University of Baltimore Law School/Maryland Office of the Public Defender - Innocence Project Director

08 Oct 2020 1:48 PM | Rachel Settlage (Administrator)

THE UNIVERSITY OF BALTIMORE LAW SCHOOL, in conjunction with the Maryland Office of the Public Defender (OPD), is hiring a Director of the Innocence Project Clinic (IPC).  The IPC Director is a unique and collaborative position within OPD and the legal academy. Within UB, the IPC Director will have the rank of Professor of the Practice, a non-tenured faculty position, and will run the Innocence Project Clinic, teaching and supervising student attorneys who handle cases and advocate for reform within UB’s clinical law program. With respect to OPD, the IPC Director will report directly to the Public Defender and will provide Agency-wide support and strategic vision to innocence litigation. The IPC Director will work with OPD’s attorneys and staff both on individual cases as well as on broad reform goals. In collaboration with the Forensics Division, the IPC Director will serve as a resource and provide trainings to OPD attorneys and staff on relevant social science research (including coercive interrogation tactics,unreliable eyewitness identification practices), incorporating scientific research (including DNA testing) into legal arguments, and strategic ways to address newly discovered evidence. This position will be located in Baltimore, Maryland but may require local travel.

PRIMARY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Oversees screening and intake of cases with claims of actual innocence that are referred to the IPC by OPD, the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project (MAIP), private counsel or other organizations as well as pro sepetitions.
  • Identify from intake those cases that present valid factual innocence claims and review court files, trial, appellate and post-conviction proceedings, file and litigate Maryland Public Information Act Requests for law enforcement records and conduct any additional factual investigation that may be required to fully develop the claim. In appropriate cases, file pleadings and litigate cases.
  • Create and teach the Innocence Project Clinic, which entails teaching a weekly seminar, supervision meetings for each pairing of student attorneys, structuring student attorney self-reflection and evaluation, and providing supervision, feedback and evaluation to the student attorneys.
  • Supervise retained investigators and students who are conducting witness interviews and document collection.
  • Participate in law school activities including weekly clinical meetings, faculty meetings, faculty workshops, and other school events.
  • Retain forensic experts when necessary to develop and litigate claims.
  • Collaborate and consult with OPD’s Post Conviction Defenders Division to identify possible innocence cases, develop comprehensive litigation strategies on pending post conviction matters, and provide professional development opportunities to OPD staff.
  • Engage in legislative advocacy, consult with the Maryland Rules committee, file amicus briefs in connection with innocence issues.
  • Write grant proposals for federal and private foundation grants and manage existing federal and private foundation grants.
  • In collaboration with OPD and UB, manage press relationships in connection with exonerations, relevant legislative initiatives and related policy issues.
  • Keep abreast of legal and scientific developments that impact innocence cases and collaborate with OPD’s Forensics Division to identify emerging trends to strategically litigate new evidence of innocence.
  • Maintain case information and updates in both UB’s and OPD’s case management system.
  • Maintain and office and regular presence at OPD including regular office hours to foster a collaborative environmentand serve as an available resource and partner to OPD attorneys and staff.
  • Report directly and regularly to the Public Defender and maintain consistent communicationwith OPD regarding pending cases, litigation strategies and the development of in-house training programs.
  • Serve as a resource to OPD attorneys and staff on emerging scientific discoveries and social science research with implications on innocence litigation.

TRAINING AND QUALIFICATIONS

  • Minimum of three-years’ experience as a criminal defense attorney with expertise in DNA and other forms of scientific evidence as well as post-conviction innocence claims.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Experience or potential to be an excellent clinical law teacher; enthusiasm to work with law students; and an excellent academic record.
  • Demonstrated training and development skills.
  • The ability to build trusting, productive relationships with a wide range of stakeholders.
  • J.D. degree from an ABA accredited law school.
  • Active membership in good standing in the Maryland Bar or Bar of another state. (If the selected candidate is a member of the Bar of another State, the candidate must commit to becoming admitted to the Maryland Bar within 18 months of their start date.)

HOW TO APPLY:  If you wish to be considered for this position please click hereto fill out the application and please submit the following materials in one email to opd-jobs.law@maryland.gov: (1) current resume or CV, (2) cover letter indicating your specific interest in the position and outlining the skills and experience that directly related to the position and the above qualifications, (3) list of a minimum of three references, and (4) any law school teaching evaluations. In the subject line of the email please indicate “Innocence Project Director.” Incomplete applications will not be considered.

CLOSING DATE: OCTOBER 28,2020

The Maryland Office of the Public Defender (OPD) advocates statewide for securing justice, protecting civil rights, andpreserving liberty. We are 900+ employees strong and have been the voice of the voiceless across Maryland since 1972. OPD operates the Innocence Project Clinic in collaboration with the University of Baltimore School of Law (UB). The Innocence Project Clinic (IPC) works to exonerate the innocent, provide resources and holistic support to the exonerated, and prevent future wrongful convictions through education and policy reform. The Innocence Project Clinic screens over 200 cases annually to assess whether an innocence claim may have a viable wrongful conviction claim. OPD’s vision is for Justice, Fairness, and Dignity for All. Employees are committed to the core values of a culture ofexcellence, client-centered representation, tenacious advocacy, and are united as a team in achieving OPD’s mission.

The Maryland Office of the Public Defender is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to building a culturally diverse staff and strongly encourage people historically underrepresented in the practice of law to apply. Attorneys are full-time employees who serve at the pleasure of the Public Defender. Criminal Procedure Art., Section 16-203(d). Attorneys cannot engage in the private practice of law while in this position.


The University of Baltimore School of Law (UB),with its nationally-ranked clinical law program, educates students tobecome exceptional and principled lawyers; to contribute to local, national and international discourse about the law andlegal institutions; and to promote efforts to achieve justice in local, national, and international communities. As an urbanlaw school, we value diversity, academic excellence, and public service, and seek to improve the legal system and the qualityof people’s lives.



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