The Prison Law Office, located in Berkeley, California, is seeking a staff attorney to investigate, litigate and monitor conditions in correctional facilities.
The Prison Law Office is a nonprofit public interest law firm founded in 1976 that provides free legal services to incarcerated adults and juveniles to improve their conditions of confinement in various correctional settings, including prisons, jails, juvenile halls and immigration detention facilities. With a staff of attorneys and support personnel, we engage in class action and other impact litigation in California, Arizona, and potentially other states; provide direct legal services to individuals regarding their incarceration; educate the public about jail and prison conditions, and provide technical assistance to attorneys throughout the country.
We have litigated numerous successful institutional reform cases that, among other things, have reduced the overcrowding of California’s prisons, improved health care services, guaranteed people with physical and developmental disabilities reasonable accommodations and equal access to jail and prison programs, reduced the use of excessive force, limited racial discrimination in prisons, and restricted the use of solitary confinement in adult and juvenile correctional systems. See www.prisonlaw.com for more information.
Staff attorneys play a leading role in the litigation of individual and class claims on behalf of incarcerated people, from fact-gathering and initial case research through discovery, motion practice, settlement negotiations, and trial and appellate work. Attorneys are expected to be proficient in legal research, writing, and oral advocacy. Much of our work involves post-trial remedial monitoring and remedial litigation practice on long-running state-wide class actions; under normal conditions attorneys frequently tour correctional facilities and interview incarcerated people and correctional staff to monitor compliance with existing decrees.
To be considered for the position, please submit the following materials, as a single attachment to: firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line "Staff Attorney Application." •Cover letter •Resume •Legal writing sample •List of three references
Admission to the California Bar or plans to sit for the next California Bar Exam.
Experience or interest in correctional issues
Excellent analytical, legal research and writing, and oral advocacy skills.
Excellent verbal communication skills; bilingual skills in Spanish preferred.
Demonstrated ability to problem-solve, exercise sound judgment, take initiative, and work independently.
Ability to interact cooperatively, professionally, and effectively with coworkers, clients, co-counsel, opposing counsel, and jail/prison staff.
Candidates must be able and willing to travel throughout California and Arizona to prisons and jails on multi-day tours once it becomes safe to do so.
Telecommuting is allowed.
About Prison Law Office
Prison Law Office is a nonprofit public interest law firm based in Berkeley, California that strives for fair and humane treatment of people who are in prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities and who are on parole. With a small staff of attorneys, investigators, litigation assistants, and support personnel, Prison Law Office engages in class action and other impact litigation, advocates for policy and law changes, assists individuals in administrative actions and lawsuits, educates the public, creates and distributes self-help information, and lends technical assistance to other attorneys. (Note: the Office generally does not handle criminal appeals or habeas corpus petitions challenging criminal convictions.)
Founded in 1976 by Michael Satris and Paul Comiskey, the Prison Law Office originally focused on conditions of confinement issues in California state prisons. Over the years, we have expanded our reach to advocate for people in California state prisons for adults and juveniles, Arizona state prisons, and California county jails and juvenile halls. Issues tackled by the Office include failures to provide adequate medical, dental, and mental health services, lack of reaso...nable accommodations for people with disabilities, use of excessive force, racial discrimination, overcrowding, unsanitary living conditions, prolonged extreme solitary confinement, and due process violations.