Position: Criminal Justice Program Senior Staff Attorney
Term of Employment: Full Time. Cotati, CA, or remote.
Reports to: Director of Criminal Justice Program
Position Objectives: The Criminal Justice Program (CJP) Senior Staff Attorney position furthers the mission to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system, by providing prosecutors and law enforcement with essential legal support on animal cruelty cases and encouraging the prosecution of animal crimes to ensure justice for animal victims. The CJP Senior Staff Attorney provides extensive training to prosecutors, law enforcement, veterinarians, and other key professionals to further this goal of case support and assistance. The CJP Senior Staff Attorney is responsible for the day-to-day management of his or her assigned cases and projects, including ensuring the completion of all necessary research and filings, and frequently oversees other staff and interns. CJP Senior Staff Attorneys have more experience and more supervisory responsibilities than Staff Attorneys.
- Assist prosecutors pursuing animal cruelty charges at the trial level with thorough factual and legal analysis of animal cruelty statutes, rules of criminal procedure, and other related laws; draft memoranda, pleadings, motions, and other documents as needed for trial preparation; and communicate with prosecutors directly about strategies for animal cruelty-specific issues such as evidence preservation, pre-conviction forfeiture, evidence suppression, and future ownership prohibitions
- Assist law enforcement, animal control officers, and veterinarians with animal cruelty investigations, including reviewing affidavits, warrants, expert witness testimony, and veterinary reports
- Create and conduct an extensive number of legal trainings on animal crimes for a range of audiences each year, including: prosecutors, animal control officers, judges, law students, humane officers, and animal control officers
- Identify and analyze the viability of potential animal cruelty charges in cases where criminal charges have not been filed, and draft correspondence to relevant law enforcement and prosecutors outlining the viability of a criminal cruelty case where appropriate
- Communicate efficiently with complainants and advocates by phone and e-mail; gather relevant facts (through eyewitness accounts, media reports, and other sources as needed) for potential criminal cruelty cases; and identify, after thorough legal analysis, those cases warranting further investigation
- Assist with oversight of Criminal Justice Program Staff Attorneys, clerks, and externs as requested by Criminal Justice Program Director
- Work with the Criminal Justice Program Director to implement legal theories to shift criminal jurisprudence in a better direction for animal victims
- Assist with the review, development, and advancement of new legislation relating to animal crimes in all 50 states and at the federal level
- Coordinate and collaborate with Litigation Program staff on cases that have, or could have, both civil and criminal components
- Work with Communications and other departments to answer questions on criminal legal issues and procedures, and to propose, draft, proof read and/or edit content on cases and legal developments for the website, blogs, e-Update, e-alerts, newsletters, donor mailings, etc.
- Field media requests from Communications as requested by the Criminal Justice Program Director
- Prepare and deliver presentations for other professional conferences, fundraising events, etc. as needed
- Provide in-house expertise for staff on questions concerning Criminal Justice Program cases, animal cruelty cases in general and criminal procedures and legal strategy
- Understand and be committed to the mission;
- Five or more years’ experience practicing criminal law; prosecutorial experience preferred
- Juris Doctor and admission to practice law in at least one state;
- Excellent organizational and prioritization skills and ability to meet deadlines;
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Excellent legal research and writing skills
- Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to communicate effectively with colleagues, organizational members and supporters, members of the public, and others;
- Computer literacy;
- Positive attitude, ability to work cooperatively with others, and ability to function well in a team-oriented work environment.
Salary and Benefits:
Competitive compensation package with comprehensive benefits
- Comprehensive health care plan(s);
- Flexible spending account (FSA);
- Dental benefits;
- Vision benefits;
- Life insurance;
- Generous Paid Time Off;
- 11 paid holidays;
- 401k retirement plan after one year of employment, with employer match up to 5% of annual salary;
- Casual office environment includes companion animal
We are committed to providing an employment environment which is welcoming of persons from diverse backgrounds and free from unlawful discrimination and harassment, and in which all legal rights of our employees are recognized and protected. We conduct all internal and external operations, programs, and employment-related decision making (including hiring decisions) without regard to actual or perceived race, ancestry, color, religion, national origin, citizenship, immigration status, sex or gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), gender identity or expression, political affiliation, disability or medical condition (including physical, intellectual, or psychiatric), sexual orientation, marital status, military or veteran status, genetic information, age, or other protected category, and in compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws.