The Innocence Project of Florida, Inc. (IPF) is seeking a Staff Investigator with a  demonstrated passion for social justice issues, beginning immediately in its Tallahassee,  Florida office. The Staff Investigator will be a full-time position and will report directly  to the Executive Director. The Innocence Project of Florida is a 501(c)(3) non-profit legal  defense organization dedicated to representing individuals in Florida prisons who can prove their innocence through the use of DNA testing or other newly discovered  evidence. IPF is the premier criminal justice organization in Florida and has helped  secure the release of numerous individuals who collectively spent over 550 years in  prison for crimes they didn’t commit. 

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS: 

PERFORM RESEARCH AND FIELD INVESTIGATION: 

  • Review case files and interview defendants in an effort to gather more  information about their cases; 
  • Locate witnesses and gather background information on cases using public or  specialized online databases; 
  • Conduct witness interviews in cases at the screening, investigation or litigation  stage of IPF’s case acceptance/litigation process; 
  • Create investigative memoranda that document all investigative actions and  submit those memoranda to IPF attorneys; 
  • Assist the Intake Coordinator to gather or provide onsite review of necessary  public records and other case materials; 
  • Correspond with courthouse or law enforcement personnel in an effort to locate  evidence from cases of interest; 
  • Serve as a member of the legal staff tasked with the ultimate decision to accept  cases for litigation; 
  • At the direction of IPF attorneys, keep clients informed of investigative process  via writing or face-to-face meetings; 
  • Assist IPF attorneys with court hearings (review filings, serve subpoenas, prepare  witnesses for their testimony, provide transportation to witnesses to hearing, and  attend hearings).  
  • Must be willing to sign affidavits to support court filings and testify under oath if  necessary; 
  • Provide training and assistance to IPF’s students in their investigative and case  review efforts;  
  • Prepare and notarize witness affidavits; 
  • Collect DNA Samples; 
  • Create detailed witness charts; 
  • Write comprehensive fact investigation memoranda; 
  • Collaborate with conviction integrity unit staff, as appropriate; 
  • Maintain Florida Notary commission; and
  •  Perform investigative tasks for other innocence organizations, as assigned.

HELPING TO CHOOSE IPF’S CASES: 

  • Take part in regular legal team meetings to: 
    •  Review case memoranda and collaboratively decide whether to accept or  reject cases for representation; and 
    • Update legal team on status of active investigations;
    • Collaborate with legal staff to consider process improvements to intake and  screening process;
  • Periodically assist Intake Department in reducing intake backlogs, as assigned by  Executive Director. 

TEACHING, MENTORING AND SUPERVISION OF STUDENTS: 

  • Teach assigned topics as part of IPF’s intern education program; and
  • Provide students opportunities for out-of-office experiences, such as prison visits  and field investigation. 

RAISING AWARENESS ABOUT WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS AND IPF:

  •  Represent IPF at community, educational, fundraising and civic events, including  giving oral presentations about IPF and wrongful convictions, as assigned; and
  • Participate in virtual awareness events, as assigned. 

QUALIFICATIONS & EXPERIENCE:  

All candidates must have a Bachelor’s degree, and preferred candidates will possess at  least 1-2 years of experience in criminal defense and/or postconviction investigation. All  candidates must either be a Florida Notary Public or be willing to obtain such licensure. Fluency in reading, writing, and speaking Spanish is a plus.  

KEY COMPETENCIES: 

The selected candidate must possess: 

  • Superior communication and listening skills, including the ability to effectively  communicate with individuals of diverse backgrounds and varied educational  levels; 
  • Superior writing skills, with specific experience drafting legal and investigative  memoranda; 
  • A willingness to teach and supervise the work of students and volunteers;
  •  Impeccable organizational skills and a demonstrated ability to multitask;
  • A self-motivated work ethic and ability to direct their own work-flow, while also  working well in a collaborative, team-oriented environment; and 
  • An incredibly patient personality.  

Most of all, the ideal candidate absolutely must have a strong commitment to assisting  underserved populations, fighting against racism and racial injustice and furthering IPF’s  core mission of finding and freeing innocent people in Florida’s prisons. 

BENEFITS: 

Besides being afforded the opportunity to work in an exciting, dynamic and collegial  small-office environment, the Staff Investigator will receive a generous public interest  salary commensurate with their level of experience; full health insurance coverage (with  ability to add family coverage for additional salary withholding), short- and long-term  disability coverage, life insurance and a generous vacation and sick time allowance.  

COVID-19 NOTICE: 

As of March 2020, all of Innocence Project of Florida’s operations have moved online.  The person who is hired for this position will be expected to visit IPF’s office in  Tallahassee, FL and travel throughout Florida and beyond to perform field investigation  while maintaining appropriate safety protocols. The Staff Investigator’s day-to-day job  will be carried out remotely until otherwise indicated. 

HOW TO APPLY: 

No later than May 14, 2021, please send a cover letter, resume, list of references and  salary requirements to Seth Miller, Executive Director at smiller@floridainnocence.org, with “Staff Investigator Position” in the Subject Line. 

The Innocence Project Florida is an equal-opportunity, affirmative-action employer, that strives for diversity among its applicant pool as well as within its staff and board. We do not  discriminate in employment decisions based on race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual  orientation, national origin, citizenship, age or disability. We strongly encourage people from all  backgrounds, especially racial and ethnic minorities, veterans, people with disabilities, and smart  people with non-linear/non-traditional experience and educational backgrounds to apply for this  position. Most importantly, no matter their background, the person selected for this position must  embrace, advocate for, and deeply value equity, diversity, and inclusivity.