Mitigation Specialists draw from a diverse range of professional, academic, and life experiences to inform their work. Mitigation specialists must be empathetic communicators, effective interviewers, curious investigators, critical readers, data managers, creative writers, compassionate listeners, and zealous advocates. At SADO we are dedicated to building a multi-disciplinary team with diverse perspectives and experiences, so if you are excited about this role but you do not meet every qualification in this job description, we encourage you to apply anyway. You may be the right candidate for the job.

Job Responsibilities

Specific duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Interview, and build rapport with incarcerated clients to learn about their background, the facts of the offense, current experiences while incarcerated, and specific needs upon release;
  • Identify, locate, and interview family, friends, community members, and other individuals to compile material in mitigation of sentence;
  • Travel extensively throughout Michigan and occasionally out of state to visit clients in prison and interview witnesses
  • Obtain, analyze, and summarize records and documents, including prison records, social files, school records, and medical and mental health records;
  • Prepare reports, including client and witness interview memos, social history reports, and sentencing memoranda, using creative writing and storytelling techniques;
  • Work with SADO’s Project Reentry to help identify support for clients transitioning back into the community;
  • Identify and consult with appropriate experts to obtain reports and prepare for hearings;
  • Prepare clients for testifying in court or presenting allocution;
  • In limited circumstances, testify in court;
  • Train attorneys and staff on mitigation and parole hearings; and
  • Assist attorneys with general hearing preparation such as preparing exhibits, coordinating with witnesses, attending court hearings, and other necessary tasks.


  • Commitment to client-centered, zealous advocacy;
  • Commitment to the inherent worth and dignity of clients;
  • Commitment to cultural humility and cultural competency;
  • Education and/or experience in social work, social sciences, psychology, forensic psychology, journalism, anthropology, criminal justice, or a related field;
  • Knowledge of the criminal legal system, preferably in Michigan;
  • Experience in investigation;
  • Excellent communication, trauma-informed interviewing, and interpersonal skills;
  • Understanding of mental health signs and symptoms, the effects of trauma, developmental and intellectual disabilities, and the impacts of social, cultural, historical, political, religious, racial, environmental, and ethnic influences on behavior;
  • Ability to prioritize multiple client cases, deadlines, and demands;
  • ·Ability to work flexible hours, including evenings, nights, and early mornings, and to travel throughout the state to attend hearings, meet with incarcerated clients, interview witnesses, and obtain mitigation material;
  • Possess a valid driver’s license;
  • Ability to organize, interpret, and synthesize large quantities of information into persuasive, compelling, and thorough written narratives;
  • Flexible and creative thinking;
  • The ability to work as part of the defense team under the lead of the case attorney, and maintain confidentiality;
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Word and Outlook, Adobe Acrobat, Excel, and general office equipment; and
  • Self-motivated, with the ability to handle constructive feedback.
To Apply Submit a resume and a cover letter via email by July 14, 2024, to and include “Job ID 07-2024” in the subject line.  Applications without a resume and cover letter will not be considered. The cover letter should address the reasons underlying your interest in the work of the Juvenile Lifer Unit and explain your commitment to working with incarcerated people and people convicted of crimes. SADO is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We recognize people of color are disproportionately impacted by the criminal legal system and actively seek to employ staff with backgrounds representative of the people we represent and the defense community. We strongly encourage people of color, people with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ people, and people directly affected by the criminal legal system to apply. A felony conviction does not prohibit employment at SADO.
Job Contact
Janet Boswell