Want to change how America goes to court? Applications are open through April 7 at 12pm PST.
What we do
The Judicial Innovation Fellowship (JIF) is a 11 month fellowship for technology leaders to help transform justice across state, local, territorial, and tribal courts. We partner with forward thinking courts to build critical data infrastructure, simplify processes, and improve the usability of court services. We then find and match talented people who can make this work happen.
Our goals are to build capacity in courts, train cross-sector leaders—who can understand the challenges of government and technology—and improve the transparency, equity, and efficiency of justice in America. More than just a job with a competitive salary and benefits, we are creating the flagship opportunity for technology leaders to change the way people access their rights and are served by courts in the United States.
To read more about the program, check out the Judicial Innovation Fellowship Roadmap.
Our job posting begins below. Here are our application questions, slide deck explaining the fellowship and application process, and FAQ. Below is our webinar for applicants from February 28. Please send questions to email@example.com.
What you’ll do
Each fellowship will be a little different, as each placement is for a different project and in a different court. That said, a typical placement will require you to:
- Take the lead on a technical, data, or design project that improves the court’s capacity and improves access to justice. Each project will include three phases:
- An orientation and discovery phase, which includes interviewing staff, judges, and community members and researching the policy, technology, and culture surrounding your project.
- A solution design and prototyping phase, which allows you to get creative and build off of your research to propose, test, and iterate potential solutions.
- A documentation and hand-off phase, which will rely on your ability to document a sustainable solution that the court can use and grow after your fellowship ends.
- Help educate court partners and staff about the project.
- Advise the court on other technology issues.
- Build coalitions with partners and other groups in support of your project.
- Reflect, write, and present about your experience periodically, and represent the Judicial Innovation Fellowship and JIF Fellows at meetings or events.
- Provide feedback to the JIF program on how to improve it.
Individually, those projects are:
- With the Hamilton County General Sessions Court and Hamilton County Mayor’s Office the JIF fellow will audit and improve how courts and information technology departments share data to understand court patron experiences across government services, the criminal justice system, and court debt obligations in an effort to break cycles of debt, homelessness, and criminal recidivism. A successful fellow in this role will have a strong background in data management and quantitative research with a strong set of research ethics regarding sensitive information. The project will be based in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
- With the Kansas Supreme Court Office of Judicial Administration the JIF fellow will design an electronic filing system that works for people that don’t have access to a lawyer, so-called self-represented litigants or SRLs. An opportunity to dig deep into the needs of SRLs and court staff, a successful fellow will have a design and user research background, product management experience is a plus. The fellow can choose to be based in the Kansas City metro or Topeka.
- With the Utah State Courts’ Self-Help Center the JIF fellow will develop internal processes for SRL customer development research, a guideline for hypothesis testing, and a style guide for court tools. A successful fellow in this role will be able to go deep on user research, as well as have a background in visual design and accessibility, product management experience is a plus. The project will be based in Salt Lake City.
What we’re looking for
We are looking for mission driven technologists, designers, data scientists, and product people that want to improve justice in America.
Technical expertise: Projects we take will have different needs that require different skills. You possess at least two years of specialized expertise in at least one of the following categories:
- Software engineering
- Design, accessibility, and user research
- Data engineering, SQL, and information science
- Product management and development
We also want our fellows to possess these essential traits:
- A motivation for public service: You genuinely care about access to justice and using technology, process, and human talent to make government better.
- Organizational acumen: You are comfortable navigating and building bridges and relationships across an organization. You work well with a different organizational culture than what they may be used to.
- Communication skills: You have the ability and desire to explain technology to those that aren’t as familiar with technology tools and concepts. You can translate real-world problems into technical solutions. Your strong writing and spoken communication skills are complemented by an equally strong emotional intelligence.
- Comfort with uncertainty: You understand that tech is only a small part, and often the easiest part, of building or changing complex systems. You can remain resilient if uncertainty or bureaucracy hinder progress and deal with making progress despite uncertainty. You have a comfort navigating new, lightly defined spaces and projects.
Basic eligibility requirements include:
- At least two years work experience in a relevant field. Prior work experience may include, but is not limited to: software engineer, web developer, UX/UI designer, accessibility specialist, product manager, data architect, information architect, and data scientist. We do not have a minimal degree requirement.
- We do not require that you have previous experience working with government agencies or in a legal setting. The Judicial Innovation Fellowship is an opportunity to expose technology leaders like you to the judiciary. It is first and foremost an educational experience, giving you a one-of-a-kind education into how courts work.
- You must be able to legally work in the U.S. The JIF program is not able to sponsor or assist in securing legal status to work in the U.S.
- Having a criminal record does not make you ineligible for the fellowship.
Where you’ll work
The fellowship is an opportunity to embed in one of America’s courts. Being place-based allows the fellow to interact with court staff and patrons regularly, giving unparalleled proximity to the justice system. Depending on where a fellow currently lives, participating in the fellowship may require them to move. The JIF program helps defer moving costs.
Our shortlisted court partners are based in Chattanooga, Tennessee; the Kansas City metro area or Topeka, Kansas (fellow will have a choice); and Salt Lake City, Utah.
What we offer
The salary bands for this position are between $85,000 and $100,000. The position comes with medical, dental, and vision insurance; a voluntary contribution 403(b) retirement account; critical illness and accident insurance; and flexible spending accounts. (To read more, Georgetown offers this information about benefits. For the sake of benefits, JIFs are classified for “Law Center Fellows.”) The JIF program will also offset your moving costs, if you need to relocate for the fellowship. The program will provide opportunities to network with leaders in justice and public interest technology, helping you find your place within this community.
How to apply
For your application, we ask that you submit a cover letter along with your resume. Before you start writing your cover letter, please read this entire page to know what we are looking for. If you want to dig deeper, you can also read our Roadmap.
For your cover letter, use the selection criteria laid out in the “What we’re looking for” section above. A strong cover letter will use this information to help us understand your motivation for this work, your alignment with our essential traits, and your technical ability.
The application has five parts: Name and contact information, eligibility, skills and talents, voluntary demographic information, and terms and conditions. We published our application questions so that you can review them before submitting. The application is hosted on Google Forms and will require you to sign into your Google account.
The timeline below is aspirational, and deadlines may shift as we refine the process.
February 28, 2023: Fellow application period opens.
April 7, 2023: Fellow application period closes at 12pm PST.
April 2023: Screener and substantive interviews with candidates.
May 2023: Court partners interview final candidates and select their fellow.
September 2023: Week-long onboarding and training at Georgetown Law in Washington, D.C. and deployment to court placements.
August 2024: Fellows complete their placements.
If you need assistance
If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please click here for more information, or contact the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Affirmative Action (IDEAA) at 202-687-4798 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need some assistance with the application process? Please call 202-687-2500. For more information about the suite of benefits, professional development and community involvement opportunities that make up Georgetown’s commitment to its employees, please visit the Georgetown Works website.
Our equal opportunity statement
Georgetown University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer fully dedicated to achieving a diverse faculty and staff. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and expression, and sexual orientation), disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
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