home, assistance for the drug addicted, domestic violence support and a lot more.

“Brooklyn Defender Services is a criminal defense organization, but often we deal with clients that are in need of other services as well,” said Jamie Burke, a Domestic Violence Case Supervisor at BDS who organized the event. “We might help someone facing criminal charges, but also needs drug treatment, a domestic violence shelter or even a parenting skills class and we constantly have to refer out for that.

“We thought that we could help a lot of people get the services that we need by inviting all of these organizations to come to this event so we had everything under one roof,” Burke said. More



On May 8th, more than 300 guests celebrated the work and history of Brooklyn Defender Services at the organization’s first annual benefit at One Hanson Place –inside the historic Williamsburg Savings Bank building in Brooklyn. Martin Edelman, Esq. was honored with the 2014 Achievements in Justice Award for his work as Chairman of the Kings County Judicial Screening Committee of the Democratic Party; Marianne C. Yang, Esq. was honored with the 2014 Harvey Mandelcorn Award as the Director of the Immigration Unit at Brooklyn Defender Services, where she created BDS’s program to provide public defense representation for immigrants in deportation proceedings – the first program of its kind in the nation. Brooklyn Defender Services Founder and Executive Director Lisa Schreibersdorf MC-ed the evening, which also included brief remarks from new Kings County District Attorney Ken Thompson. Spoken word poetry about stop and frisk by Mahogany Brown & Co., and a performance piece about solitary confinement by Rachel Barnard and Joseph Williams punctuated the evening. In the event space were art installations by Brooklyn artists, including Lunar New Year.

Click here to view photos of the 2014 BDS Gala