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Korey Wise Innocence Project Staff Attorney

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

University Staff



Posting Close Date:


Date Posted:


Job Summary

The Korey Wise Innocence Project (KWIP) at the University of Colorado Law School encourages applications for a Staff Attorney. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) recently provided KWIP with a list of 51 criminal cases where CBI analysts conducted hair microscopy (a forensic discipline discredited by DNA). KWIP subsequently applied for, and was awarded, a Department of Justice (DOJ) grant to fund a new Staff Attorney position to run a hair microscopy project. The Staff Attorney will supervise a review of the CBI hair microscopy cases and similar cases from other state agencies. This position will also have primary responsibility for these cases as they move through screening processes, DNA testing, and exoneration if warranted. The selected cases will be screened to determine whether inaccurate and unreliable expert testimony was admitted at trial (or whether the expert’s conclusions were used to secure a plea agreement), whether the hair microscopy evidence was material to the conviction, and whether new DNA testing could demonstrate actual innocence. As appropriate, this role will conduct investigations, negotiate or litigate for new DNA testing, and raise new-evidence claims in post-conviction litigation.

Law students at Colorado Law can volunteer or complete an externship for credit with KWIP. The Staff Attorney will supervise teams of students in gathering case documents, carefully reviewing trial testimony and other pertinent parts of the record, and drafting case memos. The Staff Attorney will assist law students in presenting their case memos to KWIP’s Review Committee. When the Review Committee approves a case for investigation and possible litigation, the Staff Attorney will work with law students to conduct an investigation and pursue DNA testing. If new evidence of innocence is developed through investigation or testing, the Staff Attorney will seek relief in court through post-conviction litigation.

This position may also be assigned other cases that fit into grant criteria but do not involve hair microscopy.

The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Who We Are

We are an engaged, diverse, and inclusive community of students, faculty, staff, and alumni who help one another succeed. Our selective admissions process keeps our student body small, enabling our faculty, staff, alumni, and community to invest deeply in each student’s success. Because we take our responsibility to educate and train future lawyers very seriously, our curriculum, research centers, and experiential learning opportunities are crafted to prepare students for success in today’s changing legal environment.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Develop a protocol for reviewing hair microscopy cases that satisfies the DOJ’s criteria and ensure that cases are reviewed in a timely but detailed manner.
  • Negotiate for disclosures from other state agencies that conducted hair microscopy work.
  • Gather and review initial materials for cases on the CBI list including transcripts and other records.
  • Manage long-term case strategy and problem-solving for all cases under review. For cases approved for investigation and/or new forensic testing, consider appropriate negotiation and litigation strategies.
  • Develop relationships with local DA’s offices and law enforcement agencies to facilitate the review of cases.
  • Supervise and teach law students, one-on-one, how to gather and evaluate materials, read transcripts, and create case memos.
  • Manage DNA and other forensic testing to ensure that DOJ guidelines are satisfied and that resources are used effectively to achieve the best results for individual clients.
  • Draft motions, petitions, appeal briefs, and other filings.
  • Conduct evidentiary hearings as necessary.
  • Assist with other aspects of KWIP’s work, including fundraising, communications, event planning, policy, and office administration. 

What You Should Know

  • This position will be primarily on-campus with some flexibility for remote work hours.
  • Travel (largely in-state) and irregular work hours when necessary are required.
  • All University of Colorado Boulder employees are required to comply with the campus COVID-19 vaccine requirement. New employees must provide proof of vaccination or receive a medical or religious exemption within 30 days of employment.

What We Can Offer

The salary for this position is $80,000 annually. This position is funded by a grant that is anticipated to last 3 years with the possibility to be continued after the 3 years, depending on funding.


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Be Statements

Be ambitious. Be flexible. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • A Juris Doctor degree.
  • License to practice law in Colorado or eligibility to be admitted on motion to the Colorado bar.
  • Three years of litigation experience involving indigent defense or civil rights work.

What You Will Need

  • Digital literacy, including experience using common office software.
  • Ability to communicate and work cooperatively with a wide range of people, including government personnel and officials, law enforcement, attorneys, records custodians, students, prisoners and their families, litigation partners at law firms, and members of the community.
  • Excellent legal research and writing skills, and organization skills.
  • Advocacy skills and experience litigating in court.
  • Ability to work in a team and receive constructive feedback.
  • Ability to effectively delegate to and supervise law students and other volunteers.
  • Knowledge/experience concerning:
    • Post-conviction and federal habeas law.
    • DNA and other forensic evidence.
    • Using the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA).
    • Developing investigative plans.
    • Interviewing witnesses and drafting statements/affidavits.

What We Would Like You To Have

  • Experience managing complex multi-year litigation.
  • Experience working with law students (or other adult students) or junior lawyers in a supervisory role.
  • Experience with, and knowledge of, Colorado court systems.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials: 
  1. A current resume. 
  2. A cover letter that specifically addresses how your background and experience align with the requirements, qualifications and responsibilities of the position.
You will not be asked to upload references at this time.
Please apply by 2/2/2022 for consideration.
Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Boulder Campus Human Resources

Posting Contact Email: