California Appellate Project – Investigative Caseworker

About The Company
The California Appellate Project (“CAP”) is accepting applications for the position of Investigative Caseworker. 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
This person will report to CAP’s Habeas Team and to CAP’s Unrepresented Project Team and will provide vigorous and thorough litigation support work on behalf of indigent defendants.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
1. Work with client and defense team to devise investigation plan and gather essential life history and case records for each client.
2. Review transcripts, pleadings, records, and witness files to gain an understanding of the case to prepare for record gathering and/or interviews and/or brainstorming specific issues and new legal developments.
3. Perform document searches, make record requests, log & track requests, and process incoming records according to CAP protocols.
4. Perform regular client interviews in a correctional setting and/or via video link and/or via a confidential phone call.
5. Become familiar with prison regulations to work with and advocate for incarcerated clients on an as needed basis;
6. Create and update working documents for eventual litigation, including indices, chronologies, family trees and other documents on an as-needed basis.
7. Travel to perform in-person records collection or witness interviews when necessary.
8. Conduct subject matter research into the client’s life or case history (e.g., foreign nationality, historical context, cultural background, medical or mental health history, substance abuse, environmental toxins, and other topics as the team determines).
9. Attend relevant, state-of-the-art training and seminars on at least a yearly basis.
10. Create resource materials – publications, trainings, presentations, or informational emails – for in-house and/or defense community use.
11. Supervise students and volunteers.

Job Criteria
1. Fluency in Spanish preferred.
2. Demonstrable interest in social justice including an interest in and ability to effectively work with individuals whose lives are impacted by poverty, racism and/or xenophobia, historical oppression, incarceration, mental illness, disability, and other difficult circumstances.
3. Knowledge of, or ability to learn, procedures for obtaining records (including but not limited to court records, medical records, social security records, school records, military records) and other documents.
4. Excellent attention to detail, superior organizational, planning, and follow-through skills.
5. Excellent written/ verbal communication skills including understanding and following directions from multiple supervising attorneys, to ask appropriate questions to clarify assignments, and to check in regularly regarding progress and problems.
6. Able to work cooperatively with CAP attorneys, support staff, investigators, and interns.
7. Sufficient maturity to handle confidential matters with discretion and sound judgment.
8. Proficient in Microsoft Word® and Microsoft Excel®, and ability to learn other computer programs, including Aderant Total Office,® and Case Map.®
9. Able to travel as needed; ability to plan and implement travel arrangements.
10. Knowledge of, or ability to learn, advanced legal concepts, terminology, principles and practices, and legal research techniques.
11. Ability to take initiative in identifying and pursuing investigative leads.
12. Ability to complete assigned tasks in a timely manner.
13. College Degree.
14. Valid California Driver’s License.
15. Ability to obtain clearance to visit a prison.

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, the names of two references and responses to the following supplemental questionnaire:

1) Why are you interested in working for California Appellate Project?
2) What experience do you have performing general, criminal defense and/or capital investigations?
3) What experience do you have obtaining and reviewing court, social, medical, and legal records?
4) What experience do you have drafting, reviewing and editing reports, summaries and witness information?

Please submit this information to us at as soon as possible. We expect to begin interviewing in the second half of August or earlier.

Working Conditions:
CAP is conveniently located near public transportation in downtown San Francisco. Remote work on a part-time basis is a possibility and is not a bar to consideration.

Salary Range/Hourly Rate
$29.16/hr – $38.98/hr

Other Benefits and Perks
Health care, dental, vision, life insurance, paid time off

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