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Managing Attorney Beyond Guilt Project

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Position
Managing Attorney Beyond Guilt Project
Type
Full-time
Organization
Ohio Justice and Policy Center
Location
Cincinnati, OH
Job Summary

The Ohio Justice & Policy Center (“OJPC”) seeks to hire a Managing Attorney.  The Managing Attorney works on Beyond Guilt cases and manages staff, volunteers, and interns working on Beyond Guilt cases.  Beyond Guilt (“BG”) seeks to identify unfairly sentenced Ohio prisoners who illustrate widespread problems in our criminal legal system.

Job Description

THE OHIO JUSTICE & POLICY CENTER

215 E. 9th St., Ste. 601, Cincinnati, 45202 341 S. Third St., Columbus, 43215                              
513-421-1108 • ohiojpc.org

ABOUT OJPC

The Ohio Justice & Policy Center is a nonprofit public interest law firm that creates fair, intelligent, and redemptive criminal justice systems. We achieve our mission through client-centered advocacy, innovative policy reform, and cross-sector community education. We focus our energies primarily on reducing the number of incarcerated people, protecting rights of incarcerated people, and helping people with criminal records to fully contribute to their communities. We have offices in Cincinnati and Columbus, OH, and our work is statewide.

JOB DESCRIPTION:

The Ohio Justice & Policy Center (“OJPC”) seeks to hire a Managing Attorney.  The Managing Attorney works on Beyond Guilt cases and manages staff, volunteers, and interns working on Beyond Guilt cases.  Beyond Guilt (“BG”) seeks to identify unfairly sentenced Ohio prisoners who illustrate widespread problems in our criminal legal system (e.g. imposition of life sentences for felony-murder; life without parole sentences for youthful offenders; broken parole systems that refuse to provide a second chance) and then fight for their release. The project represents individuals who have served significant portions of their sentences and can demonstrate rehabilitation within the prison walls and who have the skills and support systems on the outside to continue the process of rehabilitation once they are released. Whenever possible, BG partners with prosecutors, law enforcement officers and crime survivors who can help convince courts to release prisoners through various avenues.

The Managing Attorney’s role will include: (1) investigating and presenting cases and clients for the parole board (both parole and clemency), (2) preparing and filing judicial release motions, (3) investigating cases for postconviction filings in state and/or federal court, and (4) working with prosecutors, when possible, to reduce sentences.  The Managing Attorney directly reports to the Executive and Deputy Directors. 

In addition to the BG caseload, the Managing Attorney will supervise one Beyond Guilt paralegal, one administrative assistant shared with other projects, and a Staff Attorney (who is primarily assigned to Beyond Guilt cases).  This includes oversight and evaluation of intake and identifying cases for prioritization of investigation and assignment. 

In addition, the Managing Attorney will supervise legal, social work, and undergraduate interns assigned to the Beyond Guilt Project, as well as pro bono volunteers that work as investigators, attorneys, and experts.  The Managing Attorney will assist in recruiting, training, and supervising new Pro Bono Volunteers.  The Managing Attorney will support the Executive Director and the Litigation Director on impact litigation on behalf of Beyond Guilt clients.  The Managing Attorney will design trainings for OJPC Staff and Pro Bono Volunteers and interns on critical aspects of Beyond Guilt work. 

Other duties of the Managing Attorney include assisting with applying for grants, tracking data for purposes of grant reporting as well an OJPC reports, and completing portions of grant reporting for BG, and attend community/speaking events to educate the public on the work of OJPC.

The Managing Attorney position requires 40 hours of in-office work per week (remote working is currently supported, consistent with pandemic-related social distancing precautions), plus evening and weekend work as needed. Routine travel to visit clients in prisons throughout Ohio, investigate cases, and appear in court is expected.

Required: Admission to Ohio bar pursuant to section 4705.01.

Note: Eligibility to practice under a Certificate to Practice Law Pending Admission in Ohio, under Rule I, Section 19 of the Supreme Court Rules for the Government of the Bar of Ohio, or eligibility to practice under a Temporary Certification for Practice in Legal services, Public Defender, and Law School Programs under Rule IX of the Supreme Court Rules for the Government of the Bar of Ohio, may be accepted in lieu of admission to the Ohio Bar pursuant to R.C. Section 4705.02.

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:

  • Manage docket of individuals seeking relief from unfair sentences 
  • Direct factual and mitigation post-conviction re-investigations 
  • Work with community partners and organizations to assist clients with release plans and/or post-release after care for released clients 
  • Prepare clients and their supporters for parole hearings
  • Conduct parole hearings at both panel and full board stages 
  • Craft litigation strategy 
  • Author motions & briefs in connection with client representation
  • Conduct evidentiary hearings  
  • Conduct oral argument before trial and appellate courts 
  • Supervise law students, paralegal and support staff, attorneys, and pro bono volunteers

THE IDEAL CANDIDATE

Candidates for the Managing Attorney position must possess excellent interviewing and investigative skills, as well as superlative legal writing and research skills.  Our docket is dynamic and requires extensive work in front of the parole board, as well as postconviction litigation, and the ability to work with local prosecutors’ offices. Candidates must also have strong advocacy skills and be well equipped, for example, to handle court appearances for everything from evidentiary hearings to oral arguments.

In addition, the Managing Attorney must possess strong interpersonal and communication skills, be able to supervise and manage others and carry a case load, enthusiasm for working collaboratively, and must embrace Beyond Guilt’s mission to not only correct individual miscarriages of justice, but to also expose and reform the systemic dysfunctions of the criminal legal system. 

QUALIFICATIONS & EXPERIENCE:

  • Minimum 5 years of litigation experience on behalf of indigent defendants or others accused/convicted of crimes (preference for 3-5 years litigation experience on behalf of indigent defendants or others accused/convicted of crimes and experience conducting postconviction factual/mitigation re-investigations);  
  • A demonstrated and abiding commitment to social justice 
  • Bilingual (Spanish) is a plus

KEY COMPETENCIES:

  • Excellent people and project management skills
  • Strong research, writing, and analytic skills 
  • Strong advocacy skills 
  • Experience with complex records and presenting compelling, fact-driven narratives  
  • Client-centered approach to legal representation and demonstrated commitment to indigent defense and working to change the criminal legal system 
  • Hard-working, ability to work independently at the same time as being collaborative  
  • Excellent interpersonal and verbal communication skills 
  • Interest in working with diverse range of people 
  • Ability to assess work of students and paralegals, and constructively supervise their work
  • Must be able to work with groups of diverse individuals in respectful, equitable, and inclusive ways.
  • Enthusiasm for the work of OJPC and for social justice, including a demonstrated commitment to public interest
  • Shares values of equity, excellence, collaboration, humanity, integrity, respect, and accountability

DETAILS ABOUT THE POSITION:

Salary range is $60K to $64K, based on five years relevant experience and qualifications. Competitive benefits package including 27 PTO days, PTO carryover and PTO Sharing; parental leave; thirteen paid holidays, plus an annual winter break between Christmas and New Year’s; Flextime; Health, vision, and dental insurance; Simple IRA with corporate matching; membership in professional associations; corporate support for professional training and professional exams.

We are accepting applications now, and we would like to hire as soon as possible. We intend to have this position filled by November 1.

OJPC is an equal opportunity employer. People from marginalized groups – that is, those who have experienced systemic exclusion based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation – are strongly encouraged to apply. Returning citizens and people who have been personally affected by the criminal legal system are also strongly encouraged to apply.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS: 

To apply, please send a cover letter expressing your interest in the role and the organization’s work, and a resume titled with your name (last name. first name. cover letter/resume) to:

Laura Beverly, Operations Manager at lbeverly@ohiojpc.org.

Only applications with cover letters will be considered complete applications. Due to the large volume of applications, we are unable to give applicant updates by phone or direct email. 

Thank you to our sponsors

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