Employment Opportunity - Life History Investigator Arc Inc.

Jan 8, 2018


Senior Life History Investigator

Overview: ARC, Inc. is seeking an experienced life history investigator to join us in conducting high-quality investigations on behalf of indigent clients. The ideal candidate will bring a minimum of three years working as a capital mitigation specialist. Proficiency in Spanish is highly preferred.

1. Introduction
Advancing Real Change, Inc. (ARC, Inc.) is a not-for- profit organization based in Baltimore, Maryland dedicated to providing systematic and comprehensive life history investigations for those facing the death penalty and juveniles facing life sentences. We engage in direct casework on pre-trial, trial, and post-conviction cases, train and consult with defense teams working on capital and juvenile life cases, and participate in state and national training sessions. ARC, Inc. was founded in 2014 and is led by life history investigators.

ARC, Inc. is committed to the following values:

  • Excellence in the provision of services for indigent defendants: we consider the ABA Guidelines for Mitigation Function of Defense Team in Capital Cases to have established minimum standards for high quality representation in capital cases, and we are committed to surpassing those standards in every case;
  • Client-centered and relationship based work that respects the humanity and dignity of all involved in the criminal justice system;
  • Innovation and creativity in the provision of defense services;
  • The elimination of racism and other forms of discrimination in the criminal justice system.

2. Role
The primary function of a life history investigator, commonly referred to as a mitigation specialist, is to develop evidence relevant to the life history of the defendant, which often includes information related to culpability and to sentencing. ARC, Inc. seeks applicants for a senior life history position.

3. Duties
The responsibilities of a senior life history investigator include:

  • Investigating the facts and circumstances of the alleged crime by gathering documentary evidence and interviewing witnesses.
  • Obtaining and analyzing anecdotal and documentary evidence relevant to the client’s life history, including but not limited to: medical and psychiatric history; trauma history; educational history; employment history; military history; social service and child protective service contacts with the family; multigenerational family history and patterns of behavior; genetic disorders and vulnerabilities; prior adult and juvenile correctional experience; religious, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic, racial, cultural and community influences; and socio- economic, historical and political factors.
  • Identifying, locating and interviewing the client, establishing on-going relationships with the client and family, and interviewing witnesses who are knowledgeable about the client at every phase of his or her life, relevant to both the crime and the client’s life history in a culturally competent manner.
  • Establishing rapport with clients and witnesses that overcomes barriers those individuals may have against the disclosure of sensitive information.
  • Assisting in identifying and working with experts.
  • Furnishing memos and/or reports on a variety of topics to counsel and experts, including social histories and chronologies.
  • Working as a member and facilitating the success of teams.
  • Consulting with attorneys to develop theories of the case and case strategy.
  • Organizing and administering the case file.
  • Providing litigation support to counsel.
  • Participating in trainings and consulting on cases with non–ARC, Inc. practitioners.
  • Providing support through training and supervision of junior staff members and performing other duties from time to time as the needs of the office dictate.

4. Qualifications

  • A minimum 3 years of experience working as a capital mitigation specialist
  • College degree (e.g., we have worked with many exceptional life history investigators from many academic backgrounds including journalism, social work, anthropology, public health, ethnography, and qualitative researchers.)
  • Driver’s license
  • Ability and willingness to travel
  • An organized and precise work practice with attention to detail and accuracy
  • Highly developed ability to absorb and order information
  • Clear written and oral expression
  • Highly developed interpersonal skills
  • Commitment to excellence in indigent defender services
  • Strengths in team work, client relations and relationship building
  • Experience working with people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds and an awareness of the issues that must be overcome to successfully work with people who have life experiences you do not share
  • Creativity and energy in approaching all tasks and responsibilities
  • The ability to qualify for a private investigator’s license
  • Familiarity and proficiency with Microsoft Word

Non-essential but highly desirable

  • Post-graduate qualification in relevant area;
  • Computer literacy in additional software, such as, spreadsheets, databases, case management software;
  • Proficiency in Spanish or another foreign language.

5. Salary & Benefits
The position is full time with a six-month probationary period and a two-year minimum commitment. This is an at-will position and the two-year minimum commitment is not a guarantee of employment.

Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience. Benefits include medical and dental insurance.

6. Application Process
Applications should be submitted in writing or electronically to Elizabeth Vartkessian, 309 N. Charles St. Third floor, Baltimore, MD 21201 or to esv@advancechange.org. Applications should include a current CV, contact details for three references, and a cover letter that addresses the listed qualifications criteria. The position will remain open until filled.

ARC, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer.