California Appellate Project – Staff Attorney or Senior Staff Attorney

About The Company
California Appellate Project 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
California Appellate Project (“CAP”) is accepting applications for employment as a Staff Attorney or Senior Staff Attorney, depending on experience. The Attorney’s time will be split between two of CAP’s teams — the Appellate Team and the Unrepresented Condemned Inmate Project (“UCIP”). 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.

Appellate Team Role and Responsibilities:
​In collaboration with court-appointed counsel, attorneys on CAP’s Appellate Team work to identify and develop issues for capital direct appeals; review draft motions, briefs and other pleadings at all stages of a California direct appeal from record correction to petitions for writs of certiorari; provide resources, training and individualized edits, suggestions and feedback; and assist preparation for oral argument with moot courts and brainstorming sessions; to ensure high quality representation on appeal. Attorneys also help counsel with setting and meeting target dates to ensure that work projects are completed in a timely and competent manner. Attorneys must demonstrate skill and diplomacy in assisting appointed counsel in providing high quality representation.

A Staff Attorney assists Senior Staff Attorneys in accomplishing these tasks and may take responsibility for cases under supervision of a Senior Staff Attorney. A Senior Staff Attorney manages cases and other team related duties under the supervision of the Appellate Team Supervising Attorney. Additionally, Senior Staff Attorneys are expected to show a high level of leadership capability. They are responsible for initiating and shaping solutions to legal or administrative problems and must collaborate with other team members and CAP staff in doing so.

​Unrepresented Team Role and Responsibilities:
The UCIP Staff Attorney position will be responsible for overseeing a caseload of unrepresented incarcerated capitally sentenced people whose cases all require ongoing record collection work, communications with clients (and client advocacy in certain instances) and vigilant attention to applicable changes in the law. The UCIP attorney must have superior communication skills to work with a range of people – including clients, client family members, records clerks, court clerks, correctional facility personnel, colleagues, trial counsel, and both in-house and sister agency legal experts who may be called upon to advise on the complex issues arising in capital cases in light of recent legislation. As part of the record gathering responsibility, the UCIP attorney develops expertise in the law governing public and non-public information (e.g., CPRA, FOIA, and HIPAA). The UCIP attorney should be able and willing to travel to correctional facilities around the state to meet with clients.

Job Criteria
Minimum Qualifications:
1. Admission to the California Bar 
2. Proven litigation skills, with at least three years of criminal law practice, preferably in California. Senior Staff Attorneys must have a minimum of 10 years’ experience practicing criminal law with substantial experience in capital representation.
3. Superior legal analysis and writing 
4. Demonstrated knowledge of California death penalty law and procedure, and commitment to vigorous advocacy on behalf of indigent defendants
5. Knowledge of Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook), Word Perfect, and legal research databases (e.g., Westlaw, Lexis). 
6. Demonstrated ability to manage multiple litigation tasks in the face of time constraints
7. Exceptional communication skills; ability to develop and maintain good working relationships with outside counsel, clients, clients’ families, other witnesses, expert consultants, court personnel, other parties encountered in the performance of job duties, and CAP colleagues.
8. An understanding of how to communicate with and demonstrate both caring and appropriate boundaries to people from diverse backgrounds who may be experiencing a mental or physical disability.
9. Proven organizational skills, including planning, negotiating, effective problem‐solving, and conflict resolution.

Salary Range/Hourly Rate
$81,000-$174,000

Other Benefits and Perks
Paid Time-off, Flexible Work Location, Retirement Plan, Health care, Dental insurance, Vision, Life Insurance, LTD insurance

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