Staff Attorney, Post Conviction Litigation

New York, NY
Full Time
Practice Areas: Litigation, Criminal Exp.: 4+ Years
The Staff Attorneys in the Post-Conviction Litigation Department represent convicted individuals around the nation seeking to overturn their convictions based on evidence of innocence, including through post-conviction DNA testing. Staff attorneys work with a wide-range of forensic and other experts and investigators to re-investigate and litigate post-conviction innocence claims, with a heavy motion practice involving a variety of avenues for relief (including ineffective assistance of counsel, prosecutorial misconduct, false evidence, newly discovered evidence). In addition, the Staff Attorneys are clinical law teachers who select, instruct and supervise students participating in a year-long clinic associated with Cardozo School of Law. The Staff Attorneys work under the supervision of the Director of Post-Conviction Litigation, and work closely with a Paralegal, two to three clinic students, and with other members of the Legal and Intake departments. Staff attorneys collaborate across the project. They provide legal support to legislative efforts to reform the justice system, collaborate in strategic litigation efforts to broadly change legal standards, and join network efforts to train and support innocence attorneys throughout the country.

This is a full-time position requiring 40 hours of in-office work per week, plus evening and weekend work as needed as well as frequent travel. A driver’s license is required.

Essential Job Functions:
  • Manage post-conviction docket
  • Craft litigation strategy
  • Direct post-conviction factual re-investigations
  • Write extensive motions & briefs in connection with client representation as well as amicus curie briefs
  • Negotiate with prosecutors
  • Conduct oral argument and evidentiary hearings
  • Communicate with Clients and family members regarding cases
  • Supervise paralegals
  • Work with social workers, and assist with post-release planning for exonerated clients

Innocence Clinic:
  • Instruct and supervise clinic students from Cardozo School of Law who assist in representation of clients during the full year clinic at the Innocence Project
  • Teach select seminar classes
  • Interview and select clinic students annually
  • Assess performance and provide meaningful feedback throughout the year

Qualifications & Experience:
  • Minimum of four years litigation experience in criminal law, strong preference for experience in post-conviction, habeas corpus litigation, and/or complex federal court civil litigation and experience in conducting post-conviction factual re-investigations
  • Understanding of DNA testing
  • Knowledge of other forensic disciplines
  • Interest in legal education and teaching

Key Competencies:
  • Client-centered approach to legal representation
  • Ability to work independently in a fast-paced environment at the same time as being collaborative
  • Excellent analytic and writing skills, and ability to construct cogent arguments
  • Great interpersonal and verbal communication skills
  • Honed organizational skills and the ability to prioritize cases
  • Interest in working with diverse range of people
  • Ability to assess work of students and paralegals, and constructively supervise their work
  • Enthusiasm for social justice and the work of the Innocence Project, including a demonstrated commitment to public interest

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