Position Information

Position Information Message
Mitigation Specialist
The Texas Office of Capital & Forensic Writs (OCFW) is hiring a mitigation specialist to factually develop claims on behalf of our death-sentenced clients. The mitigation specialist will work as part of a team with attorneys representing clients sentenced to death in state habeas corpus and related proceedings. The ideal applicant will have investigation experience, familiarity with mental health and trauma-related issues, and / or experience working directly with indigent populations. Salary will be commensurate with experience.
This is an extraordinary opportunity to make a difference in Texas. The OCFW represents a substantial majority of persons sentenced to death in Texas in state habeas and related proceedings. We are committed to client-centered and excellent post-conviction representation, in accordance with the ABA Guidelines, Guidelines and Standards for Texas Capital Counsel (2006) and the Supplementary Guidelines and Standards for the Mitigation Function of Defense Teams in Texas Death Penalty Cases (2015).
Essential Functions:
  • Establish ongoing rapport with clients, family, and other witnesses in a culturally competent way that overcomes barriers those individuals may have against the disclosure of sensitive information.
  • Assess clients' and witnesses’ mental health, and describe mental health symptomatology.
  • Identify, obtain, and analyze anecdotal and documentary evidence relevant to a client’s life history and development, including, but not limited to: medical and psychiatric history; prenatal, pediatric and adult health information; exposure to harmful substances in utero and in the environment; substance abuse history; history of maltreatment and neglect; trauma history; educational history; employment and training history; military experience; multi-generational family history of genetic disorders and vulnerabilities, as well as multi-generational patterns of behavior; prior adult and juvenile correctional experience; religious, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic, racial, cultural and community influences; immigration history;  socio-economic, historical, and political factors.
  • Compile a comprehensive and well-documented biopsychosocial history of the client based on exhaustive investigation, interviews, and record collection, as well as furnish memos and chronologies on a variety of topics to counsel and experts.
  • Identify and assist in locating appropriate experts; provide diagnostic and social history information to experts to enable them to conduct competent and reliable evaluations.
  • Review all trial files from all prior counsel, mitigation specialists, investigators, and experts for areas of additional investigation.
  • Participate in the factual investigation of guilt-innocence-related issues.
  • Research and develop theories about how systems and culture have shaped the clients' development
  • Work with the defense team and experts to develop comprehensive and cohesive case theories.
  • Provide litigation support to counsel, including subpoenaing witnesses, helping to prepare witnesses to testify, and identifying potential exhibits.
Minimum Qualifications:
  • College degree.
  • At least two years of experience as a mitigation specialist, equivalent experience working directly with indigent populations, or postgraduate study in a relevant field (e.g., social work, psychology, anthropology, sociology, journalism, etc.).
  • Familiarity or experience with key areas such as: mental health; trauma; intellectualdisabilities; race, ethnicity and poverty within the criminal justice system or elsewhere.
  • An organized and precise work practice with attention to detail and accuracy.
  • A deep commitment to the representation of death-sentenced persons, and persons from low-income and other marginalized communities.
  • Excellent at written and oral communication.
  • Highly developed interpersonal skills.
  • Experience working with people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, and an awareness of the issues that must be overcome to successfully work with people who have varied life experiences.
  • Strengths in teamwork, client relations and relationship building.
  • Creativity and energy in approaching all tasks and responsibilities.
  • Possess the training and skills to recognize and understand how biological, congenital, emotional, cognitive, and environmental factors may have affected clients’ development and worldview.
Preferred Qualifications:               
  • Bilingual in Spanish and English.
  • Relevant post-graduate study (e.g., L.M.S.W.)
  • Computer literacy in software such as spreadsheets and databases.
Employment Conditions:
  • Ability to operate standard office equipment and software;
  • A valid driver’s license, and the willingness to operate a motor vehicle for client-representation purposes;
  • Ability and willingness to travel throughout Texas, out of state, and on occasion, out of the country for client-representation purposes.
  • The person hired for this position should expect to regularly travel 50% of the time on case work. 
Posting Date: 10/9/2018                                       Closing Date: Until Filled
Job Identification Number:   215-19-03 Location: Austin, Texas
OCFW Job Title: Mitigation Specialist           FLSA Status: Exempt
State Job Title Investigator IV Type: Full Time
Salary $ 45,000 - 60,000 Travel: Yes (50%)

How to Apply:
To apply for this position, send: (1) a letter of interest; (2) a resume; (3) a list of references; and (4) the mandated State of Texas Application for Employment to: hiring@ocfw.texas.gov.

State applications are available at:           https://twc.texas.gov/files/jobseekers/texas-application-employment-twc.pdf.

Veterans, Reservist or Guardsmen with an MOS or additional duties that fall in the fields of 27A, 27B, 250X, LGL10, 04, 4402, 51JX, or other related fields pertaining to the minimum experience requirements may meet the minimum qualifications. Additional Military Crosswalk information can be accessed at:    http://www.hr.sao.state.tx.us/Compensation/MilitaryCrosswalk/MOSC_Legal.pdf.

The Office of Capital & Forensic Writs is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, sex, religion, age or disability in employment or the provision of services. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, any request for reasonable accommodations needed during the application process should be communicated by the applicant to Sandra Justice, the Office of Capital & Forensic Writs Senior Accountant, at (512) 463-8520.
Position: Mitigation Specialist
Organization: Office of Capital and Forensic Writs
Location: Austin,  TX 
United States
Salary: up to $60,000
Posting Start Date: 10/16/2018
Date Posted: 10/16/2018
Status: This listing expires on: 1/14/2019
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Organization Information
Office of Capital and Forensic Writs
1700 Congress, Suite 460

Austin,  TX 78701
United States
Ben Wolff


July 1, 2018: General Registration opens for the “WE THE DEFENDERS” TRAINING CONFERENCE,  November 26-29, 2018, Indianapolis, IN

Due to overwhelming demand, NAPD will again offer this comprehensive Investigator and Social Worker/Sentencing Advocate training experience! The program will include one track for Investigators and a separate track for Social Worker/Sentencing Advocates.  Hear from nationally recognized experts who will share their knowledge on a wide range of topics relevant to the work you do each and every day.  Network with other criminal defense practitioners from around the country and find your tribe. Registration closes Septemebr 3.
This one of a kind conference is developed through surveys of the registrants.   You have a say in what sessions are offered and will have multiple options during the conference.
Click here to watch as the schedule develops based on your suggestions.
Click here to see the faculty list. 
Click here to register for the Investigator Conference Track.
Click here to register for the Social Worker/Sentencing Advocate Conference Track.
Click here to make a hotel reservation at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown.

January 23, 2018: In response to US Attorney General Jeff Session's reversal of prior policy on the imposition of fines and fees for criminal defendants, NAPD submitted the following letter on behalf of the public defender community. You can read the letter HERE

January 17, 2018: The 2018 NAPD Investigators Conference and 2018 Social Workers & Sentencing Advocates Institute (March 26-29, 2018 in Denver, CO) are now at full capacity and closed for registration. A wait list is being developed.

November 28, 2017: NAPD has uploaded videos of the presentations from the 2017 NAPD Workloads Conference in St. Louis (held November 17-18). Members can access these valuable presentations on MyGideon by logging into their NAPD account.