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Call for Applications: Research and Training Director, Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide

July 26, 2019

The mission of the Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide is to bridge critical gaps in advocacy around the death penalty through research, litigation, and training. The Center publishes reports and manuals on issues of practical relevance to defense lawyers, governments, courts, and organizations grappling with questions relating to the application of the death penalty. Its online database provides comprehensive, current, and transparent data on the death penalty laws and practices of all countries and territories that retain the death penalty. Drawing upon the human rights violations highlighted by its research, the Center engages in targeted advocacy focusing on the implementation of fair trial standards and the rights of those who come into conflict with the law, including juveniles, women, and individuals with intellectual disabilities and mental illnesses. Finally, it provides training through the Makwanyane Institute to a cadre of competitively-chosen Fellows, who undergo specialized death penalty defense training and contribute to building a global network of capital defenders. More information is available at http://www.deathpenaltyworldwide.org.

Founded in 1887, Cornell Law School is a top-tier law school, currently ranked 13th by U.S. News & World Report. We offer a 3-year JD program for about 200 students per class, a one-year LLM program for over 100 students from countries throughout the world, and a doctoral (JSD) program for about 2-3 new students per year. Cornell Law School has approximately 40 tenured and tenure-track faculty, including 20 with chaired faculty positions; and 15 clinical professors in the legal research and writing program and in clinics at the local, national, and international level. Our faculty is consistently ranked among the top in the country for scholarly productivity and influence, and has pre-eminence in many areas, including quantitative and qualitative empirical legal studies, international and comparative law, and robust doctrinal scholarship in core fields. Our school is committed to being recognized as the leader among law schools at combining inspiring theoretical, doctrinal, and experiential teaching with cutting-edge scholarship in a supportive, intellectually rich community, so that our graduates can achieve excellence in all facets of the legal profession.

What you will do:

The Research and Training Director will lead the Center’s training and research initiatives in order to support our mission of furthering human rights in the criminal legal system. Within our close-knit team, responsibilities will include:

  • Directing training initiatives for a global network of capital defense lawyers.
  • Overseeing the Center’s groundbreaking research database on death penalty practices around the world
  • Representing the Center at meetings and conferences in the US and internationally
  • Mentoring research associates, law student researchers, undergraduate interns, and volunteers.

This is a term position through June 30, 2021, with a possibility of extension based on performance and funding availability.

What we need:

  • Bachelor’s degree and 3-5 years of experience in a field connected to human rights and/or criminal law or equivalent.
  • A demonstrated commitment to social justice and human rights, particularly in the sphere of criminal law.
  • Excellent writing and communication skills. Exceptional legal research skills, including creative problem-solving.
  • Familiarity with the framework of international human rights law. A high degree of organization and attention to detail.
  • Strong creative and strategic thinking abilities.
  • Enthusiasm for working in a multicultural environment and sensitive cross-cultural communication skills.
  • Willingness to travel internationally for up to 2-3 weeks at a time.

A law degree from any country or jurisdiction is strongly preferred. Fluency in French (reading, writing, and speaking) is preferred. Other languages would also be a plus, especially Arabic or Chinese. Experience managing projects, supervising a team, and organizing international events and/or trainings; experience as a human rights advocate and/or criminal defense lawyer; and experience in the field of gender rights are additional assets.

Application Materials:

  • Cover letter explaining your interest in the Center and its work, any relevant experience, and what you hope to gain from the position.
  • CV or resume.
  • Two (2) unedited writing samples in English, ideally on a topic relevant to law or policy; and one (1) writing sample in French if applicable.
  • List of two (2) professional references.

The deadline to apply is Friday, July 26. We expect to conduct interviews in late August or early September. The position is based in Ithaca, NY, and is expected to start in November 2019 (start date negotiable).