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Life History Investigator

Advancing Real Change (ARC), Inc. is seeking two Life History Investigators for its offices in Baltimore, MD and Jacksonville, FL.

The Life History Investigator will lead mitigation investigations on behalf of indigent clients at risk of extreme sentences. The Investigator may be asked to work on cases at the federal or state level, at any stage in proceedings, and that require travel across the country and beyond. The majority of cases will be either capital cases or cases in which a client is at risk of life without the possibility parole for an incident that occurred during their childhood. Regardless of the case characteristics, the Life History Investigator is entrusted with ensuring that our clients receive the mitigation investigation they are constitutionally guaranteed. Position requirements and responsibilities are available at the end of this posting.

Who we are (and are not)

ARC, Inc. is a growing nonprofit organization dedicated to doing big things. Our team goes above and beyond to ensure that our clients receive the quality defense to which they are entitled. We believe strongly in human dignity and its potential as a force for change in the criminal legal system. We seek to provide our staff members with the compensation, support, and flexibility that will enable them sustain this effort over time. As teammates, we respect each other’s diverse contributions to the work. ARC, Inc. is neither a private firm nor a government agency. If you are looking for a 9-to-5 job, if you take a checklist-style approach to mitigation, or if you are anything less than 100% committed to the inherent dignity of our clients and the work involved in carrying that message forward, we are not a fit for you.

What we offer

The salary for this position will be between $48,000 and $55,000. Benefits include an annual contribution of $4,000 toward health and dental coverage (can be applied to our group plan premium or received as a taxed stipend), employer contributions to a SIMPLE IRA retirement plan, and dedicated parking or a $50/month stipend to defray commuting costs. ARC, Inc. will also cover expenses related to professional development opportunities. Our leave policy includes no annual limit on, or pay deductions for, time off. It is our hope that staff members use this time to balance periods that require extensive and sustained work. Most importantly, we offer the opportunity to work in an environment that acknowledges that your ultimate responsibility is to our clients and that we will provide every support to help meet that commitment. By accepting a position with us, you are committed to creating systemic change and accept the challenges that come with that goal.

What you will offer

The ideal candidate for this position will bring:

  • 2 or more years of experience with mitigation
  • commitment to upholding and promoting mitigation best practices, as outlined in the ABA Guidelines for Mitigation Function of Defense Team in Capital Cases and in the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth Guidelines for the Representation of Child Clients
  • mindfulness of what is needed to work across cultural differences of all kinds,
  • resilience in the face of difficult work, • creativity in responding to challenges and developing strategies, and
  • eagerness to work as part of a team of mission-driven individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Position Details

The Life History Investigator is a full-time position based in ARC, Inc.’s office in Baltimore, MD or Jacksonville, FL. This position reports directly to the Director of Mitigation Casework and will help to direct the day-to-day tasks of a Records Specialist.

The responsibilities of the position include:

Case progress
Ensures that each case is moving forward on all fronts.

  • Building strong, trusting relationships with clients
  • Identifying, locating, and interviewing witnesses who are knowledgeable about the client at every phase of life, and developing ongoing relationships as needed
  • Ensuring progress on the dual fronts of investigation: records and in-person interviews to inform and build case theories
  • Developing theory memo to identify themes and drive case narratives
  • Identifying and vocalizing need for additional resources

Adherence to professional standards
Conducts an investigation that complies with best practices.

  • Conducting investigation that is multi-generational, field-based, and collaborative
  • Conducting interviews that are in-person and open-ended
  • Understanding and complying with rules dictated by case posture, jurisdiction, and other factors
  • Educating on standards-compliant investigation within teams and/or to outside stakeholders

Team collaboration
Works as a fully-engaged member of the defense team.

  • Ensuring case file is well-organized to facilitate access to information by all team members
  • Producing memos that are clear, concise, and timely
  • Consulting with attorneys to develop theories of the case and case strategy
  • Fostering productive working relationships with members of the defense team • Assisting in identifying and working with experts

Organizational Engagement
Participates as a full member of the ARC team.

  • Fully and enthusiastically participating in team meetings
  • Reporting on case progress and outcomes for use in planning, fundraising, and external communications
  • Playing a supportive role in events, initiatives, and other tasks as requested by management

Application process
Those wishing to apply for this position should first ensure that they meet the following minimum requirements: 2-years mitigation experience, a 4-year degree, clear written and oral expression, driver’s license (or ability to obtain one), willingness to travel, and familiarity with issues in mental health, mental disability, trauma, racial justice, poverty, and other relevant topics. Additional qualifications that are preferred but not required include a relevant post-graduate degree, a second language (preferably Spanish), and proficiency with case management programs and software. This position is required to qualify for a private investigator’s license; if you meet other qualifications but are unsure of your eligibility for a license, you are encouraged to contact our team for further discussion. Those meeting the minimum requirements should submit a cover letter, resume, contact information for three references, and a brief (3 – 5 page) writing sample to Director of Operations Erin Fiaschetti at [email protected]. Please indicate your interest in being considered for the Baltimore office, Florida office, or both locations. Successful applications will convey the applicant’s fit with the position as described and motivation in pursuing mitigation as a career.

ARC, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer, which welcomes qualified applicants of all races, ethnicities, genders, gender identities, disability status, and sexual orientations, as well as those who have been system-involved.

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