The Innocence Project of Florida, Inc. (IPF) is seeking a Staff Investigator with a demonstrated passion for social justice issues, beginning immediately in its Tallahassee, Florida office. The Staff Investigator will be a full-time position and will report directly to the Executive Director. The Innocence Project of Florida is a 501(c)(3) non-profit legal defense organization dedicated to representing individuals in Florida prisons who can prove their innocence through the use of DNA testing or other newly discovered evidence. IPF is the premier criminal justice organization in Florida and has helped secure the release of numerous individuals who collectively spent over 550 years in prison for crimes they didn’t commit.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS
PERFORM RESEARCH AND FIELD INVESTIGATION:
- Review case files and interview defendants in an effort to gather more information about their cases;
- Locate witnesses and gather background information on cases using public or specialized online databases;
- Conduct witness interviews in cases at the screening, investigation or litigation stage of IPF’s case acceptance/litigation process;
- Create investigative memoranda that document all investigative actions and submit those memoranda to IPF attorneys;
- Assist the Intake Coordinator to gather or provide onsite review of necessary public records and other case materials;
- Correspond with courthouse or law enforcement personnel in an effort to locate evidence from cases of interest;
- Serve as a member of the legal staff tasked with the ultimate decision to accept cases for litigation;
- At the direction of IPF attorneys, keep clients informed of investigative process via writing or face-to-face meetings;
- Assist IPF attorneys with court hearings (review filings, serve subpoenas, prepare witnesses for their testimony, provide transportation to witnesses to hearing, and attend hearings).
- Must be willing to sign affidavits to support court filings and testify under oath if necessary;
- Provide training and assistance to IPF’s students in their investigative and case review efforts;
- Prepare and notarize witness affidavits;
- Collect DNA Samples;
- Create detailed witness charts;
- Write comprehensive fact investigation memoranda;
- Collaborate with conviction integrity unit staff, as appropriate;
- Maintain Florida Notary commission; and
- Perform investigative tasks for other innocence organizations, as assigned.
HELPING TO CHOOSE IPF’S CASES:
- Take part in regular legal team meetings to:
- Review case memoranda and collaboratively decide whether to accept or reject cases for representation; and
- Update legal team on status of active investigations;
- Collaborate with legal staff to consider process improvements to intake and screening process;
- Periodically assist Intake Department in reducing intake backlogs, as assigned by Executive Director.
TEACHING, MENTORING AND SUPERVISION OF STUDENTS:
- Teach assigned topics as part of IPF’s intern education program; and
- Provide students opportunities for out-of-office experiences, such as prison visits and field investigation.
RAISING AWARENESS ABOUT WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS AND IPF:
- Represent IPF at community, educational, fundraising and civic events, including giving oral presentations about IPF and wrongful convictions, as assigned; and
- Participate in virtual awareness events, as assigned.
QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE
All candidates must have a Bachelor’s degree, and preferred candidates will possess at least 1-2 years of experience in criminal defense and/or postconviction investigation. All candidates must either be a Florida Notary Public or be willing to obtain such licensure. Fluency in reading, writing, and speaking Spanish is a plus.
The selected candidate must possess:
- Superior communication and listening skills, including the ability to effectively communicate with individuals of diverse backgrounds and varied educational levels;
- Superior writing skills, with specific experience drafting legal and investigative memoranda;
- A willingness to teach and supervise the work of students and volunteers;
- Impeccable organizational skills and a demonstrated ability to multitask;
- A self-motivated work ethic and ability to direct their own work-flow, while also working well in a collaborative, team-oriented environment; and
- An incredibly patient personality.
Besides being afforded the opportunity to work in an exciting, dynamic and collegial small-office environment, the Staff Investigator will receive a generous public interest salary commensurate with their level of experience; full health insurance coverage, short- and long-term disability coverage, life insurance and a generous vacation and sick time allowance.
As of March 2020, all of Innocence Project of Florida’s operations have moved online. The person who is hired for this position will be expected to visit IPF’s office in Tallahassee, FL and travel throughout Florida and beyond to perform field investigation while maintaining appropriate safety protocols. The Staff Investigator’s day-to-day job will be carried out remotely until otherwise indicated.
HOW TO APPLY
No later than May 14, 2021, please send a cover letter, resume, list of references and salary requirements to Seth Miller, Executive Director at email@example.com, with “Staff Investigator Position” in the Subject Line.
The Innocence Project Florida is an equal-opportunity, affirmative-action employer, that strives for diversity among its applicant pool as well as within its staff and board. We do not discriminate in employment decisions based on race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, age or disability. We strongly encourage people from all backgrounds, especially racial and ethnic minorities, veterans, people with disabilities, and smart people with non-linear/non-traditional experience and educational backgrounds to apply for this position. Most importantly, no matter their background, the person selected for this position must embrace, advocate for, and deeply value equity, diversity, and inclusivity.