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Founded in 1899, the University of Washington School of Law is one of the nation's top public law schools; it also enjoys strong private support for leading programs in Asian Law, Global Health, Law & Technology, Tax, and Environmental Law. Located in William H. Gates Hall, a new state-of-the-art facility in vibrant Seattle, the School of Law is also home to the Gates Public Service Scholars program and the Barer Institute for Law and Global Human Services.
Innocence Project Northwest (IPNW), founded in 1997 at the University of Washington School of Law, works to exonerate the innocent, remedy the causes of wrongful conviction, and offer law students an outstanding education. IPNW seeks a Paralegal/Project Coordinator to help manage IPNW efforts to conduct case investigation, obtain post-conviction DNA testing and litigate Washington prisoners' claims of innocence. Reporting to the IPNW Executive Director, this position will have a key role in implementing our federal grant initiatives to expand access to post-conviction DNA testing, and will coordinate IPNW's case processing and management systems.
IPNW is committed to inclusive hiring, and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff. We strongly encourage people from all groups and communities to apply.
The University of Washington School of Law is seeking a full time IPNW Paralegal/Project Coordinator.
The IPNW Paralegal/Project Coordinator position requires specialized knowledge of legal assistance, court rules and practices, document preparation and case management. This position requires exceptional organizational and communication skills, advanced computer skills, comfort learning new technology, and the ability to handle a variety of duties in a fast-paced, deadline driven environment. This position will serve as a resource to IPNW clients, staff attorneys, faculty, students, volunteers, external agencies and pro bono law firm partners.
The Paralegal/Project Coordinator's primary responsibility is to ensure efficient coordination of IPNW's case intake, investigation and litigation efforts. IPNW provides pro bono legal services to indigent Washington prisoners serving long prison terms, who claim their innocence, and who no longer have a right to court appointed counsel. IPNW receives approximately 500 requests for assistance each year. The position will support program objectives by working directly with IPNW staff, faculty and students on cases and special projects; interfacing with clients, community agencies and partners; and serving the community by improving the truth-seeking mission of Washington's criminal justice system.
Grant Initiative Projects:
Support Access to Post-conviction DNA Testing. Coordinate efforts to locate biological evidence suitable for DNA testing; establish and maintain critical relationships with courts, laboratories and law enforcement agencies; assist attorneys in preparing documents and exhibits to obtain DNA testing.
Act as Liaison to Internal Departments and Outside Agencies. Serve as a resource to IPNW clients, attorneys and students as well as external law firms, pro bono and grant partners; coordinate with courts, law enforcement, prosecuting attorneys and other governmental agencies on casework and project initiatives.
Provide Grant Management Support. Identify and track grant-related case goals and fiscal metrics to create compliance reports; provide coordination for grant funded training programs.
Case Intake and Processing:
Case Management. Work with IPNW Staff to coordinate and improve case intake and management practices and procedures, maintain internal case databases, and assist in training students and staff to comply with case management and best practices.
Client Communications. Conduct case outreach activities; assist in providing updates and request for information to applicants and clients.
Investigation & Litigation Support:
Document Location & Research. Run searches on internal and external document databases and systems; support students and staff in case investigation and research; prepare and track public disclosure requests; manage the progress of document production through litigation support departments, agencies and courts.
Generate Case Materials. Create document indexes, analyses, case chronologies, production charts and other materials to support case review and litigation efforts.
Witness coordination and preparation. Under the guidance of supervising attorneys, facilitate contact with witnesses; attend interviews; prepare interview memos, digests and other documents. Court Filings. Acquire and maintain current filing requirements and mandatory forms in compliance with federal, state and local court rules; oversee the production, filing and service of motions, briefs, exhibits and supporting documents.
Court Appearances. Organize and prepare exhibits and files; provide hearing/trial support for attorneys; serve as liaison with witnesses, agencies and pro bono partners.
Bachelor's degree and 2 years of paralegal or legal assistance experience
Excellent analytic and writing skills, effective communicator
Culturally competent and demonstrated ability to work with diverse communities
Advanced computer skills including MS Office Suite, database programs and internet research
Ability to work independently and professionally under the pressure of frequent deadlines in a fast-paced environment
Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration. Bachelor's Degree and/or Paralegal Certification
Experience in criminal or public interest law setting
Experience with case management software
Fluency in Spanish