Appellate Attorney, Central District of California

Appellate Attorney

Posting Date: February 21, 2019
Closing Date: March 18, 2019

The Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California is accepting applications for full-time attorney positions in its appellate unit, stationed in Los Angeles, California.  The appellate unit is committed to the pursuit of justice by aggressively advocating in federal court for the constitutional rights and inherent dignity of individuals who are convicted of crimes and cannot afford their own lawyer.

Job Duties:  Appellate attorneys primarily represent indigent federal defendants in direct criminal appeals.  Core job duties include counseling clients with respect to their appeals and preparing briefs and presenting oral argument in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Appeal unit attorneys also assist trial attorneys in complex cases and represent indigent habeas petitioners in the district court and in the Ninth Circuit.  They are expected to develop and maintain expertise in multiple areas of law and provide training and oversight as needed by the office.

Requirements:  All applicants must have graduated from an accredited law school and be members in good standing of the California Bar or must be willing to sit for the next California Bar exam.  Preference will be given to applicants with at least three years of experience in state or federal criminal law or in appeals, and federal judicial clerkship experience.  Applicants must be United States citizens or permanent residents seeking citizenship as described here:

Selection Criteria:  Candidates must have a demonstrated commitment to indigent criminal defense and/or public interest law; must have superior oral and written communication skills; possess excellent research skills; have the ability to manage a high-volume caseload; and work well in teams.  A background investigation is required as a condition of employment.

Salary/Benefits:  This is a full-time, at-will position.  Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience and is subject to direct deposit.  Benefits include health and life insurance, retirement, and a Thrift Savings Plan.  For more information on benefits, see

How to Apply:  Apply by emailing a letter of interest, résumé, two representative writing samples, and three references in a single PDF document to Hilary Potashner, Federal Public Defender, at with the subject line:  Appellate Attorney Application.  All application materials must be received by March 18, 2019.  The Federal Public Defender’s Office may fill current and future positions from this vacancy announcement.  Please, no phone calls.

The Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  All applicants, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or age, are encouraged to apply.