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23 Jan 2024

Full-Time Postconviction Unit Paralegal

Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel – Posted by peopleadvocate@coloradoadc.com Denver, Colorado, United States

Job Description

The Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel (OADC) seeks a dedicated, skilled legal professional to join our new Postconviction Unit (PCU). The PCU Paralegal will play a vital role on our PCU defense team, providing support to five attorneys and collaborating with several other interdisciplinary team members. This is an exciting opportunity to join a new unit and improve indigent postconviction representation. If you are a highly motivated and detail-oriented individual with a passion for holistic criminal defense, we encourage you to apply.

About Us:

The OADC is the state agency responsible for providing legal representation for indigent adults and youth charged with criminal or delinquent acts, where the Office of the State Public Defender (OSPD) has a conflict of interest. Traditionally, the OADC has accomplished this by contracting with over 400 private attorneys and another 500 legal service providers (forensic social workers/clinical advocates, paralegals, investigators, legal researchers, case assistants, etc.) to provide client services on an hourly basis. The PCU is a new in-house endeavor. Our fundamental belief is that good holistic legal defense teams produce good results for our clients.

Mission Statement:

The OADC’s mission is to help adults and children charged with criminal and delinquent offenses through the practice of holistic public defense. The OADC’s holistic practice model fosters ethical, informed, and standard-driven best practices in public defense. The OADC allocates resources in a manner intentionally designed to rebalance the disparate power wielded by the government in the criminal legal system. The OADC advocates for every client’s inherent worth and dignity by centering the client’s lived experiences and voice to achieve the best legal outcome.

The OADC is dedicated to zealous, client-centered advocacy rooted in social justice, integrity, and humility. We recognize that we are working within a broken and racist criminal legal system. Public defense advocates play an essential role in challenging bias and disparity within the courtroom, within our offices, and within ourselves. Statistical data and experiences support that there is a disparate presence of violent policing, over-charging, and harsher sentencing outcomes for Colorado’s people of color and other vulnerable populations. The OADC is unwavering in its support of decarceration, the decriminalization of youth, and equity within the criminal legal system.

 

Our EDI Vision:

accelerate Equity, advance Diversity, amplify Inclusion – together #SeeStriveTransformTogether

 

The OADC believes that transforming EDI work at this core level takes courage and intention. The work has progressed from the inside out – beginning first with building a team united in its understanding of and deep commitment to EDI and working to actualize this commitment through efforts to shape and refine our culture, spaces, and practices.

About the Job:

The new OADC Postconviction Unit will provide direct representation to indigent criminal clients pursuing claims under Crim. P. Rule 35(c) and 35(a), where the OSPD has declared a conflict of interest. The PCU will operate independently within the agency structure. Once it is fully staffed, the PCU will consist of the Director, the PCU Coordinator, four Staff Attorneys, one PCU Paralegal, two Investigators, and one Licensed Social Worker.

The PCU Paralegal will be responsible for supporting the legal team in a variety of ways, including but not limited to:

  • Obtaining and organizing relevant case records and documents, including copies of the court file, transcripts, appellate documents, attorney files, discovery, Department of Corrections records, and any other relevant electronic or paper information.
  • Creating spreadsheets, word tables, or other organizational platforms to maintain, share, and summarize case records and information.
  • Reviewing discovery or other legal records with the client.
  • Collaborating with other team members to identify and gather evidence, investigative materials, and other relevant information.
  • Researching legal issues, including reviewing statutes, rules, case law, and legal articles.
  • Drafting a range of different motions, pleadings, and legal memoranda with attorney guidance.
  • Proofreading, editing, redacting, and filing documents and pleadings.
  • Assisting with hearing preparation and courtroom support, including compiling hearing materials and/or trial notebooks with digital bookmarks and indexes, coordinating witness testimony, tracking exhibits, client communication, note-taking and providing technical assistance with audio/visual platforms for evidence and electronic/video presentations.
  • Drafting and responding to correspondence from clients, family members, and other parties to exchange pertinent information.

About You:

We are committed to fostering a culture of inclusion and an environment of representation diversity, and encourage individuals of many identities, backgrounds, and experiences to apply.

Our ideal candidate will be self-motivated, team-oriented, and possess strong attention to detail and organizational skills. The PCU Paralegal will work closely with the entire interdisciplinary team to provide the best legal defense for our clients.

There is a preference for individuals who have:

  • Self-directed organizational and time-management skills with the ability to multi-task and meet short deadlines.
  • Familiarity with the criminal legal system and the practice of criminal defense.
  • Empathy for the needs and histories of people with criminal records.
  • Culturally responsive practices while serving marginalized or underrepresented populations and communities.
  • Understanding of the client-attorney privilege and confidentiality. • High level of initiative, enthusiasm, and motivation.
  • Knowledge of Colorado criminal legal terminology, rules, and statutes.
  • Ability and desire to work collaboratively within a team and independently.
  • Experience conducting legal research with Westlaw or other legal research databases.
  • Experience using the Colorado Courts e-filing (CCEF) system and the Colorado Criminal e-discovery (CDAC) system.
  • Experience using office software systems such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, and audio/visual software and equipment, as well as the ability to learn new programs.
  • Strong verbal and written communication.
  • Proficiency in Spanish that enhances our ability to provide comprehensive legal services.

It is also helpful, but not necessary, to possess one of the following qualifications:

  • A paralegal or legal assistant certification.
  • Graduation from a paralegal program and relevant work experience.
  • A bachelor’s degree plus two years of paralegal work experience.
  • At least two years of law-related work experience under the supervision of an attorney.

This job description is intended to convey the scope of the position but is not an exhaustive list of responsibilities or requirements. This is a new position. Responsibilities will likely evolve over time to meet the changing needs of the unit and organization.

The OADC is a collaborative agency designed for people who thrive in a team environment. This position reports to the Postconviction Unit Director and will engage with other OADC team members.

If you are offered employment, the following are the conditions of employment:

  • Be a current resident of the State of Colorado or become a resident of the State of Colorado within 30 days of the hire date;
  • Be willing to submit to a routine background investigation, including a criminal history check; and
  • If hired, the Immigration Reform and Control Act requires you to provide proof of your eligibility to work in the United States within three workdays.

Benefits & Equal Opportunity:

The State of Colorado is committed to providing employees with a comprehensive and competitive benefits package that supports you, your health, and your family. Click here for further information about State of Colorado Employee Benefits. In addition to benefits offered by the State of Colorado, there is a gym located in the Ralph Carr Building for use by OADC employees, you will receive an RTD pass, a cell phone stipend each month, and a flexible work schedule.

Salary Range: $57,756 – $70,320

FLSA Status: Exempt

Location: Colorado

The Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel is an equal-opportunity employer that is committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, age, religion, social class, national origin, marital or parental status, pregnancy, disability status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, veteran status, or political affiliation. We are committed to fostering a culture of inclusion and an environment of representative diversity and encourage individuals of many identities, backgrounds, and experiences to apply.

To request accommodation, please contact Juanise Cornell at pe************@co*********.com or (720) 994-2840 as soon as possible. Any person with a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) may be provided a reasonable accommodation upon request to enable the person to participate in the hiring process. The person making the request may be asked to provide additional information regarding functional limitations and the type of accommodation needed, which will be kept confidential. Advance preparation may be required, so timely requests for accommodation are appreciated.

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How to Apply

In the online application, you must provide a resume, cover letter, and answer several questions. You may also upload two letters of recommendation. Please complete the online application at the link below by 11:59 pm on Monday, February 5, 2024. https://fs2.formsite.com/OADC/nd3fixmbri/index Once you submit your application, you will receive an automatic email from Formsite. Please add noreply@fs2.formsite.com as a safe sender. If you cannot find this email, please look in your spam/junk folder. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. Faxed, mailed, or emailed applications will not be accepted. Please direct any additional inquiries or questions to pcuparalegaljob@coloradoadc.com.

Job Categories: Equal Opportunities. Job Types: Full-Time. Salaries: 40,000 - 60,000.

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