SADO is Hiring a Mitigation Specialist

Apply by July 30, 2018

Mitigation Specialist


Job Summary: The State Appellate Defender Office (SADO) is hiring a full-time Mitigation Specialist to assist in the representation of indigent clients who appeal their criminal convictions and sentences. The Mitigation Specialist will primarily assist attorneys in preparing clients for resentencing hearings by collecting and presenting mitigating facts aimed at reducing a client’s sentence.

Major Areas of Responsibility:

Under the direction of the Deputy Director and Chief Investigator, the Mitigation Specialist performs a variety of functions to assist SADO attorneys and litigation teams in investigating and preparing for sentencing hearings to improve sentencing outcomes for clients. A mitigation specialist will typically:

  • Interview clients, family, friends, community-members, and other individuals to compile material in mitigation of sentence;
  • Counsel clients on re-entry strategy and availability of social service and reentry programs;
  • Research and help implement available social services for clients who have an opportunity for a new sentence that could include community placement;
  • Network and collaborate with probation officers, Department of Corrections professionals, various public and private reentry projects, circuit courts, and social services organizations;
  • Obtain records and documents, including prison records, social files, school records, and medical and mental health records;
  • Prepare social history reports and sentencing memoranda;
  • Identify and consult with appropriate experts to obtain reports and prepare for hearings;
  • Prepare clients for testifying in court;
  • Testify in court;
  • Train attorneys and staff on mitigation and parole hearings.

Required Qualifications:

  • Master’s Degree in Social Work or equivalent mitigation experience;
  • Experience in a law office, court, probation office, correctional institution, or criminal justice related setting is a plus;
  • The ability to prioritize a significant workload and high-volume caseload;
  • Knowledge of trial court, state, and federal law and legal concepts;
  • Ability to work flexible hours, including evenings, nights, and early mornings, and to travel throughout the state;
  • Outstanding writing and organizational skills;
  • Flexible and creative thinking;
  • Excellent communication, interviewing, and interpersonal skills;
  • A commitment to working with indigent criminal defendants;
  • The ability to work as part of the defense team under the lead of the case attorney, and maintain confidentiality;
  • Proficiency in with Microsoft Word and Outlook, Adobe Acrobat, Excel, and general office equipment.

Salary will depend on experience. The position starts immediately and includes benefits (health, dental, 401k, 12 paid holidays, and 3 weeks of paid vacation leave). SADO offers a relaxed but driven collaborative work environment. Training opportunities to strengthen and expand employees’ knowledge and skillset will be provided, along with our impressive storehouse of contemporary social, scientific and legal information.

TO APPLY: Submit a cover letter, resume and writing sample by July 30, 2018 to wdealca@sado.org or by mail to:

Wendy Dealca
State Appellate Defender Office
645 Griswold, Ste. 3300
Detroit, MI 48226

SADO is an equal opportunity employer.