Assistant Federal Public Defender, Middle District of Pennsylvania

Assistant Federal Public Defender

Posting Date: June 7, 2019
Closing Date: June 28, 2019

The Federal Public Defender for the Middle District of Pennsylvania is seeking an Assistant Federal Public Defender (AFPD) for the Capital Habeas Unit (CHU). This is a full time attorney position in the Harrisburg office. The Capital Habeas Unit represents death-sentenced prisoners in federal habeas corpus proceedings.

RESPONSIBILITIES: An AFPD in the CHU represents petitioners in capital habeas cases in federal court from the initial petition through all subsequent federal hearings and appeals. An AFPD is responsible for providing legal guidance and leadership to collaborative teams of paralegals, investigators, and research and writing attorneys, on each of their cases. Due to the complexity and duration of capital habeas proceedings, AFPDs and their teams develop critical long-term relationships with their clients through ongoing contact and correspondence. An AFPD analyzes complex and diverse records, pursues relevant training on a continuing basis, and is responsible for establishing and maintaining ongoing communication and consultation with expert witnesses and other counsel representing their clients.

REQUIREMENTS AND QUALIFICATIONS: An ideal candidate will possess excellent written and oral persuasive narrative skills, a proven commitment to public interest law and experience in at least one of the following areas: criminal law, Pennsylvania post-conviction litigation, or habeas corpus litigation. A background in any area of mental health and/or social work is helpful. In addition to strong communication and interpersonal skills, capacity to work independently and collaboratively and an ability to prioritize and meet critical deadlines with team leadership is essential. Fluency in Spanish is a plus. An AFPD must be an attorney admitted and in good standing before a state bar and eligible for admission to the bars of the Middle District of Pennsylvania, the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court. The successful candidate will possess a valid driver’s license and the ability to travel in and out of state, and work weekends, evenings and holidays as needed.

SALARY AND BENEFITS: This is an ungraded full-time position with federal salary and benefits based on qualifications and years of experience, consistent with federal guidelines and regulations. This position is subject to mandatory Electronic Funds Transfer (direct deposit) participation for payment of net pay. Employees of the Federal Defender are members of the judicial branch of government; they are considered “at will” and are not covered by the Civil Service Reform Act. The selected candidate will be subject to a background check as a condition of employment.

HOW TO APPLY: Interested candidates should apply by forwarding a letter of interest, detailed resume, and writing sample (10-20 pages), by June 28, 2019, to:

Capital Habeas Unit
Federal Public Defender Office
Attn: Assistant Federal Public Defender
100 Chestnut Street, Suite 300
Harrisburg, PA 17101

Interviews will be conducted in July. The preferred start date is August 19, 2019.

The Federal Public Defender for the Middle District of Pennsylvania is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and other minorities are encouraged to apply.