Celena Ditchev joined Appellate Advocates in 2021, after nearly 17 years of representing individuals in the New York criminal justice system. She started her career with The Legal Aid Society Criminal Defense Practice in 2004 as a Staff Attorney. There she represented individuals in all aspects of a criminal proceeding, including pre-trial and trial litigation, and related administrative matters. As a Supervising Attorney, she co-led the team that provided representation on Rikers Island to individuals incarcerated following an alleged violation of their community supervision. That team was an integral part of the movement for the Less is More legislation and the push for additional re-entry services in the community.
She graduated magna cum laude from Saint Francis College in 2001 with a B.A. in Political Science and Social Studies. In 2004, she graduated with honors from Touro College Law Center. While in law school, she served as the Moot Court Board Program Editor and received the Special Services Award for work done through the Latino/a Law Student’s Association.