Staff Attorney I, II/Habeas Corpus Counsel I-III, HCRC San Francisco

Staff Attorney I
Staff Attorney II
Habeas Corpus Counsel I
Habeas Corpus Counsel II
Habeas Corpus Counsel III

Posting Date: November 13, 2018
Closing Date: Until filled


The Habeas Corpus Resource Center (HCRC), located in San Francisco, has an exciting opportunity for attorneys interested in indigent capital defense litigation.

The primary purpose of the HCRC is to provide, through its own staff, direct representation to death row inmates in post-conviction proceedings in state and federal courts and to serve as a resource to private appointed counsel in capital post-conviction proceedings.


Staff attorney is the entry-level classification in the HCRC attorney job series. Under direction,  staff attorneys provide representation to indigent death row inmates in habeas  corpus proceedings.


Habeas corpus counsel is the journey-level classification in the attorney job series. In addition to providing representation to indigent death row inmates in habeas corpus proceedings, habeas corpus counsel provides lead direction to and reviews the work of assigned staff, serves as consultant, and performs specialized legal work.

Travel is required both within California and out-of-state.


All attorney and counsel levels require admission to the State Bar of California. (Applicants who are not current California bar members may be considered for employment. If selected, the individual will be required to be admitted to the California bar within 18 months from the date of appointment. The salary level, pending bar admission, will be commensurate with legal qualifications of the selected individual.)

Staff Attorney I:    Admission to the State Bar of California.

Staff Attorney II:    Equivalent of one year of post-bar legal experience; or one year as a Staff Attorney I with the HCRC.

Habeas  Corpus Counsel I:    Equivalent of two years of post-bar legal experience in criminal defense; or two years as a Staff Attorney II with the HCRC.

Habeas Corpus Counsel II: Equivalent of four years of post-bar legal experience  with  three years in criminal defense, including one year in capital defense; or one year as a Habeas Corpus Counsel I with the HCRC.

Habeas Corpus Counsel III: Equivalent of six years of post-bar legal experience with four years  in criminal defense, including two years in capital defense; or one year as a Habeas Corpus Counsel II with the HCRC.


Strong written advocacy; fluency in oral and written Spanish; proficient PC skills, preferably in Microsoft Word, Outlook, Excel, and Adobe; experience in criminal defense-related work.

How to Apply:

This position requires submission of an official application and response to the supplemental questionnaire. The application and supplemental questionnaire are located at:

Submit application materials to:

Please submit the following documents, in this order, combined into one PDF, with the title "Your Last Name, ATTY":

  • a cover letter <optional>;
  • application;
  • resume;
  • supplemental questions; and
  • state(s) and  date(s)  of bar     Please do not submit transcripts, writing samples, references, etc. If selected for an interview, feel free to bring those items to your interview.

Resumes without the required materials will not be considered.

Applicants may apply for multiple levels on one application form. For earliest consideration, please apply by Friday, November 30, 2018. Applications will be accepted after the earliest consideration date for as long as the announcement is posted. This position is opened until filled. If you have applied with HCRC previously, you must reapply for consideration.

Selection Procedure

The Habeas Corpus Resource Center is an equal opportunity employer. The HCRC believes that  a diverse workforce and inclusive workplace culture enhances the performance of our organization and the quality of representation that we provide to a diverse client base. The HCRC welcomes all applicants, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or military and veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.

The HCRC uses a lengthy recruitment process. Every application is reviewed in its entirety. Candidates whose qualifications best meet the needs of HCRC will be contacted to participate in the interview process. All applicants will be notified by mail when the recruitment has been closed. Due to the volume of applications received, we request that applicants refrain from contacting HCRC regarding hiring status and from in-person pick up or delivery of applications. The individuals selected to fill the position will be appointed at a level commensurate with their qualifications.

Please Note: If you are selected for hire, the Administrative Office of the Courts will require verification of employment eligibility or authorization to legally work in the United States.

Current Monthly Salary Ranges:

Staff Attorney I: $5,602 - 5,827
Staff Attorney II: $5,609 - 6,403
Habeas Corpus Counsel I: $6,760 - 8,501
Habeas Corpus Counsel II: $7,609 - 9,760
Habeas Corpus Counsel III: $9,210 - 11,815

 Some highlights of our benefits package include:

  • Health/Dental/Vision benefits program
  • 13 paid holidays per calendar year
  • Choice of Annual Leave or Sick/Vacation Leave
  • 1 personal holiday per year
  • $130 transit pass subsidy per month
  • CalPers Retirement Plan
  • 401(k) and 457 deferred compensation plans
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Basic Life and AD&D Insurance
  • FlexElect Program
  • Long Term Care Program (employee paid/optional)
  • Group Legal Plan (employee paid/optional)