Hiring Announcement – Criminal Defense Attorney

Job Titles: Senior Attorney/Staff Attorney – Criminal Defense
Report to: Managing Attorney – Defense
Hours: Full-time, Hybrid office/remote
Deadline: Positions open until filled 

ABOUT US

Georgia Justice Project (GJP) is growing and we are looking for two experienced attorneys to join our defense team – a Senior attorney and a Staff attorney. GJP is a non-profit located in Atlanta’s historic Old Fourth Ward and our work spans three areas: Holistic Criminal Defense; Advocacy and Education; and Reentry Lawyering including Criminal Records.  You can read more about our work at www.GJP.org.

The Senior Attorney and the Staff Attorney will join the Criminal Defense team.  GJP’s holistic defense representation is at the core of who we are.  Since 1986 we have provided zealous representation to people with pending criminal cases in Fulton and DeKalb Counties who cannot afford an attorney.  GJP defense attorneys are fortunate to maintain a small caseload and devote substantial resources and time to each client and to each case.  Each client is assigned a social worker who is an essential part of the representation team.  The goal is to access comprehensive services and address  issues the client may face – from mental health services or substance use treatment to finding housing or securing employment. We continue to work with our clients if they are under sentence and visit them if they receive a prison sentence, help maintain contact with their family, advocate for parole, and assist with reentry planning.

Our defense team has expanded its reach in recent years.  GJP has been involved with the Metro Reentry Facility (MRF), a men’s prison in metro-Atlanta, since it opened.  GJP assesses the legal needs of the men at MRF to identify and address legal barriers to reentry – including holds and detainers for outstanding warrants and violations of probation and driver’s license suspensions.  GJP has also added an early termination of probation practice.  In 2021 the defense team worked with the legislature to draft and successfully advocate for SB 105, creating a comprehensive path for early termination of probation after three years.  The team represents individuals around the state with early termination of probation and works with the Department of Community Supervision to ensure effective implementation of the law.

Our defense attorneys participate in other initiatives such as education and training, resentencing, and supporting self-advocacy for justice-involved people and their families.  The defense team also helps identify potential legislative fixes to address issues our clients face and we are working on several exciting new projects such as establishing a restorative justice program and expanding diversion options in the metro area.

ROLE OVERVIEW

The Senior Attorney will represent individuals with pending charges, assist clients with early termination of probation, work closely with the managing defense attorney to develop strategies for individual case representation and provide guidance to junior defense attorneys, and assist with new program development.

The Staff Attorney will represent individuals with pending charges, assist clients with early termination of probation, assist with providing services at the Metro Reentry Facility, and participate in implementation of new programs.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • For the Senior Attorney, a minimum of 6 years of criminal defense experience, including at least 3 years on felony cases; felony trial experience as first chair
  • For the Staff Attorney, a minimum of 2 years of criminal defense experience; trial experience
  • An unrelenting desire to provide the highest quality representation for each client, regardless of the severity of the charges
  • A commitment to an aggressive research and motions practice
  • The ability to tell each client’s unique story
  • Working familiarity with holistic representation and a multidisciplinary team
  • A deep commitment to engaging with clients respectfully to seek out the best resolution
  • A desire to work collaboratively with a team to keep multiple projects and goals moving forward

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Licensed Attorney with the State Bar of Georgia
  • A demonstrated commitment to social and racial justice and an understanding of how poverty and race factor into the criminal legal system
  • Ability to advocate assertively and effectively for clients
  • Ability to engage respectfully with diverse groups of people
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Strong negotiation skills
  • Experience working with student interns and volunteers
  • Willingness to perform some administrative tasks (GJP has a small administrative support staff and we all pitch in to help where needed)
  • Ability to work occasional evenings or Saturdays for special events or projects, occasional travel
  • Driver’s license (required)

TO APPLY

Interested candidates should send a cover letter addressed to GJP’s Managing Defense Attorney Rachel Holmes, resume, and brief writing sample (no more than five pages) combined as a single PDF document to careers@GJP.org.    Subject line must state, “2022 Defense – Last Name.” Please indicate if you are applying for the Senior Attorney or Staff Attorney position. We hope to fill these positions quickly and encourage applicants to submit  materials as soon as possible. 

GJP offers a comprehensive benefits package, including employer paid premiums for medical, dental, vision and life insurance, immediate 3% match and vesting in the retirement plan, and generous PTO. Salary range is $61,000 to $80,000 (at 40 hours), depending on experience. 

GJP is an equal opportunity employer, committed to building a diverse staff and welcomes qualified applicants of all races, colors, religions, national origins, sexes, gender identities, sexual orientations, and disability statuses.  GJP particularly encourages people who are formerly incarcerated or justice-involved to apply.

GJP requires all employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment, subject to accommodation. If you are hired, we will require you to prove that you have received the COVID-19 vaccine or have a valid documented religious or medical reason not to be vaccinated. This paragraph informs you of the company’s expectations before you begin work at GJP and you should not reveal information about your COVID-19 vaccination status prior to receiving an offer of employment.