Texas Defender Service (TDS) – Capital Defense Job Openings
Openings for Capital Post-Conviction Attorneys
Texas Defender Service (TDS) seeks junior and senior staff attorneys with a demonstrated commitment to indigent defense to represent Texas inmates in capital post-conviction proceedings.
TDS is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the Texas criminal justice system by improving the quality of capital representation and implementing an effective indigent defense system. In addition to providing quality direct representation to death row inmates, the TDS Capital Post-Conviction Project tracks the cases of death-sentenced inmates in Texas, assists and trains capital habeas attorneys, and provides crisis assistance to defense teams whose clients are facing execution dates. Attorneys work with the larger capital habeas community, which is composed of highly committed and talented lawyers, as well as with law firms representing death?sentenced persons pro bono.
Junior Staff Attorney. Junior Staff Attorneys are responsible for developing claims, litigating them in state and federal court under the supervision of senior counsel, providing assistance at evidentiary hearings, and handling crisis representation for inmates under death warrants. All staff attorneys report to the Post-Conviction Director. Given the unique demands of capital litigation, attorneys work some evenings, weekends, and holidays. Travel throughout Texas is required. Attorneys must be licensed in Texas or become licensed within six months of hire. Fluency in Spanish is a plus.
Senior Staff Attorney. Senior Staff Attorneys serve as lead counsel, direct the work of other team members, and train and mentor junior attorneys. Senior Staff Attorneys must possess strong oral, written, research, and investigation skills; work well in a team?based environment; be highly organized; and work effectively under pressure. Senior Staff are expected to be knowledgeable about the latest developments in criminal and capital habeas law and experienced in developing and litigating capital habeas claims. Less experienced attorneys with superior legal skills, a strong work ethic, and a willingness to learn quickly will also be considered. All staff attorneys report to the Post-Conviction Director. Given the unique demands of capital litigation, attorneys work some evenings, weekends, and holidays. Travel throughout Texas is required. Attorneys must be licensed in Texas or become licensed within six months of hire. Fluency in Spanish is a plus.
Both openings are for full-time salaried positions with benefits. Attorneys can be based in Austin or Houston. Salary will be commensurate with experience. Interested candidates should electronically submit a cover letter, resume, three references, and a writing sample no later than April 15, 2017, to Amanda Marzullo and Kate Black:
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Staff Attorney Position
Texas Defender Service (TDS) seeks an experienced attorney with outstanding legal skills, and a demonstrated commitment to indigent defense to serve as a staff attorney in its successful Capital Trial Project. This position does not involve direct representation. Rather, the CTP attorneys work with a mitigation specialist and fellows in training, consulting and related strategic work to improve the quality of capital defense in Texas.
Founded in 1995, TDS is non-profit law firm whose mission is to establish a fair criminal justice system in Texas, with an emphasis on the quality of justice affording those facing the death penalty. The Capital Trial Project tracks all death-eligible cases in Texas, monitors appointment of counsel, and trains, advises, and provides resources to defense teams for death-eligible defendants.
The ideal candidate: has excellent legal research and writing skills; is skilled in oral advocacy; works well in a team-based environment; is highly organized; and works effectively under pressure. Capital trial experience is preferred but not required. Knowledge of the latest developments in criminal law and experience training other attorneys also is desired. Given the nature of the work, the successful candidate should expect to work some evenings, weekends and holidays. Travel throughout Texas is required. All applicants must be eligible for licensure to practice law in Texas. Fluency in Spanish is a plus.
This is a full-time position and the attorney hired may choose to live in Austin or Houston. Salary will be based on experience.
Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, three references and a writing sample no later than March 31, 2017, to:
Texas Defender Service
ATTN: CTP Search
Houston, TX 77004
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Executive Director – Texas Defender Service
Texas Defender Service (TDS) is seeking an Executive Director. TDS is a private, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to safeguarding the fairness and accuracy of the Texas criminal justice system, with an emphasis on improving the quality of legal representation provided to those facing the death penalty. TDS’s mission includes:
(1) Direct representation at the trial and post-conviction level, including cases with the potential to challenge systemic inequities;
(2) Leveraging TDS’s knowledge about systemic injustices to advocate for legislative reform through the use of reports, media outreach and other public information opportunities;
(3) Consulting with and training attorneys at the trial and post-conviction levels to better enable them to advocate skillfully and vigorously for their clients, and serving as a resource for trial and postconviction counsel; and
(4) Monitoring and researching implementation of the Texas Fair Defense Act and other statutes in active death penalty counties, and using the data as the basis for administrative reform, advocacy, public education, and litigation.
TDS has offices in Houston and Austin. The Executive Director could be located in either office.
Since its inception in 1995, TDS has functioned as a vital safety net, watchdog, and agent for reform—roles that it is uniquely situated to perform due to its status as a non-governmental agency. The Executive Director will be responsible for ensuring that TDS continues its mission and remains a dynamic force in the Texas and national capital defense communities.
The Executive Director is expected to manage the various TDS missions—direct representation, consulting, training, and research. To accomplish these goals, the Executive Director must supervise two law offices and work collaboratively with a team consisting of the CFO, Post-Conviction Director, Trial Project Director, and Policy Director.
Experience in criminal defense and/or capital litigation and a demonstrated commitment to serving indigent persons. Experience in policy development is of interest, but not required.
SALARY AND BENEFITS
Salary is commensurate with experience, benefits package provided.
Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Interested persons are invited to send a cover letter and resume to: Amanda Marzullo, Interim Executive Director & Search Committee Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org
Intern with Texas Defender Service!
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