Assistant Federal Public Defender, Northern District of Ohio

Assistant Federal Public Defender

Posting Date: August 8, 2019
Closing Date: August 23, 2019

The Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of Ohio announces an immediate opening for an ASSISTANT FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER in its Capital Habeas Unit (“CHU”) located in the main office in Cleveland, Ohio. In accordance with the Criminal Justice Act (“CJA”), the office of the Federal Public Defender provides representation to individuals in federal criminal cases who are financially unable to retain counsel. Individuals hired for this position will represent indigent prisoners who have been sentenced to death in state court in federal capital habeas corpus proceedings in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Requirements: Interested applicants must be able to demonstrate a firm commitment to providing representation of the highest caliber to indigent persons facing execution in a diverse, team-oriented, work environment. Specifically, applicants must have: (1) Proven criminal defense litigation skills (trial skills are a significant asset); (2) preferred experience in capital litigation, preferably including post-conviction and appellate stages; (3) the ability to immediately undertake the representation of petitioners in capital habeas proceedings in federal court, from initial petition through appeal and clemency; (4) a demonstrably firm grasp of the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, litigation under 42 U.S.C. §1983 (preferred), and other similar statutory frameworks governing post-conviction and other related relief; (5) a demonstrable commitment to criminal defense work; and (6) a willingness to serve as a resource for CJA panel attorneys performing capital habeas work.

Additional preference is given to those applicants that are educated or have practical experience in mitigation work or relatedly, have relevant education, skill, or practical experience in fields of mental health, sociology, psychology, childhood trauma, and/or social work. Familiarity with social history requirements and the ability to identify mitigation themes will similarly be given preference. Significant education, skill, or practical experience in any of these mitigation-related fields may compensate for less experience in capital experience as noted above.

Selection and Licensing requirements. Selection and Licensing requirements include: membership in good standing of the Ohio Bar, or of the highest jurisdiction in any state or territory of the United States along with a willingness to seek admission to the Ohio Bar; and membership in good standing of, or willingness to seek admission to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court. Applicants must submit to a background security investigation requiring a FBI name check, IRS tax check, and to be fingerprinted and photographed. Appointment will be subject to the applicant's successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication.

Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident seeking U.S. citizenship. Noncitizens must execute an affidavit indicating their intent to apply for citizenship when they become eligible to do so.

Salary and Benefits. The salary of an assistant federal public defender is commensurate with that of an assistant U.S. attorney with similar qualifications and experience. The position is in the excepted service and does not carry the tenure rights of the competitive Civil Service. The position does include regular Government employment benefits including health and life insurance, retirement, and the Thrift Savings Plan. Salary is payable only by Electronic Funds Transfer (direct deposit). All positions are at will and are subject to the availability of funds.

How to Apply. The method of application for individuals who meet these qualifications is by e-mail. Include as attachments: (1) a letter of interest; (2) a resume highlighting relevant experience and contact information for at least three references; (3) a completed AO 78; and (4) a recent writing sample not to exceed twenty-five (25) pages. Send these documents in .pdf format to:
Subject Line: CHU AFPD

Representing those most vulnerable and in need of dedicated, compassionate, and diverse legal assistance, the Office of the Federal Public Defender is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Multiple positions may be filled with this posting. All applications must be received no later than the close of business Aug 23, 2019. Due to the anticipated volume of responses, only those candidates selected for interview will be contacted. Please no inquires.