Mitigation Specialist – Office of Capital & Forensic Writs, Austin, TX

Mitigation Specialist

Posting Date: November 5, 2018
Closing Date: Until filled

The Texas Office of Capital & Forensic Writs (OCFW) is hiring an investigator / mitigation specialist to factually develop claims on behalf of our death-sentenced clients.The mitigation specialist will work as part of a team with attorneys representing clients sentenced to death in state habeas corpus and related proceedings. The ideal applicant will have investigation experience, familiarity with mental health and trauma-related issues, and / or experience working directly with indigent populations. Salary will be commensurate with experience.

This is an extraordinary opportunity to make a difference in Texas. The OCFW representsa substantial majority of persons sentenced to death in Texas in state habeas and related proceedings. We are committed to client-centered and excellent post-conviction representation, in accordance with the ABA Guidelines, Guidelines and Standardsfor Texas Capital Counsel (2006) and the Supplementary Guidelines and Standards for the Mitigation Function of Defense Teams in Texas Death Penalty Cases (2015).

Essential Functions:

  • Establish ongoing rapport with clients, family, and other witnesses in a culturally competent way that overcomes barriers those individuals may have against the disclosure of sensitive
  • Assess clients' and witnesses’ mental health, and describe mental health symptomatology.
  • Identify, obtain, and analyze anecdotal and documentary evidence relevant to a client’s life history and development, including, but not limited to : medical and psychiatric history; prenatal, pediatric and adult health information; exposure to harmful substances in utero and in the environment; substance abuse history;history of maltreatment and neglect; trauma history; educational history; employment and training history; military experience; multi-generational family history of genetic disorders and vulnerabilities, as well as multi-generational patternsofbehavior;prior adult and juvenile correctional experience; religious, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic, racial, cultural and community influences; immigration history; socio- economic, historical, and political
  • Compile a comprehensive and well-documented biopsychosocial history of the client based on exhaustive investigation, interviews, and record collection,aswellasfurnish memos and chronologies on a variety of topics to counsel and
  • Identify and assist in locating appropriate experts; provide diagnostic and social history information to experts to enable them to conduct competent and reliable evaluations.
  • Review all trial files from all prior counsel, mitigation specialists, investigators, and experts for areas of additional investigation.
  • Participate in the factual investigation of guilt-innocence-related
  • Research and develop theories about how systems and culture have shaped the clients' development
  • Work with the defense team and experts to develop comprehensive and cohesive case theories.
  • Provide litigation support to counsel, including subpoenaing witnesses, helping to prepare witnesses to testify, and identifying potential

Minimum Qualifications:

  • College degree
  • At least two years of experience as a mitigation specialist, equivalent experience working directly with indigent populations, or postgraduate study in a relevantfield (g., social work, psychology, anthropology, sociology, journalism, etc.).
  • Familiarity or experience with key areas such as: mental health; trauma; intellectual Disabilities; race, ethnicity and poverty within the criminal justice system or
  • An organized and precise work practice with attention to detail and accuracy.
  • A deep commitment to the representation of death-sentenced persons, and persons from low-income and other marginalized
  • Excellent at written and oral
  • Highly developed interpersonal
  • Experience working with people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, and an awareness of the issues that must be overcome to successfully work with people who have varied life
  • Strengths in teamwork, client relations and relationship
  • Creativity and energy in approaching all tasks and
  • Possess the training and skills to recognize and understand how biological,congenital, emotional, cognitive, and environmental factors may have affected clients’ development and worldview.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Bilingual in Spanish and English
  • Relevant post-graduate study (e.g., L.M.S.W.)
  • Computer literacy in software such as spreadsheets and

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, out of state, and on occasion, out of the country for client-representation
  • The person hired for this position should expect to regularly travel 50% of the time on case work

How 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:

State applications are available at: employment-twc.pdf.

Veterans, Reservist or Guardsmen with an MOS or additional duties that  fall  in the  fields  of 27A, 27B, 250X, LGL10, 04, 4402, 51JX, or other related fields pertaining to the minimum experience requirements  may  meet the  minimum  qualifications.   Additional   Military   Crosswalk   information can be accessed 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.