Law clerks assist the defenders by researching legal issues and drafting trial memoranda, motions to suppress, jury instructions, appellate briefs, and other legal writing. Typical research topics involve search and seizure issues, the right to counsel, outrageous government misconduct, evidence questions, and constitutional issues in habeas cases. In addition to the research and writing, clerks also have the opportunity to watch proceedings in the U.S. District Court and the Ninth Circuit, and to attend attorney staffings, meetings, and moot court arguments. Students also help interview clients and negotiate cases on the monthly violation and misdemeanor docket (and certified law clerks may have the opportunity to represent clients in misdemeanor bench trials). We are currently recruiting for summer 2021. We accept applications for both our Portland and Eugene offices. The position is full time during the summer months and can be part time (16 hours a week) or full time during the school year.
The Federal Public Defender is committed to the pursuit of justice through zealous advocacy in federal court for the constitutional rights and inherent dignity of individuals who are accused or convicted of crimes and cannot afford their own lawyer. We advance the rights of all individuals by developing innovative approaches in our representation that promote systemic change and by serving as a valuable resource to the larger legal community. Because we know that insight from a diversity of experiences and perspectives will enhance our work, we are committed to fostering diversity in our office. We invest in recruiting, training, and retaining colleagues who demonstrate experience with, knowledge of, and sensitivity to the needs of culturally diverse and oppressed populations.