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Forensic Justice Project (“FJP”) is seeking a full-time Senior Staff Attorney. The position reports directly to the Executive Director.

FJP is a nonprofit organization based in Oregon.  The goal of FJP is to prevent wrongful convictions before they happen, or correct wrongful convictions after they happen.  FJP attorneys focus on forensic evidence and work to prove the innocence of individuals who have been wrongfully convicted.  FJP attorneys also step into criminal cases to challenge faulty or misleading forensic evidence.  Because faulty and misleading forensics is one of the leading causes of wrongful convictions across the county, FJP steps into cases at any stage, whether pre-trial or post-conviction, and regardless of guilt or innocence. 

FJP attorneys may also conduct trainings for other lawyers to address forensics in criminal cases, appear as amicus curiae to help educate the courts on issues that relate to forensics, and work to change the law through policy reform.

The Senior Staff Attorney will be responsible for consulting on individual cases, conducting trainings, and assisting with policy efforts as needed.  The Senior Staff Attorney will work independently or as co-counsel with FJP Executive Director Janis Puracal.

The Senior Staff Attorney will further be responsible for developing a 13-week law school course on forensics with the goal of offering the course beginning in the fall of 2023. 

FJP staff work remotely, and applicants from any location are welcome to apply.  The Senior Staff Attorney’s case work will, however, focus on criminal cases in Oregon.  Applicants must, therefore, be able to travel to and around the state of Oregon for courtroom appearances and as otherwise necessary. 

FJP staff work as professionals and, as such, establish their own hours to ensure the highest standards for quality and thoroughness in all aspects of the work.  The job often involves weekend and evening hours as necessary to maintain FJP’s standard for effectiveness in forensic reform.

JOB RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Consult on individual cases by associating with appointed counsel, leading litigation efforts related to specific forensic issues through discovery, motions practice, admissibility hearings, and trial;
  • Work with Executive Director to develop resource materials for defense attorneys;
  • Develop and conduct trainings for other attorneys in Oregon and nationwide on issues related to forensic evidence;
  • Assist with policy reform and legislative efforts;
  • Develop relationships with experts across the country to assist with litigation and reform;
  • Develop 13-week law school course on forensics;
  • Supervise research / litigation fellow;
  • Conduct research on forensic disciplines as necessary to lead case work and reform; and
  • Other duties as assigned.

PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS:

  • A Juris Doctorate degree;
  • Admitted to practice law in Oregon (or ability to apply through reciprocity);
  • Five or more years litigation experience with at least two years of dedicated experience litigating forensic opinions related to physical evidence in criminal cases;
    • Experience litigating forensics should include familiarity with foundational validity, validity as applied, and challenging the assumptions that form the basis for faulty and misleading forensic opinions related to physical evidence.  FJP does not address forensics related to sentencing, mitigation, or psychological interviews, and litigation in those areas will not satisfy the requirement for prior experience.            
  • Excellent research, writing, and oral communication skills;
  • Strong organizational abilities including planning, delegating, program development, and task facilitation;
  • Demonstrated ability to oversee and collaborate with staff and junior lawyers;
  • Strong public speaking ability; and
  • Proficiency with technology, including Microsoft Office, Zoom, and cloud-based systems.  FJP operates in a primarily paperless environment, and all employees are expected to work on cloud-based systems by following established protocols for creating and storing information.

ANNUAL PRODUCTIVITY GOAL

The Senior Staff Attorney is expected to bill at least 1,800 hours annually.   

COMPENSATION

Annual Salary:            $80,000–$90,000 depending on experience

Benefits:                     Monthly stipend for medical/vision/dental insurance; 403(b) retirement plan including annual employer match up to 3%; paid sick leave, personal time, and vacation days; flexible work schedule; FJP-provided computer/printer/scanner for remote work; one-time stipend for remote work set-up.

To apply, please send a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to Janis Puracal, Executive Director, at jpuracal@forensicjusticeproject.org.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.  FJP is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages candidates of all identities, orientations, experiences, and communities to apply.  To learn more about FJP, visit www.forensicjusticeproject.org