Mitigation Specialist

The Office of Capital and Forensic Writs (“OCFW”) is a public defender office in Austin that represents incarcerated individuals in state post-conviction litigation. We provide zealous, client-centered postconviction representation to indigent persons in Texas, consistent with the Guidelines and Standards for Texas Capital Counsel and the Supplementary Guidelines and Standards for the Mitigation Function of Defense Teams in Texas Death Penalty Cases adopted by the State Bar of Texas. We raise claims relating to the constitutionality of convictions and sentences through two separate programs:

  1. Investigating and litigating constitutional claims relating to death penalty convictions and sentences;
  2. Representing incarcerated persons where questionable forensic science tainted their convictions.

OCFW Values:

The OCFW values dedication, compassion, collaboration and dignity, and believes these values to be the cornerstone of all that we do. Our office is dedicated to client interests, professional development, and high-quality representation. We endeavor to work through an anti-oppressive lens, display compassion in our work to our clients, the community at large, each other and ourselves. We foster a collaborative and supportive environment and empower each other in our work protecting the rights of our clients. We strive to be free from bias or favoritism and to treat all with respect. 

Diversity Statement:

OCFW is devoted to maintaining a staff with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Every OCFW staff member shares a profound commitment to public service and to defending people from underserved communities. We are specifically seeking candidates with Spanish language skills and/or those from communities disproportionately impacted by systemic injustice, whose lived experiences contribute to client representation.

We are committed to cultivating an anti-oppressive workplace that embraces staff with a diversity of backgrounds, identities, and experiences. We acknowledge the ways in which systemic oppression and injustice can undermine access to professional opportunities. We are committed to conducting hiring and promotion processes that are equitable and accessible to those commonly excluded from the workforce. 

OCFW Mitigation Specialist Job Description:

  • Identifying and locating witnesses, and travelling across the state and country to interview them in their homes. Witnesses include complaining witnesses, law enforcement and eyewitnesses, the client’s friends, family, teachers, neighbors, coworkers, etc. Depending on the needs of a case, mitigation specialists may perform both mitigation and culpability investigation.
  • Conducting a culturally competent social history investigation by 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, and maintaining a close relationship based on trust and rapport with multiple clients. Our clients are usually housed at the Polunsky Unit prison in Livingston, Texas. Each member of the team visits clients frequently.
  • Gathering and analyzing relevant records and anecdotes to develop information concerning the circumstances of the alleged crime and the client’s life history. From the information we gather, mitigation specialists draft memos, construct timelines, and assist in drafting the social history narrative of the client’s life and family history.
  • Working independently by managing the competing priorities and deadlines of multiple cases. Mitigation specialists create and implement their own investigation plans after consulting with the case team members.
  • Working as a member and facilitating the success of interdisciplinary teams of multiple attorneys, other mitigation specialists, supervisors, and experts. As a full member of each client’s case team, mitigation specialists collaborate in developing theories of the case and case strategies and providing litigation support to the team.

Minimum Qualifications: *

  • College degree;
  • An organized and precise work practice with attention to detail and accuracy;
  • A demonstrated commitment to the representation of death-sentenced persons, and persons from marginalized communities;
  • Excellent written and oral communication;
  • Highly developed interpersonal and collaboration skills;
  • 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.

*If there is a minimum qualification that you do not meet, but you believe that your combined background, life, professional, and/or educational experience prepares you for success in this job, you may apply and explain in your cover letter why you believe so.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Bilingual in Spanish and English;
  • Capital defense investigation experience;
  • Experience working in a legal office that serves indigent communities;
  • Degree or post-graduate study in a relevant field (g., cultural anthropology, psychology, sociology, African American or Latin American studies, public health, ethnography, law, social work, English, history, communications, or another field involving qualitative research);
  • Familiarity or experience with identifying mental health symptoms, trauma, intellectual disabilities, forensic sciences, and/or issues of race, ethnicity and poverty within the criminal justice system or elsewhere. 

Employment Conditions:

  • Ability and willingness to travel throughout Texas, out of state, and on occasion, out of the country for client-representation purposes. The person hired for this position should expect to regularly travel 50% of the time weekly on case work.
  • Ability to operate standard office equipment and software.
  • A valid driver’s license, and the willingness to operate a motor vehicle for client-representation purposes.

Additional Details:

Posting Date:

January 10, 2022

Closing Date:

Until Filled 

Job Listing:



Austin, Texas

State Classification:

Investigator IV-VI

FLSA Status:


Salary Range

$55,000 to $80,000 (depending on experience and qualifications)

Type of Job:

Full time, some weekends are required.

Travel Required:

Yes (50%)


How to Apply:

To apply for this position, send: (1) a letter of interest; (2) a resume; (3) a list of references; (4) the mandated State of Texas Application for Employment to:

State applications are available at:

Veterans, Reservist or Guardsmen with an MOS or additional duties that fall in the fields of 27A, 27B, 250X, LGL10, 04, 4402, 51JX, or other related fields pertaining to the minimum experience requirements may meet the minimum qualifications. Additional Military Crosswalk information can be accessed at:


The Office of Capital & Forensic Writs is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, sex, religion, age or disability in employment or the provision of services. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, any request for reasonable accommodations needed during the application process should be communicated by the applicant to Sandra Justice, the Office of Capital & Forensic Writs Senior Accountant, at (512) 463-8520.

Updated Monday, January 10, 2022