Legal Policy Fellow

ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION

The Innocence Project was founded in 1992 by Barry C. Scheck and Peter J. Neufeld at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University to assist the wrongly convicted who could be proven innocent through DNA testing. The Innocence Project’s groundbreaking use of DNA technology to free innocent people has provided irrefutable proof that wrongful convictions are not isolated or rare events but instead arise from systemic defects. Now an independent nonprofit organization closely affiliated with Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, the Innocence Project’s mission is to free the staggering numbers of innocent people who remain incarcerated and to bring substantive reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment.

JOB SUMMARY

Legal Policy Fellow is a two-year fellowship where the Fellow will perform legal research on policy reform issues related to the causes and remedies of wrongful convictions in the United States criminal justice system. The Fellow will focus primarily on legal research, synthesizing findings and developing briefing materials and legal memos. The goal is to ensure the Policy staff is well-informed on federal, state and local laws in an effort to strengthen and fortify the policy reforms the Innocence Project supports. 

The Legal Policy Fellow reports to the Director of State Campaigns and works closely with the entire Policy department.  

 

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS

LAW AND POLICY RESEARCH

  • Execute comprehensive legal research projects, including statutory analysis and case law interpretation, to synthesize the statutory landscape on a range of criminal justice issues.
  • Synthesize and clearly communicate complex information into clear and well-organized briefing materials for members of the Policy department.
  • Support state-based policy campaigns with legal 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
  • Court decisions and case law that affect our policy reforms.
  • Assist Policy Advocates in developing support materials including fact sheets, testimony, and policy advocacy planning.
  • Assist Director of State Campaigns with the development of substantive webinars and high level meetings dedicated to policy reform.
  • Maintain and create new content for a policy repository.

EXTERNAL EVENTS

  • 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.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • Must have a J.D.
  • Must have experience conducting legal research.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • Experience authoring articles or white papers on criminal law reform and/or public policy.
  • Experience developing agenda and materials for high-level policy discussions.

KEY COMPETENCIES

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills with the ability to engage audiences with diverging social demographic backgrounds.
  • Demonstrates a sincere and positive attitude towards getting things done and proactively acts to resolve challenges.
  • Embodies strong organizational and planning skills that entails prioritizing key components of a task while maintaining quality of work and attention to details.
  • Analyzes situations and applies critical thinking when weighing the possible solutions and constraints associated with each.
  • Deploys exceptional logical reasoning skills by breaking down complex situations into digestible and identifiable components.
  • A strong commitment to social justice and criminal justice and wrongful conviction reform.

 

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS

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, and paid Transitcheks.

WORKFORCE DIVERSITY AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY

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.

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.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

To apply, please visit Paycom. Upload your cover letter and resume as (last name. first name. cover 

letter/resume).  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.

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