The Texas Office of Capital & Forensic Writs (OCFW) is hiring a staff attorney to represent death-sentenced clients in post-conviction proceedings. The OCFW represents persons sentenced to death in Texas in state habeas and related proceedings. Our practice involves claim investigation and drafting, litigation of live evidentiary hearings, and appellate advocacy. Thus, ideal candidates would be adept at both written and oral advocacy, as well as committed to client-centered, excellent post-conviction representation.
OCFW seeks applicants who take initiative, respond to rapidly changing demands with flexibility, and have a demonstrated track record of working well under pressure. Teamwork is a critical part of client representation, so candidates must have skill and comfort working collaboratively with colleagues. Frequent travel is required.
Represent clients on their initial and/or subsequent state post-conviction applications for writ of habeas corpus and related proceedings. Duties include: reviewing the trial and appellate record for constitutional error; interviewing witnesses; investigating and developing claims; drafting applications for writs of habeas corpus and other substantial pleadings; litigating evidentiary hearings.
Member of the Texas State Bar or eligible for admission within six months of employment (Please note that the Texas Bar allows for the admission without examination for certain applicants who have practiced law for at least five out of the last seven years. See Rule XIII, Rules of The Supreme Court Governing Admission to The Bar of Texas);
Experience, two years or more, representing low-income clients at trial, on appeal, or on post-conviction as a public defender or in a similar advocacy role (credit also given for judicial clerkship experience);
Strong written advocacy skills (writing sample required with application);
Pursuant to state law, OCFW may not employ an attorney who has been found by a state or federal court to have rendered ineffective assistance of counsel during the trial or appeal of a death penalty case.
Prior capital trial, appellate or post-conviction experience;
Familiarity with criminal and capital constitutional jurisprudence;
Excellent analytic, legal research, investigative, and oral advocacy skills;
Prior experience with factual investigation, mitigation investigation, and collaboration with expert witnesses;
Ability to work collaboratively in team settings; strengths in teamwork, client relations, investigation and relationship building;
Demonstrated commitment to working with low-income communities and communities of color, and a keen awareness of the class and racial issues present in the criminal justice system;
A demonstrated understanding of, or willingness to learn about, capital mitigation and mental-health issues;
Fluency in Spanish.
Ability to operate standard office equipment and software;
A valid driver’s license, and the willingness to operate a motor vehicle for client-representation purposes;
Ability and willingness to travel throughout Texas and, on occasion, out of state; frequent travel is required for this position.
Posting Date: March 21, 2017
Closing Date: Until filled
Job Listing Number: 215-18-03
OCFW Job Title: Post-Conviction Attorney
Location: Austin, TX
State Job Title: Attorney II
FLSA Status: Exempt
State Classification/Salary Step: B21 ($55,000 to $75,000, depending on qualifications)
Type of Job: Full Time
Travel Required: Yes (25%)
Please email the following materials to Ben Wolff (email@example.com): (1) a letter of interest; (2) a resume; (3) a writing sample; (4) a list of references; and (5) the mandated State of Texas Application for Employment
The Office of Capital & Forensic Writs is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, sex, religion, age or disability in employment or the provision of services. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, any request for reasonable accommodations needed during the application process should be communicated by the applicant to Sandra Justice, the Office of Capital & Forensic Writs Senior Accountant, at (512) 463-8520.
Additional Salary Information: depending on qualifications
About The Office of Capital and Forensic Writs
The Office of Capital and Forensic Writs ("OCFW") is a Texas state public defender office located in Austin, Texas that represents individuals in state post-conviction litigation. The OCFW, then known as the Office of Capital Writs, opened its doors in 2010, representing death-sentenced persons in state post-conviction proceedings exclusively. On September 1, 2015, the scope of the Office's mission expanded to include the representation of a select number of individuals raising challenges to their convictions through forensic science writs, and its name changed to reflect the expanded mandate.
The OCFW represents a substantial majority of persons sentenced to death in Texas in initial state habeas corpus applications and related proceedings, and is committed to client-centered and excellent post-conviction representation, consistent with the Guidelines and Standards for Texas Capital Counsel and the Supplementary Guidelines and Standards for the Mitigation Function of Defense Teams in Texas Death Penalty Cases adopted by the State Bar of Texas.