Korey Wise Innocence Project – Legal Fellow

Korey Wise Innocence Project – Legal Fellow

Requisition Number: 25386

Location: Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type: Faculty

Schedule: Full-Time

Posting Close Date: 03-Jun-2020

Date published: 01-May-2020


Colorado Law encourages applications for a Legal Fellow to join our team. The Legal Fellow will screen, investigate, and litigate cases for the Korey Wise Innocence Project (KWIP) at Colorado Law. KWIP receives requests for help from inmates in the Colorado Department of Corrections who assert that they are innocent and have been wrongly convicted. KWIP screens these applications to assess whether (1) the applicant has a credible claim of factual innocence, and (2) there is a reasonable possibility of uncovering new evidence and overturning the conviction. In promising cases, KWIP conducts a factual investigation, consults with specialists, and pursues litigation. As a project of the law school, KWIP incorporates student volunteers both from the law school and the undergraduate program in the screening, investigation, and litigation of cases. The Legal Fellow will be required to train these volunteers and supervise their work.

The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.


The American criminal justice system contains many features designed to guard against convicting an innocent person. But we are humans and, due to honest mistake and otherwise, there are innocent people in prison. We’ll never have a perfect system, but the Korey Wise Innocence Project (KWIP) is dedicated to doing what it can to fix as many mistakes as possible.
The KWIP receives requests for help from people who believe they have been convicted despite being innocent of any offense and evaluates these claims to see if there are factual and legal grounds to get back into court with the claims.
Learn more about the Korey Wise Innonce Project: https://www.colorado.edu/law/academics/public-service/korey-wise-innocence-project 
The central role of this position is to manage and litigate cases from the point at which the potential client is identified until the moment the client is exonerated. More specifically, this role requires:
  • Planning case investigations and working with Law students and volunteer attorneys to implement these plans and manage the case. Most KWIP cases involve dozens of witnesses and thousands of pages of documents.
  • Planning long-term case strategy and problem-solving. Many of KWIP’s clients have convictions that were deemed “final” decades ago and face many procedural bars to having their convictions vacated.
  • Writing motions, petitions, appeal briefs, and other filings. Most of KWIP’s litigation is conducted on paper.
  • Managing DNA and other forensic testing. KWIP’s cases often benefit from new forensic testing or identifying new specialists who can discredit flawed forensics used to convict.
  • Conducting evidentiary hearings. Getting a KWIP client’s conviction vacated normally requires at least one multi-day evidentiary hearing.
  • Negotiating with the State or other interested parties.
Because KWIP is a small organization, the Legal Fellow will also be expected to assist with other aspects of the organization’s work, including fundraising, communications, event planning, policy, and office administration. KWIP is a client-focused office where teamwork and collaboration to ensure overall effectiveness and success are expected and valued.
Salary will be $70,000 annually.
The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.
Be Ambitious. Be Impactful. Be Boulder. 

  • A Juris Doctor degree.
  • License to practice law in Colorado or eligible to be admitted on motion to the Colorado bar.
  • At least three years of litigation experience involving indigent defense or civil rights work.  

We Need: 

  • Willingness to travel (largely in-state) and work irregular hours when necessary.
  • The ability to communicate and work cooperatively with a wide range of people, including government personnel and officials, law enforcement, attorneys, records custodians, students, prisoners and their families, litigation partners at law firms, and members of the community.
  • Excellent legal research and writing skills.
  • Good oral advocacy skills and experience litigating in court.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Ability to work in a team and receive constructive feedback.
  • Ability to effectively delegate to and supervise law students and other volunteers.

We Would Like You to Have: 

  • Experience managing sophisticated multi-year litigation.
  • Experience working with law or other adult students in a supervisory role
  • Existing ties to Colorado.
  • Knowledge/experience concerning:
    • Post-conviction and federal habeas law.
    • DNA and other forensic evidence.
    • Utilizing the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA).
    • Developing investigative plans.
    • Interviewing witnesses and drafting statements/affidavits.
    • Advanced legal researching skills.
    • Digital literacy, including experience using common office software.
  • Valid driver’s license.

To apply, please submit the following materials by 6/3/2020 (4 weeks from post date) for full consideration:

  1. A current resume. 
  2. A cover letter that specifically addresses how your interest in the fellows program and how your background and experience align with the requirements, qualifications and responsibilities of the position.

You will not be asked to upload references at this time.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.


Or Apply on Posting Page here.

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Boulder Campus Human Resources

Posting Contact Email: Recruiting@colorado.edu