Parole Justice Initiative
*This is a one-year position, with the possibility of
longer-term employment, subject to funding
Fordham University School of Law
Fordham University has an excellent reputation as a dynamic institution located in New York City. Founded in 1841, Fordham enrolls more than 16,000 undergraduate and graduate students in its 9 Colleges and Schools.
The Parole Preparation Project (PPP), founded in 2013, trains community volunteers to work alongside parole-eligible people in prison—many of whom have spent decades in prison and have been repeatedly denied release—as they prepare to apply for parole.
Located in the heart of New York City, Fordham University School of Law is a vibrant, collaborative, and diverse community of dedicated faculty and engaged, hands-on students who are working together to master the law, understand its role in advancing justice, and make sure that justice is accessible to all.
PPP and Fordham Law School seek a moderately experienced attorney to serve as a Project Fellow for an on-going initiative focused on the parole denial appeal process in New York State (NYS).
Every year more than 10,000 incarcerated people appear before the state’s Parole Board in hopes of obtaining freedom. Due to the Parole Board’s history and culture, the majority of people who apply for parole are denied release. For the last several years, PPP, Fordham Law and other partners have trained a network of pro bono attorneys who represent incarcerated people appealing these denials. In addition, this same partnership has created the Parole Information Project, a searchable database of NYS parole-related documents and decisions designed and maintained by Fordham Law’s Maloney Library, that provides transparency about the parole process and data for further research. To advance parole justice, decarceration and racial justice, we seek a Project Fellow to oversee the expansion of this pro bono initiative, contribute to the design and implementation of a strategic plan to reform the parole denial appeal process, and assist in strengthening the Parole Information Project.
The Faculty Project Director at Fordham Law and the Executive Director of PPP will directly supervise the Project Fellow. Typically, the Project Fellow will be based at Fordham Law in midtown Manhattan, but due to the global pandemic, all work may be done remotely.
Candidates with direct experience with the criminal legal system, whether personal or through family members or friends, are strongly encouraged to apply.
- Build a working knowledge of current parole law in order to litigate on behalf of incarcerated people denied parole and advise attorneys in their litigation efforts.
- Expand and utilize the Parole Information Project.
- Work with the Parole Preparation Project to recruit and train pro bono attorneys to represent people challenging parole denials.
- Manage overall administrative operations, including data collection and reporting.
- Further develop training materials and curricula.
- Work with stakeholders and advocates to develop and implement a strategic plan to reform the NYS parole denial appeal process, including improving the quality of representation available and expanding the right to counsel.
- Assist in developing a national strategy on parole, potentially expanding the partnership’s parole initiatives to a national scale, particularly regarding research and data collection on comparable state-based initiatives.
- Seek additional funding to continue efforts beyond the one-year term.
- Juris Doctor Degree Required.
- Minimum of two years of post-J.D. legal experience required.
- Candidates should have some experience providing legal services to low-income, incarcerated or otherwise marginalized clients.
- Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to connect with a variety of stakeholders, including people in prison and their loved ones, partners at prominent law firms, prison staff and broader community-based coalitions are essential.
- Ability to think critically and creatively about re-envisioning the current criminal legal system.
- Unwavering commitment to racial justice.
- Interest in or experience with the NYS prison system is helpful, but not required.
- Experience and proficiency with data collection and analysis, with expertise in Excel preferred.
SALARY: Commensurate with experience
FLSA CATEGORY: Exempt
START DATE: ASAP
HOW TO APPLY: No phone calls please.
- Applications must be received within 30 days from the date of this posting.
- Applicants should submit a resume and a cover letter explaining their interest in the position.
- Applicants should submit a recent legal writing sample of any length representing the applicant’s most challenging legal work. Please do not send an excerpt. The writing sample should not be a collaborative work or significantly edited by someone else.
- Please include three references with contact information.
- Application materials should be sent in a single PDF file attached to an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founded in 1841, Fordham is the Jesuit University of New York, offering an exceptional education distinguished by the Jesuit tradition to more than 16,000 students in its 9 colleges and schools. It has residential campuses in the Bronx and Manhattan, a campus in West Harrison, N.Y., the Louis Calder Center Biological Field Station in Armonk, N.Y., and the London Centre in the United Kingdom.
Fordham University is committed to excellence through diversity and welcomes candidates of all backgrounds.
Fordham is an Equal Opportunity Employer – Veterans/Disabled and other protected categories