ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION:
The Innocence Project works to free the innocent, prevent wrongful convictions, and create fair, compassionate, and equitable systems of justice for everyone. Founded in 1992 by Barry C. Scheck and Peter J. Neufeld at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, the organization is now an independent nonprofit. Our work is guided by science and grounded in antiracism. Since our inception, the Innocence Project has used DNA and other scientific advancements to prove wrongful conviction. To date, we have helped to free or exonerate more than 200 people who, collectively, spent more than 3,600 years behind bars. Our efforts have led to the passage of more than 200 transformative state laws and federal reforms. Today, the Innocence Project continues to fight for freedom, drive structural change, and advance the innocence movement. To learn more, please visit www.innocenceproject.org.
ABOUT THE POSITION:
The Innocence Project (“IP”) is pleased to announce the availability of three fully funded (inclusive of benefits) two-year fellowships starting in September of 2023 for recent law school graduates interested in a post-conviction litigation career, or for lawyers seeking to pivot into the post-conviction litigation space who are prepared to come in at a junior level. People who have completed or will have completed judicial clerkships or other post-graduation fellowships are encouraged to apply.
The Post-Conviction Litigation Fellow will work directly with attorneys in the Post-Conviction Litigation Department to reinvestigate and litigate post-conviction cases of actual innocence. Most often, our cases involve claims based on newly discovered evidence (including DNA evidence), faulty forensic science, ineffective assistance of counsel, police and prosecutorial misconduct, false evidence, and incentivized testimony. Fellows will be involved in all aspects of post-conviction innocence litigation, including client communication, fact-finding, working with a range of experts and investigators, negotiating with prosecutors, drafting legal pleadings, and litigating in trial and appellate courts. Fellows will both lead their own cases and work on case teams with staff attorneys on appropriate cases.
We are interested in every qualified candidate who is eligible to work in the United States. However, we are not able to sponsor visas.
All Innocence Project employees must embrace, respect and value the rich diversity of perspectives and experience of a diverse staff. We recognize and appreciate that our work is better for having varied participants and thought partners. We are interested in every qualified candidate who is eligible to work in the United States. However, we are not able to sponsor visas.
While the Innocence Project has supported remote work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently committed to a hybrid workplace with mandatory two days per week in-office. All staff are currently provided a private workspace with a closed-door.
THE IDEAL CANDIDATE:
The ideal candidate is a lawyer with top-notch advocacy skills who is dedicated and hard-working. The ideal candidate for this position is also someone who understands and enthusiastically embraces the IP’s mission and program objectives and demonstrates a client-centered approach to legal representation.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:
- Support post-conviction dockets of individuals seeking relief from wrongful convictions.
- Communicate with clients.
- Craft litigation strategy.
- Assist in post-conviction factual re-investigations.
- Advocate for clients with prosecutors and Conviction Integrity Units.
- Author motions, briefs, and litigation correspondence.
- Represent clients as part of in-court legal teams.
QUALIFICATIONS & EXPERIENCE:
- Graduation from an accredited law school prior to start date.
- Either: (i) admitted to a state bar; (ii) awaiting bar exam results or admission to a state bar; or (iii) prepared to sit for the next scheduled state bar examination.
- Client-centered approach to legal representation and demonstrated commitment to defending people unable to afford counsel who have been accused or convicted of crimes and working to change the criminal legal system and preferred interest in innocence work.
- Strong legal research and persuasive writing skills.
- Strong oral advocacy skills.
- Client-centered approach to legal representation.
- Ability to work independently in a fast-paced environment, but also collaborate with others.
- Excellent analytical and writing skills, and ability to construct cogent arguments.
- Great interpersonal and verbal communication skills.
- Must be able to work with groups of diverse individuals in respectful, equitable, and inclusive ways.
- Enthusiasm for the work of the Innocence Project and for social justice, including a demonstrated commitment to public interest.
- Shares values of equity, excellence, collaboration, humanity, integrity, respect, and accountability.
COMPENSATION, BENEFITS, AND PERKS:
The salary for this position is highly competitive and the Innocence Project offers an excellent benefits package, including fully-paid individual health, dental and vision insurance, Flexible Spending Account, 401k plan with 6% company-match, paid disability and family care leave, adoption and fertility expense reimbursements, and company-paid transportation benefits.
WORKFORCE DIVERSITY AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYMENT:
The Innocence Project considers the diversity of its workforce to be vital to our organization’s success in meeting its mission. We strongly encourage applicants from all cultures, races, educational backgrounds, life experiences, socio-economic classes, sexual orientations, age, gender, and physical abilities to apply. Individuals with personal connections to the criminal legal system are strongly encouraged to apply.
As an Equal Opportunity Employer, it is our policy not to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, familial status, marital status, predisposing genetic characteristics, actual or perceived domestic violence victim status, unemployment status, caregiver status, or any other category protected by law.
Please upload a cover letter expressing your interest in the role and the organization’s work, and a resume titled with your name (last name. first name. cover letter/resume). Only applications with cover letters will be considered complete applications. Information submitted through this secure site is kept confidential. Due to the large volume of applications, we are unable to give applicant updates by phone or direct email.
**Applications for this position will be considered on a rolling basis until the post is filled.**
LOCATION: New York City
SALARY RANGE:$80,000+ commensurate with experience