Research & Writing Specialist, District of Arizona

Research & Writing Specialist
Capital Habeas Unit

Posting Date: November 19, 2019
Closing Date: Until filled

THE FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER is accepting applications for a Research and Writing Specialist for the Capital Habeas Unit to be stationed in Phoenix. The federal defender organization operates under authority of the Criminal Justice Act, 18 U.S.C. § 306A, to provide defense services in federal criminal cases and related matters by appointment from the court. The organization has staffed offices in Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma, and Flagstaff.

Requirements. This attorney position provides advanced legal research and writing services. Under the direction of an assistant federal public defender, the specialist will review and analyze capital state post- conviction files. The specialist will focus on areas related to the application of 28 U.S.C. §§ 2261-2266 (habeas “opt-in” provisions) to capital cases. Applicants must be: (1) a graduate of an accredited law school, and admitted to practice in good standing before the highest court of a state; (2) licensed to practice in the U.S. District Court by the time of entrance on duty.

It is preferred that applicants have an understanding of 5 U.S.C. §§ 551-559 (Administrative Procedures Act) and complex federal discovery and litigation, as well as relevant federal judicial policies, and have some experience in one or more of the following areas: criminal law, capital litigation, federal habeas corpus litigation, federal appellate procedure, or complex federal court civil litigation. Other related experience may be considered. In addition, it is preferred that applicants have a basic understanding of statistics and statistical analysis. Finally, applicants should be team-oriented, and have the ability to take on a leadership role while working with individuals and organizations at the local and national level on projects related to the death penalty. Some travel is required.

Selection Criteria. The successful applicant must possess strong legal research skills, strong writing abilities, and a demonstrated commitment to indigent criminal defense for those facing the death penalty. 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.

Salary and Benefits. The starting salary for the research and writing specialist position will be fixed commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the applicant within a range of JSP 11, Step 1, to JSP 14, Step 1, and currently yielding $64,351 to $108,383. 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. Qualified persons may apply by sending via e-mail a letter of interest, resume, and representative writing sample. References will be required from candidates selected for an interview. Applicable experience should be described in detail. Send completed application to the Personnel Administrator, Federal Public Defender, District of Arizona, at HR@fpdaz.org. Opens November 19, 2019; open until filled.

The Office of the Federal Public Defender is an equal-opportunity employer. Women, minorities and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.