MAACS is Hiring a Mitigation Specialist

Grant-funded one-year position. Apply by October 25.
JOB SUMMARY:  The Michigan Appellate Assigned Counsel System (MAACS), a division of the State Appellate Defender Office (SADO) seeks to hire a full-time Mitigation Specialist to assist in legal representation of clients appearing for resentencing hearings.  Mitigation Specialists are a crucial part of the defense team and work with attorneys and clients to develop strategy for new sentencing hearings. The Mitigation Specialist will perform a variety of functions with the end goal of improving sentencing outcomes for clients.  This position is grant funded for one year with a salary of $54,465 and expected start date of November 15th.

ABOUT MAACS:  SADO is a state public appellate defense agency with about 60 staff members and offices in Detroit and Lansing.  MAACS is a division within SADO and administers the appointment of felony appellate counsel in Michigan trial courts from a roster of approximately 150 private attorneys and SADO. MAACS and SADO merged for management purposes in 2014.  The consolidated MAACS/SADO agency is overseen by the Appellate Defender Commission under MCL 780.711 et. seq.  Additional information about MAACS is available here.

  • Travel to correctional institutions to visit with incarcerated clients to learn about their background, the facts of the offense, current experiences while incarcerated, and specific needs upon release (due to COVID-19, videoconferencing is temporarily replacing most in-person visits);
  • Interview family, friends, community members, and other individuals to compile material in mitigation of sentence; 
  • Obtain, analyze and summarize records and documents, including prison records, social files, school records, and medical and mental health records; 
  • Prepare reports, including client and witness interview memos, 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 or presenting allocution.

  • Commitment to client-centered, zealous advocacy;
  • Commitment to the inherent worth and dignity of clients; 
  • Commitment to cultural humility and cultural competency; 
  • Education in social work, social science, psychology, forensic psychology, journalism, anthropology, criminal justice, or a related field;
  • Knowledge of the criminal justice system, preferably in Michigan; 
  • Experience in investigation; 
  • Excellent communication, interviewing, and interpersonal skills; 
  • The ability to prioritize a significant workload and high-volume caseload;
  • Ability to work flexible hours, including evenings, nights, and early mornings, and to travel throughout the state to attend hearings, meet with incarcerated clients, interview witnesses, and obtain mitigation material;
  • Outstanding writing and organizational skills;
  • Flexible and creative thinking; 
  • The ability to work as part of the defense team under the lead of the case attorney, and maintain confidentiality; 
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Word and Outlook, Adobe Acrobat, Excel, and general office equipment.

SADO offers training and mentoring, and fosters an environment of success and support. With offices in Detroit and Lansing, SADO’s fifty-plus staff members form a community advocating for clients and a fair criminal justice system. Additionally, SADO provides the ability to work remotely as needed. Visit to learn more.  

  • Medical, dental, vision, and life insurance
  • 401k plan
  • Paid vacation and sick leave
  • Paid holidays
  • Long-term disability insurance
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Flexible work hours
  • Work from home options
  • Paid training opportunities

TO APPLY:  Submit a resume and a cover letter. The cover letter should address your commitment to working with incarcerated people and people convicted of crimes.  Applications should be submitted by October 25, 2021 to Human Resources at

SADO is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion.  We recognize people of color are disproportionately impacted by the criminal legal system and actively seek to employ staff with backgrounds representative of our clients. We strongly encourage people of color, people with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ people, and people directly affected by the criminal legal system to apply. A felony conviction does not prohibit employment at SADO.