Committee for Public Counsel Services

  • 2019 Innocence Program Fellowship

    Job Locations US-MA-Somerville
    ID
    2018-1641
    # of Openings
    1
    Posted Date
    8/9/2018
    Type
    Intern
    Salary
    Unpaid position - applicant must secure outside funding
  • Overview

    The Committee for Public Counsel Services Innocence Program (IP), located in Somerville Massachusetts, is accepting applications for sponsored public interest fellowships beginning in the fall of 2019. Third-year law students and attorneys seeking funding from outside sources and school-specific sources for work involving criminal justice may apply. You are encouraged to apply to the CPCS Innocence Program to secure your placement here prior to applying to your funding organization. Note: The CPCS Innocence Program does not fund its own in-house fellowship; please apply to CPCS only if you are seeking outside funding from an organization (e.g. Equal Justice Works or Soros) and/or law school.


     


    Diversity and Inclusion Mission Statement


    CPCS is committed to protecting the fundamental constitutional and human rights of its clients by providing zealous advocacy, community-oriented defense, and excellent representation. In fulfilling its mission, CPCS is committed to fostering diversity at all levels of the agency. We are dedicated to building a strong professional relationship with each of our clients, to understanding their diverse circumstances, and to meeting their needs. In striving always to achieve those goals, CPCS embraces diversity and inclusion as core values and is steadfast in our commitment to: (1) ensuring that CPCS management and staff members represent a broad range of human difference and experience; (2) providing a work climate that is respectful and that supports success; and (3) promoting the dignity and well-being of all staff members. CPCS's leadership is responsible for ensuring excellence, diversity, and inclusion. Our ability to achieve these goals depends on the efforts of all of us.


     


    Position Overview


     


    The Committee for Public Counsel Services Innocence Program (IP), located in Somerville Massachusetts, is accepting applications for sponsored public interest fellowships beginning in the fall of 2019. Third-year law students and attorneys seeking funding from outside sources and school-specific sources for work involving criminal justice may apply. You are encouraged to apply to the CPCS Innocence Program to secure your placement here prior to applying to your funding organization. Note: The CPCS Innocence Program does not fund its own in-house fellowship; please apply to CPCS only if you are seeking outside funding from an organization (e.g. Equal Justice Works or Soros) and/or law school. 


     


    Applications Preferred by August 31, 2018


     


    The IP is a unit of the Massachusetts public defender’s office that is devoted to identifying and fighting wrongful convictions across the state. Our staff and private panel attorneys represent indigent state defendants who have been convicted and punished for crimes they did not commit. We accept both DNA and non-DNA based innocence claims, with special attention to cases involving eyewitness identification evidence, flawed or invalidated forensic science testimony, and false confessions. In the 7 years since our creation, our staff and panel attorneys have been instrumental in securing the release of 13 wrongfully convicted Massachusetts defendants, 8 of whom have been fully exonerated. We also helped establish an innovative partnership with prosecutors, criminal clerks, and scientists from the Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory to identify areas of common concern related to wrongful convictions.


     


    Subject Area of the Fellowship


     


    The IP welcomes fellowship applications on any significant issue involving innocence litigation, wrongful convictions, prisoner reentry, or community engagement on these topics. Recent IP fellows have co-counseled cases in active litigation to seek DNA testing or challenge wrongful convictions. They also created training resources for trial attorneys and post-conviction attorneys, researching causes of wrongful convictions including hair microscopy, false confessions, and informants and snitches.

    Qualifications

    Applicants should have a commitment to criminal justice issues and to the importance of whole-client representation, be self-motivated, and be able to work well with a wide range of people. Excellent research and writing skills are required.


     


    How to Apply:


     


    Please upload a resume, list of references, and writing sample, along with a cover letter indicating specific interests, possible project proposal, and fellowship or funding source(s).


     


    Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, with preference given to those application received by August 31, 2018.


     

    Responsibilities

    Job Description


     


    Fellows will work with IP staff and panel attorneys on the evaluation, investigation and litigation of post-conviction innocence cases in Massachusetts, including direct representation in a co-counsel capacity. Fellows also work with staff members on non-litigation projects, including the development of educational resources and programs related to wrongful convictions and community engagement around the causes and costs of wrongful convictions. The fellowship’s length will be governed by the funding organization’s policy.


     


     


    EEO Statement


    The Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, sex, disability, religion, age, veteran or military status, genetic information, gender identity, or sexual orientation as required by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other applicable federal and state statutes and organizational policies. Applicants who have questions about equal employment opportunity or who need reasonable accommodations can contact the Director of Human Resources Management, Lisa Bacon, at lbacon@publiccounsel.net.

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