California Appellate Project – Attorney (CA Racial Justice Act Coordinator)

About The Company
California Appellate Project (“CAP”) is a nonprofit legal resource center funded by the Judicial Council of California to implement the constitutional right to counsel for indigent death row inmates challenging their convictions and sentences on direct appeal and through habeas corpus proceedings.

Job Description/Duties
CAP is accepting applications for employment as a RJA Open Case Coordinator. This is a Staff Attorney or Senior Staff Attorney position with primary responsibility for coordinating CAP’s assistance in capital appellate and habeas litigation under the California Racial Justice Act (RJA).

Under the RJA, individuals can challenge their convictions and sentences based on implicit or explicit racial bias. As the RJA Open Case Coordinator, the new hire will be responsible for: keeping abreast of all RJA developments inside and outside CAP and marshalling and maintaining resources for CAP staff and court-appointed counsel; reviewing individual cases for RJA violations and providing an assessment of potential litigation options; leading and coordinating case-specific RJA brainstorms; guiding office discussions about RJA litigation strategies; attending inter-agency RJA meetings and trainings; ensuring that CAP attorneys and the attorneys they assist are aware of the developments and best practices pertaining to this dynamic and groundbreaking legislation.

Based on the applicant’s experience level, the attorney position may also require a primary or supporting role in assisting appointed counsel as to other aspects of capital appellate litigation. In collaboration with court-appointed counsel, Staff Attorneys on CAP’s Appellate and Habeas Teams work to identify and develop issues for capital direct appeals and state habeas petitions; participate in and lead case consults with other CAP staff and court-appointed counsel; review draft motions, briefs, and other pleadings; provide resources, training and individualized edits, suggestions, and feedback; and assist preparation for oral argument with moot courts and brainstorming sessions.

Staff Attorneys are expected to keep current with changes in case law and legislation impacting capital cases. In addition to RJA duties, the new hire will assist other staff attorneys in these duties.
Attorneys must demonstrate skill and diplomacy in assisting appointed counsel in providing high quality representation. As the RJA Open Case Coordinator, the new hire must demonstrate particular skill and sensitivity to communicating effectively regarding issues around race and ethnicity.

Job Criteria
Work Experience
Ideal candidates will have the following qualifications. Attorneys with significant experience in RJA litigation or other experience litigating issues of race and ethnicity are encouraged to apply. CAP also welcomes applicants who demonstrate an under-represented perspective or exceptional skills in a particular area. Senior Staff Attorneys must have a minimum of 10 years’ experience practicing criminal law with substantial experience in capital representation and RJA litigation.

1. Admission to the California Bar.
2. At least four years of criminal defense experience, ideally with exposure or involvement in capital litigation or RJA litigation.
3. Deep commitment to working towards anti-racism and to improve the criminal justice system. Experience with or commitment to developing a strong understanding of the California Racial Justice Act.
4. Excellent analytical, interpersonal, organization, and writing skills.
5. Demonstrated knowledge of or willingness to learn California death penalty law and procedure, and commitment to advocacy on behalf of indigent defendants.
6. Experience in leading meetings and facilitating legal issue discussions.
7. Demonstrated ability to manage multiple litigation tasks in the face of time constraints.
8. Strong interpersonal and communication skills, particularly in discussing issues of race and ethnicity with sensitivity and candor, and an ability to maintain effective relationships with attorneys and staff in person, by email and by telephone.
9. Proven organizational skills, including planning, negotiating, effective problem-solving, and conflict resolution.
10. Spanish language fluency is a plus.
Working Conditions
CAP is conveniently located near public transportation in downtown San Francisco. Remote work is possible and is not a bar to consideration.

To Apply
Send a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and three references. Also, please indicate for which position you are applying, Staff Attorney or Senior Staff Attorney. To apply for the position, go to General correspondence about this position may be addressed to the Attorney Selection Committee at:

CAP is committed to cultivating an environment that embraces and promotes diversity. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer. All applicants regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or age, are encouraged to apply.

Salary Range/Hourly Rate
$81,000 – $174,036/Year

Other Benefits and Perks
Health care, dental, life insurance, flexible work arrangements, paid time off.

Job Category: Appellate
Job Type: Full Time
Job Location: San Francisco