Policy Advocate

Texas Defender Service (TDS) is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the Texas criminal justice system by reducing unfair use of the death penalty and by implementing an effective indigent defense system. In addition to providing quality direct representation, TDS works to improve the quality of justice in the Lone Star State through the publication of reports and advocacy before state policy-making bodies.

Position Overview
TDS seeks a recent law graduate or an individual with a background in a related field (e.g., sociology, public policy, criminology) to assist with our advocacy efforts at the Texas Capitol. The right candidate will have sound judgment, and a commitment to improving Texas’s criminal justice system.

The advocate will report to the Executive Director and work with other members of TDS’s senior management team to review proposed legislation and provide feedback to lawmakers, draft legislative testimony, appear at committee hearings, and represent the organization before the Texas Indigent Defense Commission and the Forensic Science Commission.

This position also involves close collaboration with the larger capital habeas and trial communities, which are composed of highly committed and talented lawyers.

The ideal candidate will have some experience with public policy analysis, strong writing skills, and knowledge of the criminal justice system. Experience in criminal defense and/or with the Texas Legislature are strongly preferred. In addition, applicants should be comfortable at hearings; possess strong oral, written, research, and investigation skills; work well in a team-based environment and capable of handling a demanding boss who cares deeply about TDS’s work.

This position is located in Austin. Salary will be based on experience.

Interested candidates should electronically submit a cover letter, resume, three references and a writing sample to Amanda Marzullo, Executive Director, (

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, but should be submitted no later than October 14, 2018.

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