San Francisco, California
DOE and level - see posting for details
Jul 24, 2019
Aug 23, 2019
Job Function
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level
Willingness to Travel
up to 25%
Experience Level


The Habeas Corpus Resource Center (HCRC), located in San Francisco, is accepting applications for Litigation Support Assistants (Investigator Track) and Investigators.

The HCRC was established as a judicial branch entity to provide direct legal representation to death row inmates in post-conviction proceedings in state and federal courts. In addition, the HCRC acts as a resource center to outside counsel for the defense of death row defendants.  Positions will be filled depending upon the needs of the HCRC and the applicant pool.

HCRC seeks motivated applicants with intellectual curiosity and excellent computer, writing, organizational and interpersonal skills to participate in the legal defense of death row prisoners. Candidates must be trustworthy with confidential information, have a track record of exercising good judgment, be able to establish rapport with a wide range of life history witnesses, be available to travel extensively, both in state and out of state, and show a commitment to the defense of or advocacy for indigent defendants.  We are particularly interested in candidates who have knowledge or experience in developing mitigation and mental health issues, and in working with clients and family members.


HCRC Litigation Support Assistant 

Litigation Support Assistant I is the entry-level class.  Initially under close supervision, Litigation Support Assistants will be assigned to legal teams and will be trained to provide investigative assistance to case teams.  As experience is gained, there is greater independence of action within established guidelines.  This class is alternatively staffed with Litigation Support Assistant II, and employees may advance to the higher level after gaining experience and demonstrating proficiency that meets the qualifications of the higher level.

Litigation Support Assistant II

Litigation Support Assistant II is the journey-level class of this series, fully competent to independently perform a full range of litigation support duties.  Members of this class exercise significant independence in performing a broad range of litigation support duties within general guidelines, but with limited independent decision-making. 

HCRC Investigator I

Under supervision, an HCRC Investigator I assists in planning, organizing and conducting investigations related to the representation of death row inmates in habeas corpus proceedings.  Typical duties include:  locating, retrieving, reviewing, analyzing and summarizing factual materials and records; identifying, locating and interviewing family members, friends, teachers, employers, law enforcement officials, and other persons; locating, obtaining and preserving documentary evidence from a variety of sources; conferring with attorneys on potential legal issues; drafting, reviewing and editing reports, summaries and witness statements; operating and maintaining a variety of photographic, tape, graphic and projection equipment; and maintaining filing and information reference systems.

HCRC Investigator II

An HCRC Investigator II conducts complex investigations on capital cases and exercises a high degree of initiative and independent judgment to independently perform the full range of duties under general supervision. 

Working hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Holiday, evening and weekend work may be required.  Extensive in-state and out-of-state travel will be required as necessary for all positions.


Litigation Support Assistant I: Equivalent to a possession of a bachelor’s degree.

Litigation Support Assistant II: Equivalent to possession of a bachelor’s degree and one year performing investigation support. Additional directly related college level education may be substituted for a portion of the experience or one year as a Litigation Support Assistant I.

Investigator I:  Equivalent of a bachelor's degree, preferably with a major in criminal justice, law, psychology, sociology, or journalism and two years of experience in general investigations; or one year of experience in capital investigations; or one year as a Litigation Support Assistant with HCRC.

Investigator II:  Equivalent of a bachelor's degree, preferably with a major in criminal justice, law, psychology, sociology, or journalism and two years of experience in capital investigations; or two years as a Habeas Corpus Investigator I. 

(Additional directly related experience may be substituted for education.  Additional directly related college-level education may be substituted for a portion of the required experience.)


·         General concepts and principles involved in project assignments;

·         Good oral and written communication skills;

·         Ability to use tact and discretion in dealing with those contacted in the course of the work;

·         Principles of organizing and summarizing data and information;

·         The operation of personal computers and the use of specified computer applications, such as word processing, databases, and spreadsheets;

·         Principles and techniques of preparing a variety of effective written materials; and

·         Computer proficiency with PCs, preferably in Microsoft Word, Outlook, Excel, and Adobe.


·         Familiarity with mental health issues and development of social history issues;

·         Familiarity with cultural diversity and with interviewing clients from diverse cultural backgrounds;

·         Fluency in oral and written Spanish; and

·         Proficiency in legal software and/or document management databases and experience in defense-related investigation work, particularly in areas related to mental health.


Knowledge of:

·         Techniques, principles, and methods used in criminal defense investigations;

·         Methods and techniques of screening, evaluating, and preparing evidence and exhibits for evidentiary hearings and trials;

·         Potential statutory and constitutional claims for relief;

·         Ethical and legal rules regarding investigative activities;

·         Mental defenses to a crime such as diminished capacity and legal insanity, including general knowledge of the subject of psychology and psychological testing;

·         Resources available for locating individuals and relevant information;

·         The criminal justice system, state department of corrections, and related agencies; and

·         Principles and techniques of preparing effective oral presentations and a variety of effective written materials.

Applicants who do not meet the minimum qualifications for the Investigator I level may be considered for an entry-level Litigation Support Assistant position.

All positions require a valid California driver’s license.


This position requires submission of an official application and response to the supplemental questionnaire.  The application and supplemental questionnaire are located at:

Please submit the following documents, in this order, combined into one PDF, with the title "Your Last Name, INV0619":

(1) a cover letter ;

(2) application;

(3) resume ; and

(4) supplemental questions.

Resumes without the required materials will not be considered.  

Review of application materials will take place upon receipt.  Position(s)/posting open until filled.

Selection Procedure

The HCRC uses a lengthy recruitment process. Every application is reviewed in its entirety. Candidates whose qualifications best meet the needs of HCRC will be contacted to participate in the interview process. All applicants will be notified by mail when the recruitment has been closed. Due to the volume of applications received, we request that applicants refrain from contacting HCRC regarding hiring status and from in-person pick up or delivery of applications.  The individuals selected to fill the position will be appointed at a level commensurate with their qualifications.


Litigation Support Assistant I              $3,497 - $4,319

Litigation Support Assistant II             $3,845 - $4,749

Habeas Corpus Investigator I             $4,989 - $6,065

Habeas Corpus Investigator II            $5,490 - $6,672

Some highlights of our benefits package include:

·         Health/Dental/Vision benefits program

·         13 paid holidays per calendar year

·         Choice of Annual Leave or Sick/Vacation Leave

·         1 personal holiday per year

·         $130 transit pass subsidy per month

·         CalPERS Retirement Plan

·         401(K) and 457 deferred compensation plans

·         Employee Assistance Program

·         Basic Life and AD&D Insurance

·         FlexElect Program

·         Long Term Care Program (employee paid/optional)

·         Group Legal Plan (employee paid/optional)