The Innocence Project of Florida, Inc. (IPF) is seeking a Staff Attorney with a demonstrated passion for social justice issues, beginning as early as April 2021 in its Tallahassee, Florida office. The Staff Attorney 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 orother 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 530 years in prison for crimes they didn’t commit.ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:DIRECT REPRESENTATION OF IPFS CLIENTS:As co-counsel with IPFs Executive Director, represent IPFs clients claiming actual innocence in postconviction matters in state and federal court to achieve the (1) vacation of conviction and sentence, (2) dismissal of all charges, and (3) release from prison.In doing so, the Staff Attorney is expected to:oCollaborate with IPFs staff investigator and/or contract investigators to develop and execute fact investigation to support the development of postconviction claims;oCollaborate with conviction integrity units to investigate and resolve cases of common interest;oRetain expert servicesincluding but not limited to DNA testing, expert case review, forensic analysis or reanalysis of evidencenecessary to develop viable postconviction claims;oDraft and file all necessary pleadings in accepted cases;oPrepare for and litigate all hearings and oral arguments in assigned cases;oManage litigation tasks and workflow in IPFs case management system, Clio, to ensure compliance with all case-baseddeadlines;oMaintain organized physical and digital case files;oMaintain regular communication with clients through legal calls, written communication, and in-person visits, to provide clients with legal advice regarding their cases;oTravel as necessary to complete these and other case-related tasks;Collaborate with the Director of Transition Services in developing social services plans for clients that is sensitive to the needs and interests of the clients individual legal cases;Represent IPFs clients in other non-judicial settings, such as parole and clemency;Assist in efforts to seek compensation for IPFs exonerated clients; andTake part in special litigation projects, as assigned by the Executive Director.HELPING TO CHOOSE IPFS CASES:Take part in regular legal team meetings to:oReview case memoranda and collaboratively decide whether to accept or reject cases for representation;oUpdate legal team on status of active litigationoPeriodically 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:Meet regularly with legal interns to supervise student work on case review memoranda, assigned pleadings and other case-related research activities;Teach assigned topics as part of IPFs intern education program;Provide students opportunities for out-of-office experiences, such as prison visits and in-court support.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; andParticipate in virtual awareness events, as assigned.QUALIFICATIONS & EXPERIENCE:All candidates must have a Juris Doctor degree, and preferred candidates will possess at least 1-2 years of experience litigating criminal trial and/or postconviction cases. All candidates must be members of The Florida Bar or be willing to take the Florida Bar exam in July 2021. Fluency in reading, writing, and speaking Spanish is preferred.KEY COMPETENCIES:The selected candidate must possess:Superior communication skills, including the ability to effectively communicate with individuals of diverse backgrounds and varied educational levels;Superior writing and editing skills, with specific experience drafting legal pleadings and other documents;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; andAn 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.COVID-19 NOTICE:As of March 2020, all of Innocence Project of Floridas operations have moved online. The person who is hired for this position will be expected to visit IPFs office in Tallahassee, FL and various courts throughout Florida sporadically while maintaining appropriate social distance and safety protocols. The Staff Attorneys day-to-day job will be carried out remotely until otherwise indicated.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.
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