About Alabama Appleseed: Alabama Appleseed is a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1999 whose mission is to achieve justice and equity for all Alabamians. Alabama Appleseed conducts integrated culture and policy change campaigns to confront laws and policies that harm the poor and to remedy the root causes of poverty and injustice. Its campaigns use policy analysis, research and documentation, legislative action, public education, community organizing, pro bono engagement, coalition building, and litigation. Alabama Appleseed is a vibrant, growing organization that prides itself on creating strategic, evidence-based solutions to some of the most pressing problems in Alabama, and allowing the ingenuity of our team to lead the way. Our work sits at the intersection of poverty and the justice system.
Alabama Appleseed is a member of the national Appleseed Network, which includes 18 Appleseed centers across the U.S. and in Mexico City.
Position Summary: Alabama Appleseed seeks a Legal Fellow to assist with direct representation of incarcerated clients in post-conviction and parole proceedings. This is a one-year contract for a grant-funded position in our Birmingham office, with the possibility of a longer-term commitment. Appleseed’s Legal Fellow conducts legal research, examines clients’ backgrounds and institutional records, and prepares legal memos and post-conviction pleadings. This position is also involved in re-entry planning and supports for formerly incarcerated clients. The Legal Fellow reports directly to the Executive Director and works closely with the Staff Attorney. Occasional travel will be required to Appleseed’s Montgomery Office and to prisons in Alabama. This position comes with the opportunity to apply creative advocacy to serious injustices that impact thousands of incarcerated Alabamians. You will make a difference here.
- Legal research, specifically criminal law, post-conviction law and procedure, and Eighth Amendment jurisprudence;
- Review and organize requests for legal assistance from incarcerated Alabamians;
- Visit and interview incarcerated clients;
- Draft post-conviction petitions;
- Represent incarcerated Alabamians in parole proceedings;
- Contribute to Appleseed’s blog;
- Assist formerly incarcerated clients with release plans and re-entry services.
- Demonstrated commitment to Alabama Appleseed’s mission, vision, and approach to advocacy;
- Juris Doctorate from an accredited law school;
- Demonstrated interest in criminal law;
- License to practice law in Alabama preferred;
- Excellent legal writing skills;
- Strong initiative and ability to manage and complete projects with minimal supervision;
- Valid automobile driver’s license;
- Ability to get along and work collaboratively with diverse personalities;
- Ability to multi-task effectively and occasionally embrace administrative duties;
- Skilled in Excel, Microsoft Word, and Google Docs;
- At least one internship or professional experience with post-conviction litigation; recent law school graduates considered with relevant internship or clerkships during law school.
An Ideal Candidate Brings:
- Some experience in post-conviction legal practice;
- Experience in researching criminal backgrounds, especially using Alacourt;
- Experience drafting Rule 32 petitions in Alabama courts;
- Ability to organize large amounts of data in Excel;
- Demonstrated interest in challenging excessive punishment in the criminal justice system;
- At least minimal knowledge of Alabama parole procedures;
- Willingness to work closely with formerly incarcerated people and assist their successful re-entry.
Salary and Benefits: This position offers a competitive non-profit salary of $50,000, along with a benefits package including health insurance, generous paid leave; reimbursement of travel-related expenses.
To Apply: Send a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and three references to Alabama Appleseed’s Executive Director, Carla Crowder, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please write “Legal Fellow” in the subject line. We are seeking to fill this position quickly so interested applicants should apply as soon as possible.
The injustices that we are fighting in Alabama today are directly connected to long histories of inequality and oppression in this state. As we build our team to fight for a better Alabama, we know that people who have historically been overlooked need to lead. For this reason, we welcome and strongly encourage applications from people of color, women, people with criminal histories, people from working class backgrounds, veterans and LGBTQ people.
Alabama Appleseed values an inclusive culture and diverse workforce. Alabama Appleseed encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, and record of arrest or conviction.