Director of Intake and Case Evaluation, Innocence Project

Director of Intake and Case Evaluation, Innocence Project

ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION: 

The Innocence Project was founded in 1992 by Barry C. Scheck and Peter J. Neufeld at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University to assist the wrongly convicted who could be proven innocent through DNA testing. The Innocence Project’s groundbreaking use of DNA technology to free innocent people has provided irrefutable proof that wrongful convictions are not isolated or rare events but instead arise from systemic defects. Now an independent nonprofit organization closely affiliated with Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, the Innocence Project’s mission is to free the staggering numbers of innocent people who remain incarcerated and to bring substantive reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment. To learn more, please visit www.innocenceproject.org

JOB SUMMARY: The Innocence Project is seeking a highly skilled people and process manager to fill the role of Director of Intake and Case Evaluation. The Director of Intake and Case Evaluation manages a high volume, highly detailed, multi-stage process of evaluation that screens individual claims of innocence for direct representation by Innocence Project staff attorneys. The Intake Department processes thousands of letters each year from individuals seeking representation. Those initial letters set off a chain of evaluation resulting in detailed analysis of claims along with the review of legal documents to determine whether there is a viable claim of innocence. Currently cases are evaluated to determine whether DNA testing can prove an innocence claim. In upcoming years, the process will be expanded to include the evaluation of cases more broadly. 

The Director is responsible for ensuring the smooth operation of this complicated operation, revising and updating the process to improve efficiencies while maintaining quality, addressing the backlog of cases that has built up over the last fifteen years, and expanding the process to include the evaluation of a broader range of claims of innocence. 

The Director of Intake and Case Evaluation also provides overall management to the department and supervises a staff of 10, including Case Analysts, a Case Associate, Intake Assistants, an Investigations Attorney and the Documents Manager. In this capacity, the Intake and Case Evaluation Director is responsible for: a) developing department strategy and annual goals, b) effectively managing the team to keep them aligned, focused, motivated, and high-performing, c) producing reports and analyses of progress toward goals, d) working with pro bono partner law firms, and d) devising new strategies to improve the efficiency of the evaluation. 

This position reports to the Deputy Director. It is a full-time position requiring 40 hours of in-office work per week. 

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS: 

MANAGE THE CASE INTAKE AND EVALUATION DEPARTMENT 

  • Oversee a multi-stage process to identify new clients for representation from initial inquiry to full evaluation and final presentation to the Legal Department 
  • Hire, train and support staff to implement the evaluation process, understand the relevant criteria, and maintain quality and efficiency 
  • Set annual departmental goals 
  • Establish and operationalize quality review systems to ensure cases are being evaluated in a timely and high-quality manner 
  • Motivate and encourage staff to meet individual goals and develop as professionals, provide routine evaluations of progress and performance, address any obstacles. 
  • Collaborate with and support law firm partners participating in evaluation process. 
  • Develop and manage annual budget. 

ASSESS AND REVISE INTAKE PROCESS TO REDUCE THE BACKLOG, IMPROVE THE EFFICIENCY AND ACCURACY OF THE SYSTEM AND EXPAND TO NON-DNA CRITERIA 

  • Critically review current evaluation process, protocols, and tools 
  • Devise new tools, protocols and partnerships to address the backlog of cases at all stages of evaluation to get to cases more quickly while maintaining the integrity of the review. 
  • In partnership with Innocence Project leadership, develop criteria, system and processes for expanding the intake evaluation process beyond the historical focus on DNA-only cases. 
  • Explore and implement improvements in the use of technology to increase the efficiency of the intake process 
  • Expand the use of data to understand and improve the process as well as build regular reporting systems to track and report on case processing and outcomes 
  • Collaborate with Network Projects on transfer of appropriate cases and sharing of relevant information 

QUALIFICATIONS & EXPERIENCE: 

  • B.A required, strong preference for experience in criminal justice, particularly as an investigator or lawyer 
  • Minimum of 10 years professional experience required 
  • Minimum of 3 years managing a team of staff required 
  • Minimum 3 years project management experience or related experience in a fast paced, high volume customer service or claims evaluation process required 
  • Experience analyzing and using data to improve performance and processes 
  • Computer literacy, preferably experience with complex case management tools and searchable databases 

KEY COMPETENCIES (SKILLS, ABILITIES and TRAITS): 

  • The ability and motivation to create a cooperative and productive work environment 
  • Exceptional critical thinking and analytical skills 
  • Outstanding writing and presentation skills 
  • Superior skills in organization, planning and attention to detail 
  • Collegial, collaborative management style and demonstrated commitment to the value and power of teams and staff 
  • Passionate commitment to social justice and to the Innocence Project’s goals, mission, and values 

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS: 

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. 

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS: To apply, please visit Paycom. Upload your cover letter and resume as (last name. first name. cover letter/resume). 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.