Inclusivity Fellowship Opportunity
Are you passionate about social justice reform and committed to diversity and
equity? Are you passionate about helping indigent people accused of criminal or
delinquent acts? Do you believe that holistic, team-oriented representation is
essential for all people accused of criminal or delinquent acts? Are you interested
in starting your own law office? Do you have lived experiences as a Black,
Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community member or are you a person with meaningful connections to BIPOC community? If so, then this is a great opportunity to make a difference! The Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel is offering a unique opportunity for a BIPOC community member or a person with a meaningful connection to BIPOC communities to develop a private law practice in Colorado.
The Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel (OADC) is the legislatively created
state agency responsible for providing client services and legal representation for
indigent individuals (adults and youth) when the state has charged them with a
criminal or delinquent act and the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender
has a conflict of interest. The OADC accomplishes this by contracting with over
400 private attorneys and another 500 legal service providers ( forensic social
workers/clinical advocates, paralegals, investigators, legal researchers, case
assistants, legal interns, etc.) to provide client services on an hourly basis. Our
fundamental belief is that good holistic legal defense teams produce good results
for our clients.
The mission of the Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel (OADC), through the
practice of holistic public defense, is to help adults and children who the
government has charged with criminal and delinquent offenses. The OADC’s
holistic practice model fosters ethical, informed, and standard-driven best
practices in public defense. The OADC allocates resources in a manner
intentionally designed to rebalance the disparate power wielded by the
government in the criminal legal system. OADC advocates for every client’s
inherent worth and dignity by centering the client’s lived experiences and voice to
achieve the best legal outcome.
The OADC is dedicated to zealous, client-centered advocacy rooted in social
justice, integrity, and humility. We recognize that we are working within a broken
and racist criminal legal system. Public defense advocates play an essential role in challenging bias and disparity within the courtroom, within our offices, and
within ourselves. Statistical data and experiences support that there is a disparate presence of violent policing, over-charging, and harsher sentencing outcomes for Colorado’s people of color and other vulnerable populations. The OADC is unwavering in its support of decarceration, the decriminalization of youth, and equity within the criminal legal system.
About the Job:
The legal field suffers from a lack of diversity nationwide. Colorado's legal
community is no different. The pool of attorneys contracting with the OADC is a
microcosm of the larger systemic problem. While the lack of diversity is generally problematic for the legal community, it is especially problematic in the criminal legal system where the over-prosecution and resulting mass incarceration of BIPOC individuals is a national tragedy.
There is an undeniable benefit when people whose lived experiences as BIPOC
community members or people with meaningful connections to BIPOC
communities, participate in the system as attorneys and other legal professionals. Rather than continuing to wait for the larger pool of attorneys to become more diverse, the OADC intends to increase the number of contracting attorneys whose lived experiences reflect membership in or who have a meaningful connection with BIPOC communities while also increasing the diversity of the Colorado legal community.
This Inclusivity Fellowship Program is the ultimate public-private partnership.
This Fellowship will provide a lawyer (most likely a recent graduate) with a state
employee position with a State of Colorado salary and benefits for up to two years while the fellow develops their emerging practice. This employee position will begin as early as March of 2023 and will terminate no later than two years from the date of hire. The exact duration of the fellowship will be tailored to meet the needs of the individual fellow and their future business. During that time, the
OADC will provide “wrap-around” mentorship from experienced criminal and
youth defense practitioners to assist with developing appropriate legal skills, case management, and professional development. In addition, the OADC has a robust training program to further aid in professional development.
Although the project is geared toward developing an attorney who is proficient in
indigent defense, we understand that the fellow may need to develop a well rounded practice that involves representing people in more than just criminal
matters. It is anticipated that the fellow will work to build relationships so that at
the conclusion of their fellowship, they can develop other sources of income
including private representation, court-appointed work in dependency and
neglect cases through other state agencies (e.g., the Office of the Child’s
Representative or the Office of Respondent Parent Counsel), and partnerships
with civil litigation associations such as Legal Aid (Colorado Legal Services). As
such, the OADC has partnered with other entities to provide further mentorship
assistance in areas of law other than criminal defense to meet the individual
interests of each fellow.
Other duties deemed necessary to help fulfil our Mission.
The OADC is a collaborative workspace designed for people who thrive in a team environment. This position reports to the Attorney Development Coordinator and will engage with all members of the OADC team.
The State of Colorado is committed to providing employees with a comprehensive and competitive benefits package that supports you, your health, and your family. Click here for further information about State of Colorado Employee Benefits.