The Policy Attorney will help develop and implement the Deason Criminal Justice Reform Center’s criminal justice reform agenda. The position will conduct research, write reports, and serve as lead counsel on certain projects. S/he will develop and manage the Center’s media and communication (including social media and outreach efforts), and assist with obtaining grant funding.

Essential Functions:
Conduct research, write articles, reports, white papers, and other materials that document, advance, and promote the Center’s research and advocacy agenda.
Lead projects identified by the Center Director. When serving as project lead, the policy attorney will identify, engage, and coordinate with project’s stakeholders and partners; manage the project’s advocacy agenda; develop, track, and document project budgets; and produce all communications and reports stemming from the project.
Develop and manage the Center’s media and communications strategies; including media outreach, website content, and social media presence.
Identify national and local partnership opportunities. Working with the Director and the Research Director, the Policy Attorney will assist in the application for private and public grants and foundation funding.
Assist Director in Center management. Responsibilities may include working with SMU’s legal office, SMU’s office of sponsored projects, SMU facilities, or other internal SMU organizations.


Education and Experience:
A Juris Doctor and a minimum of seven (7) years of experience is required for this role. Extensive experience with criminal justice policy is also required.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
The ideal candidate will be an experienced writer with the ability to draft reports, opinion and editorial pieces and policy papers. She/he will demonstrate good judgement, strong ability to handle confidential information and work with many different constituencies (judges, lawyers, stakeholders, and staff.)

Candidate should be able to meet deadlines, be highly organized, and juggle multiple competing priorities. Strong written, verbal, and interpersonal communications skills a must. A customer service orientation is key.

Problem solving, time management, project management and attention to detail are all expected. Stellar organizational and planning skills a must.

Physical/Environmental Demands:
This position requires the ability to bend, stand, handle objects with dexterity, and sit for long periods of time.

Deadline to Apply:
This position is open until filled.

SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601,


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