Assistant Federal Public Defender, Western District of North Carolina

Assistant Federal Public Defender
Capital Habeas Unit

Posting Date: August 10 2020
Closing Date: Until filled

THE FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER, Western District of North Carolina, is accepting applications for the position of Assistant Federal Public Defender (Capital Habeas Unit) to be stationed in the Charlotte office. The Federal Public Defender operates under authority of the Criminal Justice Act, 18 U.S.C. 3006A. The CHU represents state and federal death- sentenced individuals in federal habeas, lethal injection, and state clemency proceedings in North Carolina and South Carolina’s four United States District Courts, in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and in the United States Supreme Court.

Duties and Requirements. This is the first Capital Habeas Unit for the Fourth Circuit. As such, this position will be integral in developing this unit, with guidance from other internal resources. This will include, but will not be limited to, assisting in the set up of administrative and case processes and input into the make-up of the unit.

The successful applicant must be a graduate from an accredited law school, a member in good  standing  of  a  state  bar,  and  immediately  eligible  for  District   Court/Circuit   Court bar admission, if not already  admitted.  Attorneys  applying  for  this  position  should have sufficient experience to independently represent clients, managing a caseload which consists of cases at various stages of post-conviction review;  writing  briefs, motions, and other pleadings; reviewing voluminous trial and appellate records; developing claims and litigation strategy; advocating at evidentiary hearings and oral arguments; leading and working as a member of a case team; directing and conducting case-related investigation; and meeting with clients, experts, witnesses, and family members. Experience in capital  cases, habeas and/or post-conviction work is required.  The successful applicant must be team-oriented, committed to indigent criminal defense and have a reputation for personal integrity.

The position requires travel for investigation, litigation, training, and some overnight travel.

Selection Criteria. The successful applicant will have an established capacity or clearly demonstrated aptitude for excellence in Capital Habeas practice, a commitment to the representation of indigent persons, and a reputation for integrity. Our ideal candidate will have sufficient experience to handle Capital Habeas cases upon hiring. Applicants must also possess the ability to communicate effectively with clients, witnesses, colleagues, staff, and court and agency personnel as part of their employment. Prior capital habeas experience, preferably federal, is preferred. Spanish fluency is a plus but not required.

Salary and Benefits. Starting salary will be commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the applicant. This position is excepted service and does not carry the tenure rights of the competitive Civil Service. The position does offer federal government employment benefits including health and life insurance, retirement and the Thrift Savings Plan. Salary is payable only by Electronic Funds Transfer (direct deposit).

Conditions of Employment: All application information is subject to verification. Appointment to the position is contingent upon a background investigation including an FBI fingerprint check. Employees of the Federal Public Defender are members of the judicial branch of government; they are considered ‘at will’ and can be terminated with or without cause.

How to Apply. Qualified persons may apply by forwarding a letter of interest, résumé and writing sample. Litigation experience should be described in detail. Send completed application in .pdf format to: No phone calls, please.

For applicants with disabilities, this organization provides reasonable accommodations which are decided on a case-by-case basis. To request a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or interview process, please submit the request as a .pdf document to Position announced August 5, 2020; priority consideration given to applicants received by August 28, 2020. Position open until filled.

This program is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We provide equal opportunity for all qualified people who desire to use their skills and abilities in our workplace on behalf of our clients, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, national origin, religion or disability. This program is committed to a diverse staff.