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Job Openings at the Innocence Project, Inc.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

  • The Innocence Project, Inc.


The Innocence Project was founded in 1992 by Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld as a legal clinic at the Cardozo School of Law/Yeshiva University. The Project, with fifty staff, represents prisoners nationwide for whom post-conviction DNA testing can prove innocence, and seeks to redress the underlying causes of wrongful conviction through systemic criminal justice reform. The Project has been involved in freeing the majority of the 271 people nationwide who have served an average of 13 years in prison for crimes they did not commit. It has helped pass more than 70 laws in 30 states to make the criminal justice system more fair and more just. The Innocence Project is expanding and deepening its policy work to more thoroughly address the fundamental problems in the criminal justice system, while it continues to represent and free the innocent. (For more information about the Innocence Project, Inc., please go to

The Innocence Project, Inc., seeks a Senior Counsel/Deputy Executive Director (new position), reporting directly to the Executive Director, to manage and expand its litigation and policy work. The Senior Counsel will be responsible for the overall management of the following program areas: client intake and evaluation; client legal representation; social work; research; strategic litigation; and public policy reform. The Senior Counsel will ensure the effectiveness and quality of work in these areas while leading a brilliant, creative, and hard-working team of experienced professionals who share a deep commitment to their clients and to the reform of the criminal justice system. This position is based in New York City.

Essential qualities include:
Passionate commitment to social justice and to the Innocence Project’s goals, mission, and values;
Collegial, collaborative management style and demonstrated commitment to the value and power of teams and staff;
Demonstrated success in managing lawyers in fast-paced litigation or policy reform effort; and
A sense of humor

Candidates must have a law degree, be admitted to practice law, and have litigation experience. Candidates with at least 10 years of supervisory and management experience in a legal or advocacy organization will be at a clear advantage, especially those with demonstrated skills in managing both attorneys and other professionals. Expertise in the field of criminal justice is highly desirable.

Salary DOE, consistent with non-profit social justice organization with organization budget (estimated $7 M for 2011). Excellent benefits package.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with hiring at the earliest possible date. Please send resume, cover letter, and three references to: (include “Senior Counsel” in your Subject line) or by mail to:

Attn: Senior Counsel
Innocence Project
40 Worth Street, Suite 701
New York, NY 10013

In your cover letter, please reference where you saw the position posted.

All .zip file attachments will be deleted and unread. No phone calls, please.

The Innocence Project is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to workplace diversity.


Innocence Project Seeks
Joseph Flom Special Counsel

The Innocence Project is a nonprofit pro bono legal clinic founded in 1992 by Prof. Barry Scheck and civil rights lawyer Peter Neufeld at the Cardozo School of Law/Yeshiva University. We are a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to avoid future injustice. See for more information.

About the new position:

The Innocence Project has established the position of Joseph Flom Special Counsel, a new senior-level staff position that will significantly increase our capacity to address the leading causes of wrongful convictions through strategic litigation. This is a new capacity being developed at the Innocence Project. We are seeking candidates with established litigation and leadership skills, necessary for structuring and implementing our strategic litigation reform work. The Joseph Flom Special Counsel will initially identify and litigate cases. In the course of the first four years, the Special Counsel will develop and lead a small cadre of strategic litigators that will enable the Innocence Project to increase its ability to free the innocent and reform the criminal justice system.

In the first two years, the strategic litigation will focus on supporting the organization’s efforts to reform forensic sciences to make them more scientific. Over time, the Special Counsel will evolve the organization’s capacity to shape strategic litigation efforts on the leading causes of wrongful conviction, including eyewitness misidentification, false confessions, and incentivized witness testimony. The Innocence Project’s strategic litigation will serve three primary purposes: 1) to support legislative and policy reform efforts; 2) to change the ways that courts consider evidence that has historically brought about wrongful convictions; and 3) to provide support to litigators across the country who litigate post-conviction claims of innocence in strategically chosen cases.

The specific responsibilities of the Joseph Flom Special Counsel are:
· In the first two years, to develop a strategy and litigate directly, or in conjunction with pro-bono partners, carefully selected cases that challenge the use of unvalidated forensic sciences, or as applied, an unreliable application of forensic science..
· To serve as a resource to post-conviction attorneys litigating claims of innocence in carefully chosen cases, where unvalidated forensic science has been used to convict the innocent.
· Over four years, working with the Co-Directors, the Executive Director, the Policy Director, and litigators at the Innocence Project, design, develop, manage, and supervise a small unit of strategic litigators that will work on carefully chosen cases that will advance our policy objectives in the selected areas.

This is an exciting opportunity for an energetic, experienced and creative litigator who is interested in using litigation to help advance reform in criminal justice policies in the areas of forensic science, eyewitness identification, unreliable confessions, and use of jail house informants.

The candidate must be an attorney with an active license and at least 10 years of litigation experience, including significant experience in criminal defense or civil litigation in the criminal justice arena, and experience litigating issues regarding scientific evidence in criminal cases. In addition, the person must have demonstrated supervisory and leadership experience and a proven ability to design and implement litigation aimed at system or law reform

Greatly appreciated are candidates with the demonstrated ability to:
· Work with multidisciplinary staff in a collaborative and fast paced setting;
· Remain organized amidst multiple, competing demands;
· Work well and effectively with pro-bono law firm partners;
· Work independently;
· Understand and litigate issues involving scientific evidence;
· Have the ability and willingness to travel; and
· Keep a sense of humor throughout.

The position is based in NYC. The salary is competitive and the position offers great benefits. Please email a brief cover letter, resume and two writing samples to: Please include Joseph Flom Special Counsel in your Subject line, and in your cover letter, please reference where you saw the position posted.

All .zip file attachments will be deleted and unread. No phone calls, please.

The Innocence Project is an equal opportunity employer committed to workplace diversity.

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