Sr. Special Projects Attorney

Website MacArthur Justice Center

The Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center (“MJC”) seeks a Full-Time Senior Special Projects Attorney dedicated to support the launch of the National Parole Transformation Project (NPTP), a grant-funded project which will build upon MJC’s past parole-related work to create lasting social and legal change in post-conviction supervision.  This is a two-year position funded by Arnold Ventures.

The Senior Special Projects Attorney will help establish and lead NPTP, working with MJC’s in-house parole experts, local counsel, and coalitions to launch class action litigation in several jurisdictions across the country. The project’s overarching goal will be to transform parole revocation proceedings by pressing for de-incarceration and economic and racial justice. Ultimately, the project will catalyze lasting change by creating a network of parole experts, nationwide, who can continue this work for years to come. The Senior Special Projects Attorney will bear primary responsibility for developing and litigating these lawsuits, as well as supervising other NPTP staff to support litigation efforts and supplemental non-litigation advocacy.

The Senior Special Projects Attorney will be involved in the recruiting and hiring the NPTP team which includes an attorney, an organizer and a paralegal.

The Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center (MJC) is one of the nation’s premier civil rights organizations and a non-profit legal organization that litigates high-impact civil rights and systemic reform cases at the trial, appellate, and Supreme Court levels.

MJC is a national organization, with offices in Chicago, St. Louis, New Orleans, Oxford, Mississippi, and Washington D.C.   For more information about the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center, please visit

The criminal legal system disproportionally harms people of color, people from low-income communities, people who were formerly incarcerated, people with disabilities, and LGBTQIA+ individuals.  We strongly encourage people who identify within these and other communities underrepresented in the legal profession to apply.  All applicants must have and be committed to the cultural competence required to work with clients and co-workers who come from different backgrounds and experiences.

Essential Job Duties:


Developing and litigating injunctive actions within NPTP, including through case development and investigation; client outreach; conducting discovery, including doing document review, engaging in written discovery and taking depositions; engaging in legal research and brief-writing; assisting in trial and hearing preparation and presentation; developing and coordinating relationships with local counsel and coalitions; and supporting settlement efforts, where appropriate

Supervising other project staff and organizing regular project meetings;

Coordinate with project staff, including the Community Outreach Advocate, to participate in community meetings and actions, build and sustain relationships with community leaders, activists, local organizations in identified jurisdictions, RSMJC attorneys in the other offices, and co-counsel
Building and maintaining relationships with public defenders and other criminal defense attorneys in target jurisdiction to assist with issue spotting and case development;
Developing and managing relationships with pro bono attorneys at law firms to collaborate on NPTP cases;
Organizing and participating in conferences, trainings, and meetings addressing key litigation issues and practice areas;
Participating in meetings and collaborating with co-counsel, and conducting meet-and-confer sessions with opposing counsel;

National travel as required for investigation, court appearances, depositions, and meeting with clients.
Other Job Duties

Attending yearly MJC organizational-wide meetings and regular planning meetings of the Illinois office;
Coordinating with MJC communications team regarding publicity and public education efforts around NPTP’s work and mission;
Assisting supervisors in gathering information and data sufficient to meet funder’s periodic reporting requirements;
Participating in trainings relating to office technology and office-wide practices.
Experience and Qualifications

Education: J.D. degree required

License and Certifications: Admission to/good standing in any state Bar required.

Skills and Experience:

At least five years of litigation experience strongly preferred (including in a clerkship or fellowship), this is not an entry level role;
At least 2 years of relevant litigation experience required;
Experience with parole-related litigation or advocacy a plus;
Comfort working in detention centers and with people caught up in the criminal legal system required, prior experience preferred;
a desire to engage in community lawyering, and a willingness to use the law creatively and strategically to seek justice for clients required;
strong familiarity with concepts of criminal procedure, constitutional law, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 litigation required;
ability to collaborate and to foster a team environment;
a commitment to creating a working environment that is inclusive, equitable and welcoming;
a willingness to honor the diverse experiences and perspectives of MJC staff and clients;
strong research, writing and editing skills;
self-motivated, diligent, and able to meet strict deadlines.
Must be passionate about transformational justice and criminal legal system reform, de-incarceration, and trial work.
Experience with Relativity, OneDrive, Clio, Microsoft 365, Adobe Pro preferred.
Must able to travel an estimated twice per month nationally.
Location: Chicago, IL or St. Louis, MO (hybrid remote possible)

Compensation:  The salary range is $90,000 to $110,000 annually with benefits, and is funded by a grant from Arnold Ventures.


Please submit the following:

A cover letter addressing your experience relevant to the considerations above.
A resume; and
Two references.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and will be accepted through May 16, 2022.

To apply for this job please visit