Assistant Federal Public Defender, Northern District of California

Termed Assistant Federal Public Defender

Posting Date: April 25, 2019
Closing Date: Until filled

The Federal Public Defender, Northern District of California is accepting applications for the position of a termed, full-time Assistant Federal Public Defender in its San Jose office. 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

The term for this position will end on the earlier date of:

  • three years from the start date, or
  • September 30, 2022.

The duty station for this position will be in the San Jose Division of the Office of the Federal Public Defender. Candidates must demonstrate a commitment to defending indigent clients in the San Jose Division, which includes the following counties: Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito. Although court appearances will be in San Jose, California, this position requires regular travel to Alameda County to meet with in-custody clients housed in Oakland and Dublin, California.

The duty station for this position will be in the San Jose division of the Office of the Federal Public Defender. Requests for transfers to the Oakland or San Francisco offices of the Federal Defender will not be considered.

JOB DESCRIPTION: Duties include trial, appellate and ancillary matters under the direction of the Federal Defender. The position requires travel for training, investigation and litigation. The successful applicant will have demonstrated an aptitude for excellence in trial and appellate practice, and a commitment to the vigorous representation of indigent accused persons. Appointment is subject to a satisfactory background investigation.


  • Be a member of good standing of the State Bar of California;
  • Have at least one year of post-graduate employment experience working as an attorney;
  • 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;
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment and work collaboratively and contribute to a collegial environment;
  • Be adept in Microsoft Word 2013 or 2016.

This is a full time 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 an FBI fingerprint check 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 correctly following e-filing procedures, are important components 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: 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