Career Opportunity – Eastern District of Pennsylvania


(at least one position)
Posting Code 100200-18

The Federal Community Defender Office serving the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has a vacancy for a Research and Writing Specialist in its Trial Unit (TU).

The Research and Writing Specialist is an attorney who provides advanced legal research and writing services to staff attorneys working on trial and appellate cases. The Specialist remains current with developments in criminal law and procedure; writes pre-trial and post-trial motions, briefs, possible petitions for certiorari, and legal memoranda; examines, analyzes, and researches complex legal records and issues in preparation for trial; performs legal research; prepares legal documents; and assists attorney staff with all aspects of trial case preparation. The Specialist also assists with other projects including but not limited to legal research associated with administrative parole revocation hearings and development and distribution of publication(s) and other resource material. As the Specialist position supports the position of Assistant Federal Defender and is not intended to serve as a substitute or replacement for an Assistant Federal Defender position, the Specialist does not sign pleadings, ordinarily does not make court appearances and is not the attorney of record.

Candidates for this position must possess a law degree and be a member of a state Bar. Eligibility for admission to the Pennsylvania Bar or willingness to sit for the next bar exam is required. Admission and good standing before the federal bar is required. Applicants preferably have specialized experience (i.e., possess the skill and judgment to analyze cases and legal opinions), general experience (i.e., be able to analyze and interpret common technical journals and legal documents) or comparable experience. Candidates must possess a solid understanding of criminal law, criminal procedures; and evidence, have outstanding legal research and writing skills, be able to analyze complex legal issues and be proficient with computer-assisted legal research. Experience with Word Perfect 12.0, Word 2010, Trial Director Westlaw and Lexis/Nexus is required.

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.