We Are Hiring a Juvenile Appellate Project Director

(grant-funded, hybrid work environment)

JOB SUMMARY: The Michigan Appellate Assigned Counsel System (MAACS), a division of the State Appellate Defender Office (SADO), seeks to hire a Project Director for its Juvenile Appellate Project. Under the supervision of the MAACS Administrator and direction from the Advisory Board, the Project Director is responsible for implementation and oversight of the Juvenile Appellate Project, which will provide the independent selection and appointment of juvenile appellate and post-disposition counsel from a qualified roster of private attorneys with appropriate training, support, and oversight. This is a grant-funded, mid-level attorney position located in Detroit or Lansing and pays $72,000 to start with increases offered in subsequent years. The project is funded through September 2024.

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 on the SADO website and in our annual reports.


  • Implement qualification and training standards, recruit Project roster, and oversee rotational assignment process.
  • Develop literature and presentations to publicize the Project and secure participation from juvenile courts and defense attorneys.
  • Work with courts and juvenile justice stakeholders to revise court rules and forms related to the appointment of juvenile appellate and post-disposition counsel.
  • Engage with youth in detention facilities to explain appellate rights and help facilitate the appointment of counsel where appropriate.
  • Create training curriculum and resources for Project roster and other juvenile defense counsel.
  • Monitor representation metrics and outcomes for Project roster attorneys and affected youth.
  • Other duties and responsibilities may be assigned.

QUALIFICATIONS: The ideal candidate will have experience representing youth in delinquency proceedings and an understanding of appointment processes for indigent juvenile representation. Applicants must either be current members of the Michigan Bar or eligible to waive into the bar at time of hire. Applicants must have a commitment to juvenile justice, indigent defense, public service, and racial equity.


  • Medical, dental, vision, and life insurance
  • 401k plan with up to a 9% employer contribution
  • 12 paid holidays
  • 3 weeks of paid vacation in year one
  • Paid sick time and, for eligible employees, paid parental leave
  • Long-term disability insurance
  • Flexible work hours
  • Hybrid work environment (remote/office)
  • Paid training opportunities

TO APPLY: Submit a cover letter, resume, and a redacted writing sample. The cover letter should state your interest in the position and address your commitment to working with incarcerated people and people convicted of crimes. Applications should be emailed by March 18, 2022, to Human Resources at HR@sado.org.

WRITING SAMPLE SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: As part of its commitment to diversity in the workplace and its goal to prevent hiring bias, we ask that applicants submit redacted writing samples, which will be reviewed without access to applicant information and scored based on objective criteria. Your name, address, work affiliation, and other identifiers should be redacted from your writing sample. Files should be named generically, and your name should not be a part of the filename. For example, you can name the file WS1.pdf or WritingSample.pdf.

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.