Director of Post-Conviction Litigation
New York, New York
The Innocence Project fights to free the innocent, to prevent wrongful convictions, and for fair, compassionate, and equitable systems of justice for everyone. This critical work is guided by science and grounded in antiracism.
Since its founding in 1992 by Barry C. Scheck and Peter J. Neufeld, the Innocence Project has grown into a national and international leader in criminal legal system reform. Thanks to the Innocence Project’s transformative work, DNA testing and analysis has become vital to exonerating innocent people and driving criminal justice reform. Nearly thirty years later, in addition to exonerating people who are wrongfully convicted of crimes they did not commit, the Innocence Project continues to leverage the expertise and passion of staff to fight to redress systemic issues through strategic litigation, policy reform, and education.
Under a new senior leadership team, the Innocence Project builds on its powerful history as it looks toward the launch of an exciting and innovative strategic plan in 2021. In coming years, the Innocence Project seeks to:
This ambitious plan will leverage the strength of the organization’s tremendously talented 105-person staff that brings together attorneys and paralegals alongside skilled professionals in social work, policy, communications, development, and finance. The diverse staff is united in its deep commitment to the mission of the Innocence Project and passion for ending the injustices of our criminal legal systems.
For more information on the Innocence Project, please visit its website.
The Director of Post-Conviction Litigation (PCL) has the opportunity to oversee one of the Innocence Project’s core goals—freeing the innocent—by managing a team of attorneys, paralegals, fellows and/or interns who represent individuals whose innocence can be proven through, inter alia, either post-conviction DNA testing or the development of other new evidence that strongly supports innocence. As the head of the PCL Department, the Director is responsible for the overall management and supervision of the 15-person team (which presently includes ten attorneys, four of whom are two-year fellows, and five paralegals) and which seeks to grow further over upcoming years.
In this capacity, the Director of Post-Conviction Litigation is responsible for:
The PCL Director also does limited work coordinating amicus support on important exoneration-related issues in other cases nationally. To support PCL work, the Innocence Project runs a clinical program in partnership with Cardozo Law School (the “Clinic”). The Clinic is overseen by the Director of Special Litigation, supervised by a PCL staff attorney, and co-taught by several PCL staff attorneys. Eighteen law students participate in the Clinic annually.
The PCL Director will report directly to the Chief Program Strategy Officer. The PCL Director will work collaboratively with the Director of Special Litigation and Senior Litigation Counsel—both of whom are members of the PCL Team, but are not direct reports of the PCL Director—who provide thought-partnership, advice, and institutional insight.
This position is a full-time role, based in New York City. At the moment of this posting, the Innocence Project staff members are working remotely, with the option to utilize the office as desired. The organization will seek a return to its primarily in-office culture, although with flexibility for hybrid in office/remote schedules, upon continued improvement and progress of Covid-19.
The Director of Post-Conviction Litigation will oversee the following core responsibilities:
The Director of Post-Conviction Litigation will be enthusiastic about bringing skills, experience, and dedication to building the abilities and expertise of their team. Their management prowess will be matched only by their knowledge of post-conviction litigation, and of the systemic reform issues that are core to the Innocence Project’s mission.
The salary range for this position begins at approximately $180,000, commensurate with experience.
The Innocence Project offers an excellent benefits package, including fully paid health, dental, and vision insurance, Flexible Spending Account, 401k plan with company-match. While the office is currently remote in consideration of the ongoing pandemic, once commuting into the office (located in downtown Manhattan, New York) becomes viable again, the Innocence Project will also offer company-paid transportation benefits.
Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Melissa Madzel and Shelby Woods of Koya Partners are leading the search. To express interest in this role please submit your materials here, or email InnocenceProject_Director_PCL@koyapartners.com. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.
The Innocence Project considers the diversity of its workforce to be vital to our organization’s success in meeting its mission. We strongly encourage applicants from all cultures, races, educational backgrounds, life experiences, socio-economic classes, sexual orientations, age, gender, and physical abilities to apply. Individuals with personal connections to the criminal legal system are strongly encouraged to apply.
As an Equal Opportunity Employer, it is our policy not to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, familial status, marital status, predisposing genetic characteristics, actual or perceived domestic violence victim status, unemployment status, caregiver status, or any other category protected by law.
Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.
Koya is an equal opportunity employer fully committed to creating an environment and team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, styles, and experiences. We encourage all to apply because we believe a diversity of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone. Koya does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, military status, veteran status, genetic information, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.
For more information about Koya Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.