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Public Defender Client Advocate - Miami

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Published 20 days ago

BECOME AN ADVOCATE IN THE CRIMINAL LEGAL SYSTEM

Ensure that people facing criminal charges feel heard throughout the legal process. Develop compelling narratives that keep people from being incarcerated. Structure a safety net for a person getting out of jail. This is just some of the vital work you will do as a PFJ Advocate.

 

Nine million people cycle through U.S. jails each year, with Black and Brown people, their families, and communities disproportionately impacted by this colossal system. The enmeshed penalties—the non-judicial penalties that arise from arrests, charges, time spent in jail, and convictions—can be catastrophic. Poverty is both a predictor of involvement with the legal system as well as a consequence: low-income people are far more likely to be arrested and incarcerated, while as many as 90 percent of people charged with crimes were indigent. With the harms of the criminal legal system multiplied for those who are low-income and/or non-white, it is clear that the safety, civil rights, and economic opportunity of entire communities are threatened.

Partners for Justice (PFJ) was founded to transform public defense locally and across the United States to ensure that race and wealth no longer determine legal outcomes. This means ensuring that public defenders are equipped to assist clients with the underlying circumstances driving their involvement in the legal system, secure better legal outcomes both inside and outside the courtroom, and ensure that more clients can walk away from the criminal legal system with their rights, life, and future protected. Since our launch in 2018, PFJ has grown rapidly and we now support twelve public defender offices across the country.

PFJ works closely with public defender offices to help them adopt more holistic practices. Our flagship program embeds trained Client Advocates with a public defender who employs them, immediately expanding the office’s ability to provide clients with wraparound support. Advocates work directly to protect clients from the devastating impacts of arrest and connect them with resources to support their future. As an Advocate, you will get a close-up view of the criminal legal system, receive ongoing training and support from PFJ’s national team, and be part of a national community of professionals doing similar work.

 

Partners for Justice is deeply committed to equity and inclusion in our Advocate selection process. We urge people who have been impacted by the criminal legal system or who share lived experiences with public defender clients to apply for any of our placements.

 

What you’ll do

In this placement at the Miami-Dade County Public Defender’s Office, PFJ Advocates will work directly with public defender clients to help keep them out of jail and connect with supportive community resources. Advocates also act as holistic champions within their office, modeling client-centered teamwork in public defense. Finally, Advocates should be active participants in the PFJ program to help create community with their peers across the country.

  • Build relationships and establish trust with your clients
  • Conduct biopsychosocial interviews to understand your clients’ needs and identify life circumstances that may have impacted their arrest
  • Write compelling and persuasive narrative non-legal reports to support attorneys in arguing for better outcomes in the client’s criminal case
  • Partner closely with attorneys to provide relevant information and documents for clients’ criminal case and other legal issues, such as letters of support or past treatment records
  • Suggest community resources and support services that the client may choose to access, and partner with the office’s placement specialist to connect clients with these resources
  • Ensure seamless coordination across interdisciplinary legal and social service teams 
  • Maintain detailed knowledge of court processes and requirements so you can help your clients navigate these institutions
  • Collect and report data about your work and your achievements
  • Participate in biweekly one-on-one coaching calls, monthly team meetings, and monthly professional development sessions with the PFJ national team

 

Who you are

Committed to working side-by-side with people who are marginalized, knowing that everyone in the criminal justice system is resilient and deserving of support

A creative problem-solver who is able to find innovative and efficient solutions to unusual obstacles

Tenacious: The kind of person who will chase down an issue to its conclusion, regardless of the challenges in your way

A proactive and independent self-starter who is comfortable in ambiguous situations and requires limited direction

Emotionally durable: You have developed strategies that allow you to witness traumatic situations and come back to fight again the next day

 

What you’ll need

  •  A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience
  • Interest in working in the Miami-Dade County Public Defender’s Office in Miami, FL
  • Natives or current residents of Miami-Dade County strongly encouraged to apply
  • Availability to begin work as soon as possible
  • The ability to commit to staying in this position through July 2023
  • Demonstrated interest in public service, criminal justice, civil rights, or social justice
  • Outstanding communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Demonstrated record of academic achievement and personal leadership


What you’ll gain from your time as an Advocate

  • Satisfaction in having made a concrete difference in individual lives and the overall community
  • Real-world exposure to how the legal system and other government institutions operate
  • Absolute confidence in your ability to face down new challenges and navigate them successfully
  • Skills in negotiation, mediation, persuasion and storytelling
  • Access to training, mentors and coaches during your time with PFJ and prepare you for your next steps

BECOME AN ADVOCATE IN THE CRIMINAL LEGAL SYSTEM

Ensure that people facing criminal charges feel heard throughout the legal process. Develop compelling narratives that keep people from being incarcerated. Structure a safety net for a…

Details at a Glance

  • Time Commitment
    Full Time Schedule
  • Professional Level
    Entry level
Salary
USD $35,000 - USD $40,000
/ year

Benefits

Advocates are employed by their host public defender office, and salaries and benefits are provided by the office. Salaries range from $35,000 to $40,000 annually depending on your jurisdiction. Advocates also receive a benefits package that includes medical coverage and paid time off.

Partners for Justice also provides supplemental benefits, including relocation assistance, funding for professional development, and an annual wellness stipend. More information on site-specific salary and benefits packages at our current placement sites will be provided during our interview process.

Advocates are employed by their host public defender office, and salaries and benefits are provided by the office. Salaries range from $35,000 to $40,000 annually depending on your…

Location

On-site
Miami, FL, USA

How to Apply

How we’ll know you’re the right person for the role

The PFJ selection process has three stages: an application, a first-round interview, and a final interview.

To submit an application, please visit www.partnersforjustice.org/apply. You will be asked to submit a resume, your most recent transcript (an unofficial transcript is acceptable), and a writing sample.

Applications will be accepted and interviews conducted on a rolling basis, and we encourage you to apply as soon as possible.

For more information, visit our website at www.partnersforjustice.org

How we’ll know you’re the right person for the role

The PFJ selection process has three stages: an application, a first-round interview, and a final interview.

To submit an application…

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