Law School Seeks Innocence Project Legal Director

Oklahoma City University School of Law seeks applications for a clinical professor who will serve as legal director for the Oklahoma Innocence Clinic.  The Clinical Professor/Legal Director manages a caseload and teaches the classroom, skills, and field work components of the education program provided for law students in the Oklahoma Innocence Clinic at Oklahoma City University School of Law.  The Clinical Professor/Legal Director is responsible for working with the Innocence Network regarding case referrals, Network activities, and assistance.

The pedagogical experiences of clinic students will be expected to include screening and investigating claims of actual innocence, preparing plans for post-conviction case development and legal strategies for pursuing such claims, and representing prison inmates in Oklahoma who have provable claims of actual innocence.  Clinic students will receive instruction and gain experience in fact investigation; building a case file; communicating effectively with clients, witnesses, opposing counsel, and law enforcement and court personnel; professional collaboration; and recognizing and resolving questions of professional responsibility.

Most of the clinic’s litigation will be performed in post-conviction proceedings.  The Clinic will consider all cases where a viable claim of actual innocence can be pursued. These include DNA cases and non-DNA cases.  (Requests for assistance from inmates subject to capital sentences will be referred to the appropriate state or federal organization available to handle such matters.)

This is a non-tenure track faculty position.  The position will be on a renewable, multi-year contract.  The starting date is June 1, 2014, or as soon thereafter as the successful candidate is available.

Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have:

  • A J.D. degree and an outstanding record of academic and professional achievement.
  • A commitment to the goals of reducing and rectifying wrongful convictions of innocent people.
  • The experience and commitment required to lead and grow an innocence clinic that has been in operation since 2011.
  • One of the following:  (1) a minimum of five years full-time experience litigating post-conviction or innocence cases plus extensive experience supervising lawyers or student law clerks; (2) a minimum of five years clinical teaching experience in criminal law with some post-conviction experience; or (3) a combination of (1) and (2).
  • Experience and relationships within the national or international innocence community.
  • Experience managing the caseload of a busy law office.
  • The ability to engage in effective clinical teaching both in the classroom and in direct supervision of students.
  • The ability to manage an active caseload of innocence cases.
  • The ability to engage in policy reform work related to the goals of reducing the frequency of wrongful convictions.
  • The ability to raise awareness of the Clinic and its work throughout Oklahoma and beyond.
  • A willingness and ability to assist in identifying and obtaining permanent sources of funding for the Clinic, including experience with grant-writing.
  • Membership in the Oklahoma Bar.  If the successful candidate is not a member of the Oklahoma Bar, it is expected that he or she will seek admission through the most expeditious means available, which may be reciprocity, the bar exam, or the limited licensure available in Oklahoma for clinical teachers.

About the Oklahoma Innocence Clinic

Established in 2011 through $1.5 million in gifts from individuals, foundations, and corporations, the Oklahoma Innocence Clinic is the only entity dedicated exclusively to rectifying and preventing wrongful convictions in Oklahoma.  The Clinic is an entity situated within Oklahoma City University School of Law.  Current staffing includes the legal director, a staff attorney, and a legal assistant.  Two petitions for post-conviction relief have been filed, and several more cases are in the queue.  After a strong beginning, the law school seeks an energetic and visionary legal director to lead its maturation and development. For more information, visit innocence.okcu.edu.

About Oklahoma City University School of Law

Oklahoma City University School of Law traces its origins to 1907.  With a student body of 500, a full-time faculty of 35, and a distinguished adjunct faculty, the law school enjoys uncommonly close relationships with the bench and bar.  Its graduates are located in every state and around the world.  Its curriculum offers concentrations in American Indian law, client representation in ADR, electronic commerce, energy and natural resources law, estate planning, financial services and commercial law, health law, public law, and real estate law practice.  It offers a broad array of externships and a unique Native American wills clinic. For more information, visit law.okcu.edu.

About Oklahoma City University

Founded in 1904, Oklahoma City University is an independent university affiliated with the United Methodist Church. The university is characterized by an intellectually challenging and vibrant student-centered learning community committed to preparing students to become effective leaders in service to others. With an enrollment of approximately 3600 students and low faculty-student ratio of 1:14, classes are small and students have many opportunities for close associations with faculty and staff in the classroom and beyond. Faculty and students are partners in a learning process that focuses on creating effective communicators who respect diversity, possess critical thinking skills and cultural and aesthetic awareness, and are prepared to be responsible and ethical leaders in their communities.

U.S. News and World Report has ranked Oklahoma City University in the top tier of western region master level universities since 1999 and has included Oklahoma City University in the Great Schools, Great Values rankings since 2006.

Employee Benefits

The position includes an excellent benefit package including: tuition remission for spouses and children pursuing a degree at Oklahoma City University and over 500 other participating private institutions, health insurance, long term disability, life insurance, family membership to fitness center, TIAA-CREF retirement plan.

Review of applications will begin immediately.  The position will remain open until filled.

Letters of interest, accompanied by the sender’s C.V., should be sent to:

Arthur G. LeFrancois
Chair, Faculty Appointments Committee
Oklahoma City University School of Law
2501 N. Blackwelder
Oklahoma City, OK 73106-1607
alefrancois@okcu.edu

Oklahoma City University is an equal opportunity employer and affirms the values and goals of diversity.

CLICK HERE to apply online.