Career Opportunity – Eastern District of Pennsylvania


The Federal Community Defender Office serving the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has a vacancy for an Assistant Federal Defender in its Trial Unit (TU).

The Assistant Federal Defender in the Trial Unit represents indigent defendants in federal cases from inception through appeal and represents witnesses in grand jury proceedings.  The Trial Unit Assistant Federal Defender conducts bail hearings, writes and litigates motions to suppress and other pre-trial motions, directs defense investigation, represents defendants at jury trials, sentencings, and violations of supervised release proceedings, and, on occasion, in collateral proceedings under 28 U.S.C. § 2255.

Candidates ideally will have at least 3 years of criminal litigation experience and substantial trial experience.  Federal criminal experience and a demonstrated working knowledge of federal criminal law, including success with jury trials and sentencing guidelines, is preferred but not required.  Candidates must demonstrate strong research and writing abilities.  Candidates must also possess the ability to communicate effectively and cooperatively with clients, colleagues, witnesses, staff, and court and agency personnel.  Candidates must also have a demonstrated commitment to excellence, a commitment to the representation of the indigent, and a reputation for personal and professional integrity.  Fluency in the Spanish language is highly desirable.  Experience using Trial Director and PowerPoint or a willingness to learn such trial technology is required.  An ability and willingness to travel throughout the nine county Eastern District of Pennsylvania area, and occasionally outside of Pennsylvania, is required.

Applicants must be members in good standing of the Bar of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania or the bar of another state.  If not already a member of the Bar of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the applicant must be eligible to waive into that Bar or sit for the Pennsylvania Bar within a year of hire.  All applicants must gain admission to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Third Circuit upon hiring.

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to Sonya Hutson, Human Resources Administrator, via e-mail at, or by regular mail to Suite 540 West, The Curtis Center, 601 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106.  Candidates will be interviewed on an ongoing basis, and the position will remain open, until filled.

Salary will be based on years of experience consistent with federal guidelines and regulations.  Kindly note that the filling of this position is subject to the funding restrictions and approval of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.

The Federal Community Defender Office is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.