Termed Appellate/Trial Assistant Federal Public Defender, Northern District of California

Termed Appellate/Trial Assistant Federal Public Defender

Posting Date: February 4, 2019
Closing Date: Until filled

The Federal Public Defender, Northern District of California is accepting applications for a full- time Appellate / Trial Assistant Federal Public Defender in its Oakland, California office. This term for this position will begin upon the date of hire, and will end September 30, 2020.

The Defender operates under the authority of the Criminal Justice Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3006A, to provide defense services in federal criminal cases. More information about the office may be found at www.ndcalfpd.org.

JOB DESCRIPTION: The primary duties of this position will be to provide support to the Federal Defender and Assistant Federal Public Defenders through legal research and writing. The Appellate AFPD will research and draft appellate briefs and non-capital habeas petitions, assist in briefing pretrial and in limine motions, draft proposed jury instructions, research and draft legal arguments for sentencing memoranda, and will provide other assistance to trial counsel assigned to the defense of federal criminal cases. This attorney will be authorized to appear in court, and will be expected to argue in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

As the needs of the office require, the attorney in this position may also be called upon to serve as a “Trial” AFPD. In that role, the attorney will be responsible for the defense of indigent cases in the district court. Duties will include, but are not limited to, meeting with clients, appearing on the magistrate judge duty calendar, arguing bail motions, litigating pretrial suppression and in limine motions, and the other tasks associated with defending a federal case in the district court. It is a job requirement of this position that this attorney will serve as a Trial AFPD upon the request of the Federal Public Defender.


  • Be a law school graduate and member of good standing of the State Bar of California;
  • Have the ability to identify and analyze legal issues from lengthy and complex records;
  • Write clearly and concisely
  • Possess excellent research skills, including expertise in computer-assisted legal research;
  • Have a demonstrated ability to forcefully and effectively advocate on behalf of clients in court;
  • Employ strong time-management skills;
  • Be adept in Microsoft Word 2013 or

This is a full-time termed position. Salary is based on the Judicial Salary Plan and is commensurate with experience. The position is subject to mandatory electronic fund transfer (direct deposit) for payment of salary. This position is subject to FBI fingerprint checks and background investigation. Employment will be provisional and contingent upon the satisfactory completion of the required investigation.

Please note that attorneys at the office of the Federal Public Defender may not engage in the private practice of law.


Applications will be available until position filled and will only be accepted online, and must be submitted through this site:


In addition to the initial information requested at this application site, please prepare and upload a .pdf application packet. This packet should include in a single .pdf file:

  • A plain face sheet containing only your last name, first name, a hard return, and the name of your employer or your employment status. This information should be centered on the page, and in should be at least size 40 font;
  • A cover letter;
  • Your resume;
  • A writing sample of your own, original work; and
  • Three references. (References will not be contacted until applicant is advised).

The uploaded .pdf file should be named, “Your last name, first name.” (E.g., “Doe, Jane.pdf”)

Accurate and careful preparation of filings, and correct e-filing, is an important component of this position. Candidates will accordingly be evaluated on their accurate compliance with these application instructions.

Interviewing Non-Citizens and Making Offers of Future Employment: Non-citizens may be interviewed and considered for employment, but employment offers will only be made to individuals who qualify under one of the exceptions in 8 U.S.C. § 1324b(a)(3)(B). In most cases, this means that an offer of employment cannot be made unless the candidate is a U.S. Citizen, or a lawful permanent resident who is seeking U.S. citizenship as described here: http://www.uscourts.gov/careers/search-judiciary-jobs/citizenship-requirements-employment- judiciary .

Applicants invited to interview will be asked to complete a Judicial Branch Employment form (AO78).

Applications submitted by fax, mail, or email will not be considered.

Applicants will only be contacted if selected for an interview. The position will remain open until filled by the Federal Public Defender.

The Federal Public Defender is an Equal-Opportunity Employer