Strategic Litigation Counsel, Arizona Justice Project

Strategic Litigation Counsel, Arizona Justice Project

The Arizona Justice Project (“AJP”), a nonprofit organization, is dedicated to seeking justice for the innocent and correcting cases of manifest injustice in the Arizona criminal justice system. With a mission to seek justice for the marginalized and forgotten, the AJP provides pro bono legal representation to indigent individuals who have been wrongfully convicted in Arizona. 

In Arizona, people in prison seeking help to prove their innocence in the post-conviction setting often turn to the AJP. In the AJP’s eighteen years of operation, the AJP has secured the release of 26 individuals in Arizona. There is an ongoing need for the legal services of the AJP, as well as a need to examine how these wrongful convictions occurred and improve the system to prevent such injustices from continuing to occur. 

Title: Strategic Litigation Counsel Position Type: Full-Time, Salaried Employee Contract Length: 24 Months, Renewable depending upon funding Salary: $65,000+ (based on experience) Benefits: Health Insurance, PTO, Holiday Pay, and Paid AZ Annual Bar Dues 

Objectives for Strategic Litigation Counsel This position will focus on improving the accuracy of the justice system by employing avenues of strategic litigation and collaborating with lawyers, judges and policy makers on issues highlighted in wrongful conviction cases. The work will include identifying cases that must be re-examined based on flaws in the underlying conviction. Counsel will also be involved in pending cases addressing specific issues critical to the AJP’s mission and providing support in cases involving unreliable forensic evidence. Finally, counsel will collaborate with criminal justice stakeholders, such as law enforcement agencies and policy makers, to strengthen the system by implementing best practices and remedies for the wrongly convicted. 

Duties and Responsibilities 

Litigation and Case Work (50%) 

  • Review and identify cases where unvalidated forensic evidence or unreliable testimony played a role in the conviction 
  • Collaborate with legal teams on evidence analysis and expert consulting in cases with potentially flawed forensic evidence 
  • Consult with experts in various forensic disciplines and create a resource guide 
  • File amicus briefs and/or petitions in cases involving the consideration of factors that have plagued wrongful conviction cases 

Systemic Impact Work (50%) 

  • Assist with training and education for attorneys on matters including the limits of forensic disciplines, eye witness identification problems, and the danger of false confessions 
  • Coordinate with and utilize the resources of the national Innocence Project on educational and policy related strategies aimed at preventing wrongful convictions 
  • Work with Arizona criminal justice stakeholders to establish best practices and/or enact reforms aimed at preventing wrongful convictions 
  • Collaborate with law enforcement agencies on implementing best practices in areas of eye witness identification and interrogation techniques 
  • Participate in various committees, workshops, conferences on criminal justice and innocence-related issues 

Minimum Qualifications for Applicant: 

  • Admission to practice law in the United States 
  • At least 2 years of litigation, appellate, or clerkship experience 
  • Educational or practical training on forensic science disciplines and their application to criminal justice 
  • Excellent communications skills, both written and oral, ability to engage people and effectively articulate information 
  • An understanding and passion for the AJP’s work and to indigent representation 
  • Ability to work both independently without close oversight, but also a team player who is able to work collaboratively with others 

Deadline: January 10, 2020 

How to Apply: Please send a Cover Letter, CV, three work related references, and a short writing sample to info@azjusticeproject.org, describing your interest in this position, and the ways in which you satisfy the specified qualifications. Include “Strategic Litigation Counsel Application” in the subject line of your email. Applicants selected for an interview will be contacted once the application deadline has passed. 

To learn more about the Arizona Justice Project, please visit: www.azjusticeproject.org

The Arizona Justice Project is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. We encourage applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identify or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability and veteran status.