The Women’s Defense Initiative Advocate is a 2-year non-renewing position with the Center on Wrongful Convictions. The Advocate will be tasked with working on the Women’s Defense Initiative (WDI) of the Center and will be responsible for tracking and researching developing issues that are commonly present in women’s wrongful conviction cases. The Advocate will coordinate WDI efforts to identify, screen, and litigate post-conviction cases of women whose cases fall within the WDI’s mission. The Advocate will act as the WDI’s liaison with exonerated and other freed women, and assist, as necessary, with organizing public and legal education programming on behalf of the WDI. The Advocate reports to the Director and the Associate Director of the Women’s Defense Initiative.
Northwestern Pritzker Law prides itself on its active and diverse community, which brings together a passionate and talented group of students, staff, and faculty. The Law School endeavors to take principled action towards ensuring that we live up to our responsibility—and our institutional values—to create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community for all constituents. Law School leadership commits to working tirelessly to ensure every member feels valued, all students can study and train to be successful in their careers, all staff members can develop personally and professionally, and where our faculty can both teach and support our students and produce top quality research and scholarship.
Case Review and Development
Manage the case review process for the Women’s Defense Initiative, including screening, investigating, and assisting with case litigation.
Track demographic data for women who request counsel for the WDI to assess geographic and other needs.
Perform comprehensive legal and quantitative research projects on issues related to the causes and remedies of wrongful convictions of women, including developments in forensic science, legal developments with regards to sentencing mitigation, and charging and sentencing laws that might disproportionately affect women.
Synthesize findings into legal memoranda, reports, and other materials.
Data Collection and Research Development
Collect data on cases where women were wrongfully convicted or wrongfully sentenced, to foster and support ongoing research on the factors that affect women in the criminal justice system.
Exoneree/Freed Women and Public Engagement
Develop and maintain relationships with exonerated and freed women in the United States
Support efforts to foster opportunities to connect wrongfully convicted or sentenced women with one another.
Assist the Director and Associate Director in creating and presenting educational programs for attorneys and the public on issues related to post-conviction matters as they relate to women.
Performs other duties as assigned.
Admission to the Illinois Bar, or eligibility to be admitted within 3 months of beginning position.
1-3 years of legal practice experience.
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
A demonstrated interest in defense work and/or criminal justice for women.
Experience conducting legal research.
A willingness to travel as needed throughout Illinois and the surrounding states.
Organization; analytical thinking; big-picture thinking; curiosity; ability to work independently, as well as collaborate as part of a team.
Demonstrated significant writing and editing skills.
Experience working in the areas of criminal defense, criminal appeals, or criminal post-conviction.
Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)
Experience creating and/or presenting educational programs or seminars.
Experience working in a legal setting.
Highly proficient with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Lexis and/or Westlaw.
Excellent written and oral communication skills.
Ability to remain organized amidst multiple competing demands
Demonstrates initiative and follow-through.
The Northwestern campus sits on the traditional homelands of the people of the Council of Three Fires, the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Odawa as well as the Menominee, Miami and Ho-Chunk nations. We acknowledge and honor the original people of the land upon which Northwestern University stands, and the Native people who remain on this land today.
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Click for information on EEO is the Law.
Internal Number: 41222
About Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a major private research university with 12 academic divisions located on three campuses in Evanston, Chicago, and Education City in Doha, Qatar. We have approximately 2,500 full-time faculty members, 17,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and over 5,700 full and part-time staff. Northwestern University combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth.
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