Staff Attorney at Innocence Project (Post-Conviction Litigation Department)
The Post-Conviction Litigation department of the Innocence Project—which works to exonerate wrongly convicted people nationwide based on evidence of actual innocence—seeks to hire two Staff Attorneys (with mid-level or more seasoned experience) to join our team.
Staff Attorneys reinvestigate actual innocence, working with a wide range of forensic and other experts and investigators, in cases that mostly involve life sentences (although a small portion of our docket includes death penalty cases). Staff Attorneys litigate at trial and appellate levels, in state and federal courts around the country. Most often, our cases involve claims based on ineffective assistance of counsel, prosecutorial misconduct, false evidence, incentivized testimony, and newly discovered evidence. Our representation is client-centered.
Candidates for a Staff Attorney position must possess superlative legal writing and research skills. Our docket is dynamic and requires extensive motions practice, as well as appellate briefing. Candidates must also have strong advocacy skills and be well equipped, for example, to handle court appearances for everything from evidentiary hearings to oral arguments.
Staff Attorneys are also clinical law teachers, serving as Adjunct Professors at Cardozo School of Law. In this capacity, Staff Attorneys train and supervise law students in the Innocence Project’s year-long legal clinic and co-teaching seminars.
In addition, Staff Attorneys must possess strong interpersonal and communication skills, enthusiasm for working collaboratively, and must embrace the Innocence Project’s mission to not only correct individual miscarriages of justice, but to also expose and reform the systemic dysfunctions of the criminal legal system—including resource disparities, racial bias, and police and prosecutorial misconduct. Beyond litigating cases on behalf of individual clients, Staff Attorneys also support the Innocence Project’s initiatives to improve the criminal legal system through policy and litigation; engage in public education regarding wrongful conviction; write amicus curie briefs; and act as a resource and support for attorneys nationwide who likewise challenge the inequities of our criminal legal system.
Staff Attorneys work under the supervision of the Director of Post-Conviction Litigation and supervise a paralegal as well as two to three clinic students.