This position provides a law school graduate who is passionate about public policy and committed to social  justice with a two-year Innocence Project fellowship as the State Policy Legal Fellow (hereinafter, “the  Fellow”). The Fellow’s work will focus solely on state-level wrongful conviction reform. You must have some experience in policy advocacy and legislative analysis as well as a Juris Doctorate Law Degree (J.D.) to be considered. 

The Fellow is responsible for conducting in-depth legal research, including 50-state comparisons of key  provisions in criminal justice statutes and case law. In addition, the Fellow assists with the development of  advocacy materials and must be able to translate complicated legal issues so that the relevant policy  messages are comprehensive across multiple audiences. The goal of this position is to ensure Policy Program materials are accurate, updated, and effective in policy campaigns. 

The Fellow must be skilled at legal and policy research, an excellent writer, detail-oriented, and highly  organized. The Fellow reports to the State Campaigns Director and works closely with the entire Policy Program. 



  • Execute comprehensive policy and legal research projects, including tracking and analyzing criminal  justice legislation introduced during the legislative session and assessing key elements of current  statutes and case law on priority issues. 
  • Maintain Policy Program’s library of materials and consistently update with new content.
  • Synthesize and clearly organize complex information into clear and well-written briefing materials  for members of the Policy Program. 
  • Support state-based policy campaigns with research and analysis, including: 
    • State-by-state comparisons of specific criminal justice laws and policies;
    • Analysis of legislation relating to IP’s policy reforms, including legislative histories &  fiscal notes; and
    • Analysis of court decisions and case law that affect our policy reform agenda. 
  • Assist Policy Advocates in developing support materials (including fact sheets, testimony, and policy  advocacy planning). 
  • Assist State Campaigns Director with the preparation of substantive webinars and high-level  meetings dedicated to policy reform. 


  • Assist, as necessary, with organizing various policy-based working groups with external partners.
  • Attend conferences, symposia, and other meetings to gather relevant information to share with the  team. 


  • Must have a J.D. 
  • Must have public policy experience either within government or with an issue-advocacy  organization. 
  • Must have experience conducting policy and legal research. 


  • Experience authoring articles or white papers on criminal law reform and/or public policy.
  • Experience developing materials for policy initiatives or campaigns. 


  • Excellent oral and written communication skills with the ability to engage multiple audiences  involved in policy advocacy campaigns. (Communication Skills) 
  • Strong skills in policy and legal analysis, with keen attention to detail. (Analytical Thinking) 
  • Ability to contextual research and identify key information to strengthen campaigns. (Analytical  Thinking) 
  • Demonstrates a sincere and positive attitude towards getting things done and proactively acts to  resolve challenges. (Initiative) 
  • Embodies strong organizational and planning skills that entails prioritizing key components of a task  while maintaining quality of work and attention to detail. (Project Management) 
  • Analyzes situations and applies critical thinking when weighing the possible solutions and  constraints associated with each. (Problem-Solving) 
  • Deploys exceptional logical reasoning skills by breaking down complex situations into digestible and  identifiable components. (Analytical Thinking) 
  • A strong commitment to social justice, criminal justice, and wrongful conviction reform. 


The salary for this position is highly competitive and the Innocence Project offers an excellent benefits  package, including health, dental and vision insurance, Flexible Spending Account, 401k plan with company match. While the office is currently remote in consideration of the ongoing pandemic, once commuting into the office (located in downtown Manhattan, New York) becomes again viable we will also offer company-paid transportation benefits. 


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.  Individuals with personal connections to the criminal legal system are strongly encouraged 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. 


To apply, please visit Paycom. Upload a cover letter expressing your interest in the role and the  organization’s work, and a resume titled with your name (last name. first name. cover  letter/resume). Only applications with cover letters will be considered complete applications. 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 or direct email.  

**Applications for the State Policy Legal Fellow position will be considered on a rolling basis until the post is filled.**