NACDL is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal justice system. For more information about our organization, please visit www.nacdl.org.
NACDL is pleased to provide staff with a generous compensation and benefits package. NACDL affords the successful candidate an opportunity to work with a dedicated and talented team of experts.
NACDL has a longstanding commitment to reducing prison sentences, and the First Step Act provides new opportunities to advance that objective. The Counsel & Project Director will lead and coordinate NACDL’s efforts to maximize the relief available under the First Step Act. This includes identifying, developing and disseminating resources; planning and executing trainings; and tracking developments in the interpretation and application of the law. Counsel & Project Director will monitor Justice Department and Sentencing Commission implementation policies and coordinate appropriate responses. With respect to the First Step Act’s expanded mechanisms for post-conviction sentencing relief, the Counsel & Project Director will work with NACDL’s project partners to identify and screen cases, undertake direct representation and recruit pro bono counsel, and otherwise work to ensure these provisions benefit the maximum number of prisoners.
Roles and Responsibilities
- Provide technical expertise to NACDL members by identifying, developing and disseminating resources; planning and executing trainings; and tracking developments in the interpretation and application of the law.
- Promote full and fair application of the First Step Act by monitoring Justice Department and Sentencing Commission implementation policies and coordinating appropriate responses.
- Work with NACDL’s project partners to identify and screen cases for potential post-conviction sentencing relief; undertake direct representation and recruit pro bono counsel; and otherwise work to ensure the First Step Act’s post-conviction provisions benefit the maximum number of prisoners.
- Undertake research projects to provide practitioners and policymakers with a full picture of the law’s application and deficiencies.
- Collaborate with NACDL’s First Step Act Implementation Task Force, comprised of prominent practitioners, academics and policy experts.
- Draft NACDL testimony, formal comments, and amicus briefs.
- Engage in public speaking opportunities that support project goals and initiatives.
Experience and Qualifications
The applicant must possess the following qualifications:
- J.D. and active bar membership
- Minimum five years of federal criminal defense experience
- Commitment to criminal justice reform and understanding of sentencing policy issues
- Excellent legal research and writing skills and ability to engage in complex legal analysis and fact-finding
- Ability to work both independently and as part of a team
- Ability to work well with NACDL’s leaders, members, staff, and allies
- Ability to cultivate relationships with outside individuals, pro bono law firms and legal and policy organizations
To apply: Send cover letter, resume and writing sample (5-10 pp.) to email@example.com with “Counsel & Project Director” in the subject line. Applicants are also asked to provide a realistic statement of their salary expectation. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Position open until filled, but prospective candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
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