Post-Conviction Attorney (Forensic Science Practice)

The Texas Office of Capital and Forensic Writs (OCFW) is opening a new practice to provide representation to incarcerated persons in non-capital cases where the conviction rests on questionable forensic science. OCFW will review and litigate cases referred by the Texas Forensic Science Commission when the forensic analysis at trial was tainted by negligence or misconduct. Cases will likely include challenges in a wide array of forensic disciplines, such as bitemarks, toolmarks, DNA, bloodstain patterns, hair microscopy, arson, and toxicology.

OCFW is seeking a staff attorney to represent clients in these cases. Ideal candidates would be adept at both written and oral advocacy, understand different areas of challenge in forensics, and committed to client-centered, excellent post-conviction representation.

Job Description:

Duties include: building rapport with and counseling clients; reviewing the trial and appellate record for constitutional error; interviewing witnesses; evaluating scientific research and incorporating it into legal arguments; investigating and developing science-based claims; drafting applications for writs of habeas corpus and other substantial pleadings; litigating evidentiary hearings; interfacing with the Texas Forensic Science Commission and other stakeholders. 

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Member of the Texas State Bar or eligible for admission within six months of employment (Please note that the Texas Bar allows for the admission without examination for certain applicants who have practiced law for at least five out of the last seven years. See Rule XIII, Rules of The Supreme Court Governing Admission to The Bar of Texas);
  • Experience representing low-income clients at trial, on appeal, or on post-conviction, or as a judicial law clerk;
  • Ability to work collaboratively in team settings; strengths in teamwork, client relations, investigation and relationship building;    
  • Strong written advocacy skills (writing sample required with application);
  • Excellent analytic, legal research, and oral advocacy skills.

Preferred Qualifications:               

  • Two years or more of experience representing low-income clients at trial, on appeal, or on post-conviction, or as a judicial law clerk;
  • Prior experience with factual investigation, and the litigation of forensic science-related issues;
  • Experience with and the ability to understand, summarize and translate complex research for a lay audience
  • Demonstrated commitment to social justice, indigent defense, and criminal justice reform;
  • Fluency in Spanish.

Employment Conditions:

  • Pursuant to state law, OCFW may not employ an attorney who has been found by a state or federal court to have rendered ineffective assistance of counsel;
  • Ability to operate standard office equipment and software;
  • A valid driver’s license, and the willingness to operate a motor vehicle for client-representation purposes;
  • Ability and willingness to travel throughout Texas and, on occasion, out of state; frequent travel is required for this position.

Additional Details:

Posting Date: August 13, 2019
Closing Date: Until Filled
Job Listing Number: 215-19-02
Location: Austin, Texas
State Job Title: Attorney III
FLSA Status: Exempt
State Classification/Salary Step B23 ($60,000 to $70,000, depending on experience and qualifications)
Type of Job: Full time
Travel Required: Yes (25%)

How to Apply:

To apply for this position, send: (1) a letter of interest; (2) a resume; (3) a list of references; (4) a writing sample; and (5) the mandated State of Texas Application for Employment to: hiring@ocfw.texas.gov.

State applications are available at:

https://twc.texas.gov/files/jobseekers/texas-application-employment-twc.pdf.

Veterans, Reservist or Guardsmen with an MOS or additional duties that fall in the fields of 27A, 27B, 250X, LGL10, 04, 4402, 51JX, or other related fields pertaining to the minimum experience requirements may meet the minimum qualifications. Additional Military Crosswalk information can be accessed at:          http://www.hr.sao.state.tx.us/Compensation/MilitaryCrosswalk/MOSC_Legal.pdf.

 

The Office of Capital & Forensic Writs is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, sex, religion, age or disability in employment or the provision of services. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, any request for reasonable accommodations needed during the application process should be communicated by the applicant to Sandra Justice, the Office of Capital & Forensic Writs Senior Accountant, at (512) 463-8520.



Updated Tuesday, August 13, 2019