Fellowship - Assistant Federal Public Defender

ASSISTANT FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER
1 to 2 Year Attorney Fellowship
PORTLAND, OR
 
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 criminal defense 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 second year extension based on budget and performance.  
 
An applicant for this position needs no legal 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 be learning to handle criminal cases from inception (be it pre-indictment, complaint, or indictment) to either trial or sentencing or both. Initial case assignments will be simple (e.g., supervised release violations and petty offenses), with case assignments becoming more complex as the fellowship AFPD is trained. The caseload is varied but includes offenses involving: 1) firearms; 2) drugs; 3) immigration; 4) child pornography; and 5) fraud crimes.
 
Duties:
·         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 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 have taken the bar exam by the projected start date of the fellowship. Strong preference will be given to applicants who will be licensed by the time of the projected start date, or shortly thereafter.
·         Applicants must have strong written and oral advocacy skills
·         Demonstrated exceptional organizational skills are required.
·         Strong written and verbal communication, technology, 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.
 
Compensation:
 
The position is for one year, with the possibility of an extension for another year, dependent on performance and budget. This is a full-time attorney position with federal judiciary salary and benefits based on qualifications and experience.
 
Rules of the federal court do not allow recent graduates who have not yet passed the bar to represent clients. Candidates selected for this position that are not members of a state bar prior to their start date will begin their fellowship in a Research & Writing role and cannot appear on behalf of clients until they are are admitted to a state bar and subsequent admission to the federal bar in the District of Oregon.
 
As a guideline, initial salaries will be the equivalent of Judiciary Salary Plan Grade 11, Step 1 (JSP 11-1, currently $70,853) for graduating law students who have taken a bar exam. JSP 12-1 (currently $84,923) for law school graduates who have passed the bar and have one year of experience (including judicial clerkships or legal fellowships.) JSP 13-1 ($100,984) for law school graduates who have passed the bar and have two or more years of experience. Current federal employees are subject to salary matching rules per Judiciary policy.
 
Compensation also includes 11 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 https://www.uscourts.gov/careers/benefits
 
One or more positions may be filled from this announcement. Candidates available for earlier placement will be considered on a rolling basis. Rolling review will begin August 15, 2022. Applications are due September 30, 2022, for fall of 2023 placement. Please indicate your preferred start month (e.g. Sept. 2022, March 2023, etc.) in the subject line of your application email and any details in your letter of interest.
 
Competitive candidates will be in­vited to an initial interview via video. All responses will remain confidential. Only candidates in consideration for this position will be contacted.
 
How to Apply:
Interested applicants should e-mail a letter of interest, a resume, a writing sample, and three references in a .pdf document to the attention of:
Travis Southworth-Neumeyer, Personnel Administrator
oregon_personnel@fd.org
Subject: Fellowship AFPD [Preferred Start]
 
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  http://or.fd.org/content/employment for more info on our office, benefits etc.

Fellowship - Assistant Federal Public Defender