Nashville School of Law

Website Tennessee Office of the Post-Conviction Defender (OPCD)

The OPCD is an independent agency of the Tennessee state government. The agency represents people on Tennessee’s death row in appealing their convictions and sentences in state court, as well as in seeking clemency from the Governor. The office also provides non-case-specific assistance and educational resources to trial counsel appointed in capital cases. The OPCD handles cases throughout Tennessee and travel is required. The office and the position are located in Nashville. Please see for further details about the agency.

The paralegal will work on a team with attorneys and investigators to develop both guilt/innocence and sentencing claims on behalf of clients. The paralegal’s primary duties will include: 1) building and maintaining strong working relationships with clients, 2) maintaining an organized paper and digital case file, 3) locating, collecting, and processing records from various entities, as well as indexing records, 4) preparing and maintaining documents to track record collection attempts, deadlines, and other case-related tasks, 5) assisting attorneys with finalizing and filing pleadings, 6) performing factual research, 7) participating in limited field investigation, 8) handling administrative tasks related to working with experts, and 9) assisting with court hearings by preparing exhibits, assisting with subpoenaing witnesses, and helping manage witnesses in court.

Minimum Qualifications:
• Commitment to providing high-quality representation to those convicted and sentenced to death
• Basic understanding of mental illness, intellectual disability, trauma, and racial injustice issues
• Ability to collaborate closely with others in a team setting
• Ability to work and communicate with people from a variety of cultural backgrounds
• Clear oral and written communication skills
• Organizational and time-management abilities
• Experience with Microsoft Office 365
• Ability to travel occasionally overnight
• Flexibility to work evenings and weekends with advanced notice
• A High School diploma or G.E.D.
• A valid driver’s license

Preferred Qualifications:
• College degree or paralegal certificate
• Prior experience working in the criminal justice system
• Experience with SharePoint

Benefits and Compensation:
• Salary ranging from $54,408 to $98,376, based on years of relevant experience and level of education.
• No state income tax
• Health, dental, vision, life, and disability insurance, as well as pharmacy benefits
• 10 weeks of paid parental leave
• Generous annual, sick, and compensatory time accrual, in addition to other types of leave
• Retirement program recognized as one of the strongest pension funds in the country
• Partial tuition fee waivers at state institutions of higher learning for state employees and discounts on undergraduate tuition for children of state employees
• Flexible work hours, including some ability to work remotely

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