Attorney II - Litigation and Hearings Specialist

You are here

Job location
1700 Congress, Suite 460
Austin, TX 78701
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Office of Capital and Forensic Writs
Street address: 
1700 Congress, Suite 460
Job type: 
Legal - Defender
Position Description: 

The Texas Office of Capital & Forensic Writs (OCFW) is hiring a mid-level staff attorney in a litigation and hearings specialist role. Candidates must have prior experience representing clients at trial, or otherwise possess significant courtroom litigation experience. Prior capital experience is not a pre-requisite for this position. Ideal candidates will have prior experience defending clients as a public defender, criminal defense lawyer or possess equivalent advocacy experience, and have the desire to make a difference by advocating for death-sentenced persons during post-conviction evidentiary hearings. This newly created position differs from other staff attorney positions in that the primary focus will be on hearing litigation and courtroom advocacy rather than brief writing and written advocacy.

The OCFW represents a substantial majority of persons sentenced to death in Texas in state habeas and related proceedings. Once we file state habeas applications, courts will often grant us live evidentiary hearings. The Litigation and Hearings Specialist will litigate post-conviction evidentiary hearings as part of a team of OCFW post-conviction attorneys and investigators. Hearings typically involve direct and cross-examination of lay witnesses, expert witnesses and trial counsel, as well as substantial legal argument and oral and written advocacy.

We are committed to client-centered and excellent post-conviction representation, in accordance with the ABA Guidelines, Guidelines and Standards for Texas Capital Counsel (2006) and the Supplementary Guidelines and Standards for the Mitigation Function of Defense Teams in Texas Death Penalty Cases (2015).

Job Description:
Representing clients on their initial and/or subsequent state post-conviction application for writ of habeas corpus and related proceedings, conducting evidentiary hearings related to the claims raised, and drafting pleadings and motions related to the evidentiary hearing.


Minimum Qualifications:
• Member of the Texas State Bar or eligible for admission within six months of employment (Please note that the Texas Bar allows for the admission without examination for certain applicants who have practiced law for at least five out of the last seven years. See Rule XIII, Rules of The Supreme Court Governing Admission to The Bar of Texas);
• Skilled in courtroom advocacy, demonstrated by significant trial or evidentiary hearing advocacy experience;
• Commitment to excellent representation;
• Pursuant to state law, OCFW may not employ an attorney who has been found by a state or federal court to have rendered ineffective assistance of counsel during the trial or appeal of a death penalty case.

Preferred Qualifications:
• Experience, three years or more, representing clients at trial as a public defender or in a similar advocacy role;
• Ability to engage in complex legal analysis, and to communicate clearly and persuasively;
• Excellent analytic, legal research, and oral advocacy skills;
• Ability to work collaboratively in team settings; strengths in team work, client relations, investigation and relationship building;
• Commitment to culturally competent representation, and experience working with diverse populations and on behalf of low-income clients;
• A demonstrated understanding of, or willingness to learn about, capital mitigation and mental-health issues;
• Bilingual Spanish-speaking ability.

Employment Conditions:
• Ability to operate standard office equipment and software;
• A valid driver’s license, and the willingness to operate a motor vehicle for client-representation purposes;
• Ability and willingness to travel throughout Texas and, on occasion, out of state.

To apply: 

To apply for this position, send: (1) a letter of interest; (2) a resume; (3) a list of references; and (4) the mandated State of Texas Application for Employment to Sandra Justice at: [email protected]. Candidates selected for an interview will be invited to submit a writing sample at that time.

State applications are available at

The Office of Capital & Forensic Writs is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, sex, religion, age or disability in employment or the provision of services. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, any request for reasonable accommodations needed during the application process should be communicated by the applicant to Sandra Justice, the Office of Capital & Forensic Writs Senior Accountant, at (512) 463-8520.

Job Listing Identification Number: 215-17-01 FLSA Status: Exempt Type of Job: Full Time Travel Required: Yes (25%)
Salary range: 
State Classification Number and Salary Step: B21 ($55,000 to $75,000)
Submission deadline: 
Friday, October 28, 2016