ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION AND STRATEGIC LITIGATION DEPARTMENT:
The Innocence Project is a not-for-profit organization that works to exonerate innocent prisoners through post-conviction DNA testing and develop and implement policy changes to prevent wrongful convictions and otherwise reform the criminal justice system. The Strategic Litigation Department’s goal is to reduce courts reliance on faulty and unreliable evidence. Focusing on the leading causes of wrongful convictions, the team litigates in the areas of forensic science, eyewitness identification, and unreliable confessions.
The Paralegal providessupport to Strategic Litigation (SL) attorneys at the Innocence Project and is a vital part of the Strategic Litigation team. The person that fills this role must be actively engaged in department happenings, eager to learn all facets of the department and is expected to assist with case research, development and management, time-sensitive litigation matters, and should be detail oriented enough to organize and maintain litigation resources to efficiently and effectively meet the needs ofboth the Strategic Litigation department’s cases and those of outside counsel who seek our assistance. This position is ideal for someone with a strong interest in law and a desire to attend law school or pursue other postgraduate education in a related field. The Paralegal reports to the Director of Strategic Litigation and works closely with the Department’s Staff Attorneys and the other paralegal.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:
ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANCE AND CASE MANAGEMENT:
Preparing court documents for filing, proofreading briefs, reviewing citation format in briefs for completeness in accordance with Bluebook; copying, collating, binding documents and exhibits, preparing tables of contents and tables of authorities, reviewing and summarizing court rules
Arranging for litigation-related travel and related reimbursement
Responding to requests from outside counsel for materials and litigation support
Managing SL attorneys travel and speaking schedules
OTHER DUTIES IN SUPPORT OF THE STRATEGIC LITIGATION DEPARTMENT:
Monitor case acceptance by state high courts and track pending litigation in areas of interest to SL
Perform investigative and legal research in support of active SL cases
Evaluate and summarize the evidence in cases of potential interest and identify the potential to advance the unit’s strategic goals
Track and record SL attorneys’ litigation, consultation and trainings for quarterly reports to the Innocence Project’s Board of Directors
Draft SL listserv emails distributing exemplar briefs, judicial opinions and scientific literature
Assist in creating and maintaining litigation-related resources, such as expert witness CVs, their prior trial testimony and research, model briefs and motions
Collaborating with the SL attorneys, the Forensic Policy Advocate and members of the Science & Research Department to maintain a database of scientific literature
QUALIFICATIONS & EXPERIENCE:
Bachelors degree, preferably in natural or social science
1-2 years work experience is strongly preferred
Superior editing and proof reading skills required
Familiarity with Legal Search Engines such as Westlaw and LexisNexis strongly preferred
Energetic self-starter who is highly organized, persistent, detail-oriented and works well under pressure
Ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously, prioritize and effectively manage workload, and regularly meet deadlines
Commitment to social justice; particularly the mission of the Innocence Project
Strong interpersonal and written communication skills and flexibility to work with different personalities
Strong interest in the field of law
An ability and willingness to travel is preferred
Sense of humor a must
The salary for this position is competitive and the Innocence Project offers an excellent benefits package, including health, dental and vision insurance, Flexible Spending Account, 401k plan with company-match, and paid Transitcheks.
WORKFORCE DIVERSITY AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY:
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.
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.
How to apply
Please email a brief cover letter and resume as one attachment and a 5-10 page writing sample to: firstname.lastname@example.org, with “Paralegal – Strategic Litigation” in the subject line. All .zip file attachments will be deleted without being read. No phone calls, please.