Founded in 2001, Innocence Project New Orleans (IPNO) represents innocent, life-sentenced prisoners in Louisiana and Mississippi at no cost to them, or their loved ones. As of July 2018, we have freed or exonerated 32 innocent prisoners, who served over 732 years in Louisiana and Mississippi’s prisons between them. Our office continues to be one of the most effective innocence projects in the world: we have an international reputation for winning exonerations, both in the minority of cases where DNA testing can prove innocence, and in more difficult cases where DNA does not exist or has been destroyed. We are a freestanding, non-law school affiliated 501(c)(3) law office that represents clients all over Louisiana and in parts of Mississippi.
Of the 32 cases we have won to date, all but one of the defendants were young black men, none of them were given a trial where the presentation of evidence lasted more than one day, and yet all except three were sentenced to life in prison. All were innocent of the crimes with which they were charged.
Primary duties may include:
- Assisting with event planning (working with vendors, procuring silent auction items, assisting with media outreach, etc.)
- Updating IPNO’s Web site and social networking pages
- Assisting with researching funders and drafting grant proposals
- Assisting with researching potential new donors
- Updating IPNO’s database
- Monitoring news for strategic media planning
Additional duties may include:
- Assisting with the implementation of publicity campaigns
- Drafting materials such as press releases, media advisories, biographies, pitch letters, op-eds, letters to the editor or other correspondence for journalists
- Researching and compiling targeted media lists
- Tracking & ordering media placements, creating paste-ups and reports of placements
- Providing general support (sending faxes, photocopying, sending overnight packages and maintaining files)
- Top notch organizational skills and attention to detail
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Strong Microsoft Office suite and database experience
- Ability to work independently and on a team
Skills in the areas of writing, event planning, fundraising, social media, media relations and Web and graphic design are a plus.
Qualifications: An ability to interact in a professional, friendly, confident manner with the staff, journalists and the firm’s clients is essential. Dependability and a willingness to pitch in on a variety of assignments are equally important characteristics for this position.
Interns must have relevant experience or be working toward a related degree (i.e. public relations, communications, nonprofit management, grant writer) and be willing to commit at least 10 hours a week for the semester.
The start date for the position is September 3, 2018.
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
IPNO considers applicants for positions without regard to race, color, sex, religion, creed, gender identity and expression, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, or any legally protected status. We strongly encourage people from traditionally marginalized groups to apply.
 Two of our clients in Mississippi were sentenced to 50 years in prison and one in Louisiana was sentenced to 66 years in prison.