We are looking for a new team member who shares our passion for social justice and uncovering hidden stories. Those who have done investigative reporting, social work, work in the mental health field, or any other jobs that require interviewing, research, and writing may be well suited for this position. Those with prior investigative reporting experience are strongly encouraged to apply. Trained reporters and writers who know how to craft compelling stories with the raw material gleaned from hours of exhaustive interviews and details hidden in decades-old records have the skills essential to conducting the rigorous investigations necessary for securing the rights of the criminally accused.
The Criminal Defense Investigator will serve two primary functions as part of a defense team:
Investigate the facts and circumstances of the alleged crime by gathering documentary evidence and interviewing witnesses.
Conduct mitigation (life history) investigation for clients facing capital punishment, LWOP, federal sentencing, and other severe punishments.
Consult with attorneys to develop theories of the case and case strategy
Locate and interview witnesses in person
Prepare detailed reports based on interviews
Prepare and maintain witness lists, timelines, and other case documents based on ongoing investigation
Keep orderly case file, documenting all steps of casework
Extensive research, record collection, and organization
Conduct background/criminal history searches via databases, social media, courthouse searches, media outlets, etc.
Maintain contact with attorneys and investigative team to provide regular case updates
Organize and prioritize caseload, manage calendar in order to complete work in a timely and efficient manner
Complete investigative tasks with veracity and efficiency
Assist team members with record collection, clerical duties, and other support
Develop and maintain relationships with court clerks, records custodians, and others who help our team with information gathering
Recognize and document symptoms of mental illness
Review and synthesize case materials, providing well-organized, clear information to attorneys
Be a good steward of case funds by staying within budget and completing tasks as efficiently as possible
Assist attorneys with trial prep and testify in court
Be on-call during the time leading up and during the duration of trial
Benefits include accrued paid time off, paid holidays, health insurance, dental and vision options, phone stipend, access to annual trainings, flexible schedule, positive work environment, bonus pay based on hours billed. Salary commensurate with experience. Prior to hiring, candidates will be subject to a thorough background investigation.
A minimum of three years of interviewing, research and writing experience
The ability to communicate effectively with a variety of individuals representing diverse cultures and backgrounds and function calmly in situations that require a high degree of sensitivity, tact, discretion, and diplomacy
Excellent organization skills with great attention to detail
Possess considerable resourcefulness, creativity, people skills, initiative and drive and the ability to analyze and evaluate facts, evidence and related information
Must be capable of working independently as well as with a team
Respect the humanity and dignity of our clients
Commitment to working with clients in poverty and from diverse backgrounds
Ability and willingness to travel and to work outside normal business hours and/or with little notice; we have cases that take us out of county and/or state for days at a time
Willingness to go into high crime areas and interview reluctant witnesses
Always be punctual, reliable, accessible, and responsive
Excellent time management skills
Spanish language skills are a huge plus, but not required
Must have valid driver's license and reliable vehicle
Able to meet deadlines, respond to editing, and adapt to new work situations, people, ideas, procedures, and organizational structures
Demonstrate excellent written and verbal communication skills
Excellent stress management skills
Computer literacy in software such as spreadsheets, databases, and case management software