MAACS Litigation Support Counsel


The Michigan Appellate Assigned Counsel System (MAACS), a division of the State Appellate Defender Office (SADO), is hiring an experienced criminal appellate attorney to serve as Litigation Support Counsel for the roster of approximately 150 private attorneys who accept 2300 court-appointed felony appeals in Michigan every year. The Litigation Support Counsel will train, support, and supervise new MAACS roster attorneys and pro bono counsel, manage state-funded investigative and expert services for MAACS appeals, and handle other administrative responsibilities associated with overseeing the roster. The successful candidate may also carry a limited caseload, subject to other job responsibilities.

The Litigation Support Counsel will manage the continued growth of the popular Appellate Investigation Project (AIP), which relied on a federal Byrne Justice Assistance Grant from 2015-2018 to provide litigation and investigative support in MAACS assigned appeals that otherwise would not have benefited from these critical services, obtaining multiple exonerations, new trials, and resentencings. Responsibilities include administration of screening protocols to determine eligibility for investigative and expert services, collaboration with contract investigators and experts, and working closely with assigned counsel to develop investigation and litigation strategies.

The Litigation Support Counsel will also establish and implement a new Volunteer Counsel Project (VCP) involving a select roster of appellate attorneys from some of Michigan’s largest law firms handling unique appellate assignments on a pro bono basis. Responsibilities will include recruiting and training volunteer counsel, as well as consultation on record review, issue identification, and litigation strategy.

Finally, the Litigation Support Counsel will provide support and mentorship to new MAACS roster attorneys through their first two appellate assignments and thereafter as necessary. Responsibilities will include developing and delivering training to new MAACS roster attorneys, case-specific consultation and support, briefing support, and courtroom support where appropriate.

REQUIREMENTS: Must be a licensed attorney with at least two years of experience with Michigan criminal appeals and familiarity with criminal defense investigations. Outstanding legal research and writing, communication, and appellate advocacy skills are essential. Qualified applicants must have a demonstrated commitment to indigent criminal defense and public service.

DETAILS: This is a permanent full time position. Salary commensurate with experience. Benefits include health, dental, 401k/457 plans, 12 paid holidays, 3 weeks of vacation during the first year, training, and a flexible work environment. In addition, SADO employees may be eligible for student loan repayment assistance through their law school loan forgiveness program or the John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program: www.michigan.gov/jrj.

TO APPLY: Submit a cover letter stating your interest in the position and office location preference. Include your resume, writing sample, and a copy of your law school transcripts. Applications should be submitted by July 30, 2018 to:

Attn: Wendy Dealca
State Appellate Defender Office
645 Griswold, Ste 3300
Detroit, MI 48226
Email: wdealca@sado.org Fax: 313-965-0372

SADO is an equal opportunity employer.