December 16, 2020

Supreme Court and Appellate Program Two-Year Appellate Attorney Positions

The Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center (RSMJC) is accepting applications for two attorney positions in its Supreme Court and Appellate Program. The positions are funded for two years and will focus on (1) litigation in state appellate courts in prisoners’ rights cases, and (2) litigation in federal appellate courts focused on the proper legal standards for conditions claims brought by pretrial detainees.

RSMJC is one of the nation’s premier civil rights organizations and champions criminal legal system reform through litigation in areas that include police misconduct, rights of the accused, issues facing indigent prisoners, the death penalty, and the rights of detainees.

RSMJC’s Supreme Court and Appellate Program (SCAP), located in Chicago and Washington, D.C., fights for civil rights and criminal justice in the U.S. Supreme Court, federal courts of appeals, and state appellate courts across the country. The Program is staffed by an accomplished group of five attorneys, who have prior experience in the nation’s leading Supreme Court practices and civil rights organizations, and hold clinical faculty appointments at Harvard and Northwestern law schools. Collectively, our attorneys have argued multiple appeals before the U.S. Supreme Court, litigated in all of the federal circuits, and argued in many state supreme courts.

The fellow’s responsibilities will include identifying opportunities for impact-driven appellate litigation in state and federal courts across the country, leading an extensive and national docket of appellate cases, drafting appellate briefs, recruiting co-counsel, and arguing appeals.


-Three or more years of experience as an attorney, with appellate clerkship and/or a background in appellate litigation strongly preferred;

-Exceptional legal writing skills and extraordinary aptitude for legal analysis;

-The initiative, organization, follow-though, and doggedness necessary to create and lead an intense docket of multi-jurisdictional cases spanning the country;

-Energetic self-starter with a passion for criminal justice reform;

-Strong attention to detail;

-Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work on a team; and

-Dedication to zealous advocacy on behalf of incarcerated individuals.

Location: Work will almost certainly begin remotely. When public health conditions permit return to in-person work, the positions will be situated in either the Chicago or Washington, D.C. offices of RSMJC.

Salary: An annual salary of $75,000-$95,000 (depending on experience level), plus benefits.

Anticipated start date: February 2021.

Deadline: Applications will be accepted and considered on a rolling basis until hiring complete. To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume by email to, with the subject line “Appellate Attorney Application.”

RSMJC is committed to equity and equal opportunity and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, disability, age, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, race or ethnicity.

The criminal legal system disproportionally harms people of color, people from low-income communities, the formerly-incarcerated, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ individuals. We strongly encourage those who identify within these and other communities underrepresented in the legal profession to apply. All applicants must have and be committed to the cultural competence required to work with clients and co-workers who come from different backgrounds and experiences. People with experience in community activism and/or organizing are also strongly encouraged to apply.

The MacArthur Justice Center is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, disability, age, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, race or ethnicity.


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For more information about RSMJC’s Supreme Court and Appellate Program, visit our website: