Director of Reinvestigation Project/Supervising Attorney
The Office of the Appellate Defender
[“OAD”] is one of New York City’s oldest providers of legal representation to people who cannot afford to pay an attorney for the appeal of a felony conviction. OAD’s core mission is to ensure full and equal access to justice by providing high-quality and client-centered representation throughout the appellate process. This approach enables our attorneys to hone in on the best issues for appeal, to tell our clients’ stories effectively, and to identify and pursue other forms of advocacy that are most effective for each client’s unique circumstances. OAD is committed to developing and litigating innovative legal theories that most effectively demonstrate the injustices that our clients have experienced.
Since 2007, OAD’s Reinvestigation Project
has reviewed every case assigned to OAD by the Appellate Division, First Department in which a conviction was secured after trial in search of potential wrongful convictions. The Project looks for faulty eyewitness identification(s), false confessions or false witness statements, and questionable forensic science, as well as convictions that may be unreliable because of prosecutorial misconduct or ineffective assistance of counsel. The Project aims to identify potential wrongful convictions as soon as possible and, where appropriate, reinvestigate before the appeal is perfected, and, as a result, drastically reduce human and financial costs. The Project also reviews claims of wrongful conviction from clients whose cases have long since become final, undertaking difficult and time-consuming investigations of very old cases.
OAD seeks a Supervising Attorney
to serve as Director of its Reinvestigation Project. The ideal candidate will be well-versed in wrongful conviction issues; will have significant experience in case investigation and in criminal defense trial, appellate, and/or post-conviction litigation work; and will possess strong written and oral advocacy and leadership skills.
OAD is devoted to recruiting, hiring, and retaining a workforce comprised of individuals from different cultures, races, educational backgrounds, life experiences, socio-economic classes, sexual orientations, ages, genders, and physical abilities. OAD recognizes that our clients are predominantly Black and Brown people and firmly believes that a diverse staff is important to providing this standard of representation. Every OAD staff member shares a profound commitment to public service and to defending people who have been disadvantaged by legal and economic systems.
- Supervising staff attorneys, pro bono attorneys, and law student interns on all aspects of client representation through OAD’s “double-teaming” model, including but not limited to:
- Overseeing and performing case reinvestigations by, among other things, reviewing trial discovery, interviewing trial attorneys, conducting field investigations, and supervising investigators and interns;
- Developing case theory: demonstrating familiarity with case records, issue conferencing, and strategy development;
- Drafting of pleadings: editing and framing of briefs, leave applications, post-conviction motions;
- Preparing for oral argument: mooting and selecting issues; and
- Building and maintaining an effective attorney-client relationship: client communication, legal visits, and issues of race, gender, mental health, and the trauma of incarceration.
- Providing holistic post-conviction representation to indigent persons convicted of felonies in Manhattan and the Bronx, including but not limited to:
- Perfecting and supervising direct appeals in the Appellate Division and the New York Court of Appeals, including assisting with intake evaluation of cases;
- Litigating and supervising post-conviction motions and hearings challenging the lawfulness of convictions and sentences pursuant to Article 440 of the New York Criminal Procedure Law;
- Pursuing federal habeas corpus challenges to state court convictions;
- Presenting to and working on reinvestigations with Conviction Integrity Units in cases involving red flags of wrongful conviction;
- Developing and maintaining strong working relationships with Innocence Network-affiliated staff members and effectively utilizing Network resources to advocate in individual wrongful conviction cases and to help redress the causes of wrongful conviction; and
- Advising clients as to all potential appellate options, including withdrawal of appeals, where appropriate, as well as negotiating pleas or other remedies following reversal of conviction.
- Training attorneys on staff and outside the organization, including but not limited to:
- Annual training programs for incoming staff attorneys and pro bono attorneys on substantive, procedural, and practice-oriented criminal law topics;
- CLE and training programs for outside defender organizations and assigned counsel;
- Mentorship of staff attorneys in one-on-one and group settings; and
- Providing feedback and evaluations for staff attorneys.
- Participating in office leadership and decision-making, including but not limited to:
- Giving advice on office-wide legal policies and best practices, in light of the needs of the clients and the impact of racial and class disparities in the criminal legal system;
- Participating in recruitment and selection of staff;
- Supervising and managing caseloads for staff attorneys; and
- Supporting the development of an inclusive office culture that centers racial equity.
Please submit your resume, cover letter, and writing sample, no later than August 5, 2022
, by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
, with a subject line in the email stating: Reinvestigation Supervising Attorney Position
. The cover letter should address: (1) why the applicant is interested in working at OAD; and (2) what skills or experiences make the applicant a strong candidate
Director of Reinvestigation Project/Supervising Attorney
||Office of the Appellate Defender
||New York, NY
||Starting salary is $100,880, with excellent benefits. The salary for more experienced applicants will be commensurate with experience.
|Posting Start Date:
All newly hired employees must be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, unless they have been granted a reasonable accommodation for religion or disability. This requirement must be met by the date of hire, unless a reasonable accommodation for exemption is received and approved at the time of the onboarding process.
- J.D. degree, with at least 7 years of litigation experience and a preference for at least 4 years of appellate criminal litigation. Experience with New York criminal and post-conviction appellate litigation is strongly preferred.
- Admission to the New York Bar, or ability to secure immediate admission to the New York Bar pursuant to 22 NYCRR § 520.10.
- Supervisory and case management experience strongly preferred, with an interest in and commitment to the professional development, training and support of attorneys, legal interns, and administrative staff.
- Experience with trial court, particularly in post-conviction proceedings, is strongly preferred.
- Demonstrated commitment to representing poor people convicted of crimes, and a strong belief in the value of communication with clients.
- Outstanding legal research, writing, and oral advocacy skills.
- Ability to work both collaboratively and independently.
||This listing expires on: 10/18/2022