Assistant Federal Public Defender - New Attorney Fellowship

Do you seek rewarding work with a social justice mission? The Federal Public Defender for the District of Oregon is accepting applications from early career attorneys to join the Office of the Federal Public Defender as an Assistant Federal Public Defender in our Portland office for a one year fellowship, with a possible 2nd year extension based on budget and performance.  
An applicant for this position needs no criminal defense experience. We view this position as an opportunity to bring into the federal system people with diverse perspectives. This office believes true excellence is achieved through collaboration between people of diverse perspectives and shared respect. The nature of our work leads us to recruit colleagues who demonstrate experience with, knowledge of, and sensitivity to the needs of culturally diverse and systemically oppressed populations.
No federal criminal defense experience is necessary because we will train you. The fellowship AFPD will learn to handle criminal cases from inception (be it pre-indictment, complaint, or indictment) through trial or sentencing. Initial case assignments will be simple (e.g., supervised release violations and petty offenses), with case assignments becoming more complex as the Fellow is trained. The caseload is varied but includes offenses involving: 1) firearms; 2) drugs; 3) immigration; 4) child pornography; and 5) fraud crimes.
·    Represent indigent individuals charged with violating federal criminal statutes by handling all stages of federal criminal trial matters in the district court. Initial case assignments will include co-counsel.
·    Frequently appear in court before both magistrate judges and district court judges. Court appearances may include: initial appearances, pretrial release hearings, motion hearings, trials, sentencings, and probation violation proceedings.
·    Advocate for clients from diverse backgrounds, including those with histories of trauma, mental health, and/or substance abuse issues.
·    Work in teams with investigators, paralegals, legal assistants, social workers, and contracted experts.
·    Support clients with holistic problem-solving during pretrial, trial, and sentencing proceedings, as well as with reentry into the community.
·    Maintain frequent client contact in person, by phone, and in writing. 
Required Qualifications:
·    Prior criminal defense experience is not required, but applicants must have a demonstrated commitment to indigent defense.
·    No more than 4 years of professional attorney experience.
·    Applicants must have the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to defend indigent individuals in criminal cases in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon.
·    Applicants must demonstrate an ability to learn the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to provide excellent defense services in major criminal cases in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
·    Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited law school and active members in good standing of the bar in any state, territory or possession, or pending admission to the bar and licensed, by the agreed start date
·    Applicants must have strong written and oral advocacy skills
·    Demonstrated exceptional organizational skills are required.
·    Strong written and verbal communication, technological, and interpersonal skills are required.
·    A demonstrated commitment and comfort working with diverse communities and with clients from a range of backgrounds is required.
Preferred Qualifications:
·   Federal court experience, immigration law experience, and Spanish-language skills are all preferred qualifications.
The position is for one year, with the possibility of an extension for another year, dependent on performance and budget. Anticipated start dates for positions filled from this advertisement are June 7 or September 6, 2021. 
This is a full-time attorney position with federal judiciary salary and benefits based on qualifications and experience. Starting salary ranges from $68,992 to $105,212 based on experience and qualifications in accordance to on the Defender Services Office 2021 AFPD Salary Scale, a scale equivalent to that of Assistant U.S. Attorneys if admitted to practice, or as a Legal Intern pending admission. Current federal employees are subject to salary matching rules per Judiciary policy.
Compensation also includes 10 paid federal holidays, 13 paid sick days annually, and 13 paid vacation days annually (to start), health insurance, life insurance, retirement contribution, and the Thrift Savings Plan. More information on federal judiciary employee benefits can be found at
How to Apply:
Interested applicants should e-mail a letter of interest e-mail a letter of interest, resume, a writing sample, and three references in a .pdf document to the attention of:
                    Travis Southworth-Neumeyer, Personnel Administrator
                    Subject: Fellowship AFPD
Applications will be reviewed as they are received. One or more AFPD positions may be filled from this and the other active AFPD announcements for our office, subject to budget approval. Competitive candidates will be invited to interview either in person or via Skype. All responses will remain confidential. Only candidates in consideration for this position will be contacted.
We encourage applications from individuals with diverse perspectives, especially people historically underrepresented in the practice of law.
The Federal Public Defender is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
No phone calls please.
See FAQ at for additional information and requirements.

Job Location: 
Portland, OR