Research Attorney Opening at Frank Murphy Hall of Justice

Applications accepted now through October 7, 2016

The research attorney at Frank Murphy Hall of Justice provides research support services to criminal defense attorneys representing indigent defendants out of Michigan’s busiest courthouse. Services performed typically include: general research for pre-trial, trial and appellate strategies; discussion of general legal topics; accessing SADO’s Defender Books and online resources for case-law and sample pleadings; and generally managing a “help desk” available to Frank Murphy Hall of Justice criminal defense practitioners, who can send questions by email to the research attorney. The research attorney may be required to perform several research tasks in quick succession. At times, research tasks may require an immediate response.

The research attorney is expected to track and document the time spent on each day’s research tasks and the issues that were researched. There are 4 research attorneys total and this posting is for 1 research attorney position. Twenty hours of work (from 9 am – 1pm, Monday through Friday) is divided amongst the research attorneys each weekday. Together, the research attorneys answer approximately 1,500 questions per year. The research attorney has access to SADO’s Westlaw account and is covered by SADO’s malpractice insurance.


  • Must be admitted to the Michigan Bar or eligible for transfer 
  • Must be an experienced criminal defense attorney with at least 3 years of experience 
  • Must have great research skills
  • Must be familiar with SADO’s online and print research publications (can be trained in this area to come up to speed)
  • Must be organized, reliable, patient, and personable


  • Must be available on Mondays from 9 am -1 pm and every other Wednesday (dates may be flexible);
  • Position earns $50 an hour for an average of 24 hours per month
  • Start date of early to mid-October
  • Work location: 8th Floor Attorney Room at Frank Murphy Hall of Justice, 1441 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 48226

TO APPLY: Submit a cover letter and resume to: State Appellate Defender Office, 645 Griswold, Suite 3300, Detroit, MI 48226, Email:, Fax: 313-965-0372.

The State Appellate Defender Office (SADO) administers this project through a grant from the Wayne County Criminal Defense Bar Association.

View full application and job description here.

Applications accepted through October 7, 2016. Contact Marilena David-Martin, with questions.