Career Opportunity – Western District of North Carolina

Assistant Federal Public Defender (Appellate)

Date Posted:  July 25, 2018
Date Closing: August 17, 2018

The Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Western District of North Carolina is accepting applications for an Assistant Federal Public Defender to join our appellate team in the Charlotte Office. The Federal Public Defender operates under authority of the Criminal Justice Act, 18 U.S.C. 3006A, to provide defense services in federal criminal cases and related matters by appointment from the court to individuals unable to afford counsel.

Duties. In addition to handling traditional appeals, our appellate team provides extensive legal-issue support to the office’s trial teams while also aggressively pursuing post-conviction relief in appropriate cases. Accordingly, the duties of this position may include: (1) researching, briefing, and arguing cases in the Fourth Circuit and the Supreme Court; (2) assisting the office’s trial attorneys in identifying legal issues in pending cases, and researching and drafting motions, objections, and memoranda in those cases; (3) litigating post-conviction motions arising from retroactive judicial decisions or Sentencing Guidelines amendments; and (4) monitoring relevant legal developments and helping to train the office’s lawyers, and other criminal defense practitioners, on the impact of those developments. The balance of responsibilities among these duties will vary depending on the office’s needs at any particular time.

Requirements. Candidates must be law school graduates and members in good standing of the bar of any state or federal district court. Attorneys applying for this position should have sufficient experience to undertake the defense of serious criminal cases before the United States District Court and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Appointment is subject to a satisfactory background investigation, including but not limited to an FBI name and fingerprint check and an IRS tax check. The private practice of law is prohibited.

Selection Criteria. The successful applicant will have a strong academic background and excellent research, writing, and oral advocacy skills. Appellate experience in federal court is preferred. Prior judicial clerkship experience is preferred.

Salary and Benefits. The salary of an assistant federal public defender is commensurate with that of an assistant U.S. attorney with similar qualifications and experience. The position is in the excepted service and does not carry the tenure rights of the competitive Civil Service. The position offers federal government employment benefits, including participation in health and life insurance program, retirement, and the Thrift Savings Plan. Salary is payable only by Electronic Funds Transfer (direct deposit).

How to Apply. You may apply by submitting a letter of interest, résumé, and representative writing sample, along with 3 references, to Please describe in detail your experience with appellate work and motions practice.

For applicants with disabilities, this organization provides reasonable accommodations which are decided on a case-by-case basis. To request a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or interview process, please submit the request in writing to

Position announced July 25, 2018; open until filled. Applications received by August 17, 2018, will be given priority consideration.

Federal Public Defender is an equal-opportunity employer.