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Leonard Noisette

Adjunct Professor of Law

Email: lnoisette@verizon.net
Telephone: 646-453-9861

Teaching and Training

Fordham University School of Law
New York, NY
September 2001 - present

Adjunct Professor

Instruct and coach 2nd and 3rd year law students to enhance their development of skills essential to effective client representation, including in Fundamental Lawyering Skills, a seminar providing instruction and experiential learning around client interviewing, client counseling, and negotiation with opposing parties, and the Criminal Defense Clinic, supporting student casework representing clients in Manhattan Criminal Court.

Columbia School of Law
New York, NY
September 2006 - June 2008

Adjunct Professor

Created curriculum for Community Defense Externship, a partnership between Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem and Columbia University Law School. Served as Adjunct Professor of Law, taught weekly 2-hour seminar component of externship that supplemented students’ fieldwork and examined practical and ethical considerations related to practice of indigent defense from community-based, client-centered philosophy.

Additional Teaching and Training

Trainer - National Legal Aid and Defender Association in National Defender Leadership Institute and Defender Advocacy Institute trial skills training program
Coach, New York State Defenders Association’s Basic Trials Skills Program
Faculty Member, National Criminal Defense College
Consultant and Trainer, Vera Institute of Justice and South Africa’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (Pretrial Advocacy)

Legal Practice

Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem
New York, New York

Senior Attorney
June 1990 - July 1993

As a senior manager and supervisor/senior litigator of a defense team, responsibilities included participation in ongoing evaluation and reshaping of experimental model of representation; management and supervision of a practice unit consisting of three to five lawyers, two investigators, one social worker and one paralegal administrator; representation of indigent clients in serious felony and delinquency matters; and the training and supervision of less experienced attorneys.

Legal Aid Society
New York, New York

Senior Supervising Attorney, Criminal Appeals Bureau
April 1988 - June 1990

Responsibilities included review and supervision of appellate briefs and other post-judgement motions prepared by staff attorneys; briefing and arguing appeals; conducting trial court proceedings related to pending appeals, collateral attacks and appellate court reversals; and miscellaneous administrative duties, including monitoring caseload management and productivity.

Staff Attorney, Criminal Defense Division
July 1986 - April 1988

Responsibilities included representation of indigent clients from the initiation of criminal proceedings through trial and/or final disposition; investigation; extensive motion practice; and interfacing with various social service agencies to arrange for assistance for clients and/or alternatives to incarceration.

Associate Appellate Counsel, Criminal Appeals Bureau
September 1984 - July 1986

Appellate representation of indigent clients convicted within the City of New York. Responsibilities included extensive research; preparation of appellate briefs, writs of habeas corpus, and other post-conviction motions; and oral arguments before the Appellate Divisions and Court of Appeals and related trial court appearances.

Management and Leadership

Noisette Consulting LLC
New York, New York

Principal/Owner
April 2022 - present

Provide strategic guidance and management support to social and racial justice organizations pursuing bold responses to deep-seeded and enduring structural inequity, and executive and leadership coaching to new and emerging leaders, particularly BIPOC leaders and individuals whose leadership is informed by their lived experiences with structural racism and systems of oppression. Provide strategic guidance and management support to social and racial justice organizations pursuing bold responses to deep-seeded and enduring structural inequity, and executive and leadership coaching to new and emerging leaders, particularly BIPOC leaders and individuals whose leadership is informed by their lived experiences with structural racism and systems of oppression.

Open Society Foundations
New York, New York

Division Director, Justice – Open Society US
July 2008 – Nov 2021

Oversaw strategy development, implementation, and evaluation of $20M annual grant-making and field engagement activities related to foundation’s criminal legal system reform efforts to decrease over-reliance on incarceration and punishment and promote positive approaches to community safety and well-being. Supervised, mentored and coached ten-member team, supported onboarding and development of new senior managers.

Neighborhood Defender Service, Inc.
New York, New York
July 1993 · July 2008

Executive Director

Founding senior staff member and executive director of community-based public defender office created to demonstrate radically different approach to providing legal services. Maintained fidelity to mission of client-centered, holistic defense services, designed and refined novel team defense and pre-arrest/pre-arraignment practices, developed ancillary civil legal assistance capacity, and maintained robust community outreach and education efforts. Led staff of 35 and managed $4.3M budget.

Select Writings and Published Works

What the Trump Administration Needs to Know about Law Enforcement, Open Society Foundations, January 2017

Time to Get Serious About Criminal Justice Reform, Open Society Foundations, April 2015

How California Is Reducing Its Prison Population, Open Society Foundations, March 2015

The Risks of Permanent Punishment, New York Times, Room for Debate, November 2011

Resetting Our Moral Compass: Devastated Communities Leading the Fight for a Just System, To Build a Better Criminal Justice System, 25 Experts Envision the Next 25 Years of Reform, The Sentencing Project, 2012

The Early Release of Prisoners, New York Times, Letter to the Editor, March 2010

Reentry and Reintegration: The Road to Public Safety, New York State Bar Association, Report of the Special Committee on Collateral Consequences of Criminal Proceedings, May 2006 (author, Family Law section)

The Best Defense is No Offense: Preventing Crime through Effective Public Defense, N.Y.U. Rev. L. & Soc. Change, vol. 29(1), 2004, co-authored with other members of the Executive Session of Public Defense convened by Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Minority Report of the New York State Committee on Audio-Visual Proceedings, An Open Courtroom: Cameras in New York Courts, New York State Committee to Review Audio-Visual Coverage of Court Proceedings, Fordham University Press, 1997 (author)

Education

New York University School of Law
J.D, Admitted to New York State Bar

Queens College, City University of New York
B.A., Political Science/Communications