Staff Investigator

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Job location
1515 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Pennsylvania Innocence Project
Job type: 
Position Description: 

Mission: ​The Pennsylvania Innocence Project is a non-profit, public interest law firm dedicated to exonerating those who have been convicted of crimes they did not commit and preventing innocent people from being convicted. That mission is coupled with a twofold educational mission: training law students and practicing lawyers to recognize and litigate valid innocence claims; and raising the consciousness of lawmakers and citizens about the systemic causes of wrongful convictions and the ways of safeguarding against them.

Position Summary: ​ The Staff Investigator is responsible for conducting and overseeing all investigations at various stages during the case review and litigation process. The position will be available starting in the spring of 2022.

Specific Responsibilities:

1. Investigation: ​The Staff Investigator will work with staff attorneys to determine which cases are appropriate for investigation. For those cases, the Staff Investigator will familiarize themselves with the entire record and then create investigative plans and logs that memorialize in writing all investigative actions. The Staff Investigator will be responsible for locating and interviewing witnesses, family members, prior counsel, and/or anyone otherwise relevant to the case. They will document all communications and interviews as well as keep clients and potential clients informed of investigation progress via writing and face-to-face meetings. The Staff Investigator will be expected to regularly provide updates on ongoing investigations to the assigned Project attorney(s) as well as any pro bono attorneys involved in the case. Organizational and record-keeping skills are critical. Lastly, the Staff Investigator will supervise any investigation work done by contract investigators (who may periodically be hired to maintain case flow), investigative interns, and other staff members as case demands and staffing requires.

2. Volunteer/Student Involvement: ​ The Staff Investigator will be expected to train students and volunteers in best practices regarding witness interviewing and investigation as well as assist students and volunteers with questions about their cases and/or writing their reports. The Staff Investigator must be willing to mentor qualified students who are interested in learning investigative techniques and will participate in providing feedback on student presentations about their assigned cases.

3. Litigation:​ The Staff Investigator will assist Project staff attorneys and the Legal Director with hearings and trials (review filings, help prepare witnesses, serve subpoenas, provide transportation to witnesses, and attend hearings). The Staff Investigator must be willing to sign affidavits/certifications to support court filings as well as testify in court, if necessary.

Salary: $45,000- $60,000, based on experience, with benefits.

The Pennsylvania Innocence Project is an equal opportunity employer. The Project does not discriminate in the selection of employees based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, age, national origin, disability, or veteran status


• The ideal candidate will have excellent organizational and interpersonal skills, enjoy working in a fast-paced but collegial non-profit environment, and have a dedication to social justice.

• Minimum 1 year of investigation experience required, preferably in defense investigations.

• BA/BS preferred.

• Must be willing to travel throughout Pennsylvania and surrounding states (including within local county jails and state prison facilities). With offices in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, much travel is required, approximately 5-10 days per month, overnight trips will be periodically necessary.

• Must have a valid driver’s license and reliable transportation.

• Must pass a thorough criminal background check.

• Notary Public and Spanish speaking candidates preferred.

• Must be willing to work collaboratively in a team environment, including with the Project’s legal staff and with teams of pro bono attorneys working on Project cases.

The Pennsylvania Innocence Project is committed to ensuring our staff reflect the clients and communities we serve. We strongly encourage candidates from diverse backgrounds to apply for this position. In your cover letter we invite you to tell us how your unique background and/or experiences can contribute to the diversity, vitality, and cultural perspective of our staff, clients, and case work.

To apply: 

Please apply via the following link:

Include a cover letter, resumé, and three professional references.

Equal Opportunity Employer
Submission deadline: 
Friday, April 1, 2022