Job Openings

RESEARCH AND WRITING SPECIALIST

Office of the Federal Public Defender
Western District of Texas (El Paso)

THE FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER for the Western District of Texas is accepting applications for the position of research and writing specialist to be stationed in the El Paso office. The Federal Public Defender operates under authority of the Criminal Justice Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3006A, to provide defense services in federal criminal cases and related matters by appointment from the court to individuals unable to afford counsel.

Requirements:
The research and writing specialist position is an attorney position. Applicants must be: (1) a graduate of an accredited law school; and (2) admitted to practice in good standing before the highest court of a state. Spanish-language fluency is preferred for this position. Appointment is subject to a satisfactory background investigation, including but not limited to an FBI name and fingerprint check.

Duties:
The primary duties of a research and writing specialist include: (1) drafting motions, memoranda, briefs, and petitions to be filed in the U.S. District Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of the United States; and (2) consulting with attorneys on legal issues arising in discovery, motion practice, trial, sentencing, and appeal. A research and writing specialist may be required to perform general paralegal duties, as well as other duties as assigned. The research and writing specialist is not an assistant federal public defender and does not ordinarily sign pleadings or make court appearances. The position requires occasional travel.

Selection Criteria:
The successful applicant for research and writing specialist will have an established capacity or clearly demonstrated aptitude for excellence in criminal defense practice, a commitment to the representation of indigent accused persons, and a reputation for integrity. Applicants must also possess the ability to communicate effectively with clients, witnesses, colleagues, and court and agency personnel. The successful applicant will have strong legal research and word processing skills, will be able to analyze legal issues from complex records, and will write clearly and concisely. Appellate writing experience or experience in handling federal criminal cases is preferred.

Salary and Benefits:
The starting salary for a research and writing specialist falls within a range of $51,440 (JSP-9, Step 1) to $123,298 (JSP-15, Step 1). The salary of the successful applicant will be commensurate with the person’s qualifications and experience. The position is in the excepted service and does not carry the tenure rights of the competitive Civil Service. The position offers federal government employment benefits, including participation in health and life insurance, retirement, and the Thrift Savings Plan. Salary is payable only by Electronic Funds Transfer (direct deposit).

Application Information:
Qualified persons may apply by forwarding a letter of interest (mentioning announcement number 19-09), résumé, and representative writing sample. Legal experience should be described in detail. Send completed application to: Maureen Scott Franco, Federal Public Defender, Western District of Texas, 700 E. San Antonio Ave., D-401, El Paso, Texas 79901-7020. No electronic submissions will be considered, this includes emails to the Defender. For applicants with disabilities, this organization provides reasonable accommodations, which are determined on a case-by-case basis. To request a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or interview process, contact Victoria B. Longoria, Personnel Administrator, at (210) 472-6700. More than one position may be filled from this announcement. Position announced April 23, 2019 subject to the availability of funds; open until filled.

The Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Texas is an equal opportunity employer.


ASSISTANT FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER

Eastern District of Texas
The Federal Public Defender for the Eastern District of Texas is now accepting applications for one full-time Assistant Federal Public Defender to be stationed in Sherman, Texas. The Office of the Federal Defender operates under authority of the Criminal Justice Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3006A, to provide representation in federal criminal matters in the federal courts.

Requirements and Qualifications:
An Assistant Federal Defender must be a graduate of an accredited law school, a member in good standing of the State Bar of Texas, and licensed to practice in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. Appointment is subject to a satisfactory background investigation, including but not limited to FBI name and fingerprint check and an IRS tax check.

Duties:
An Assistant Federal Defender represents clients charged with federal criminal offenses and clients involved in other matters covered under the Criminal Justice Act. The positions may require travel for investigation, litigation and training. Federal Public Defender employees may not engage in the private practice of law.

Selection Criteria:
Successful applicants will have an established capacity or clearly demonstrated aptitude for excellence in criminal defense practice, a commitment to the representation of indigent accused persons, and a reputation for integrity. Applicants must also possess the ability to communicate effectively with clients, witnesses, staff, colleagues, and other individuals that they will come in contact with as part of their employment. Experience in handling federal criminal cases is preferred, but not required.

Salary and Benefits:
Salary dependent upon qualifications and experience, but comparable to that of Assistant United States Attorneys. This position is excepted service and does not carry the tenure rights of the competitive civil service. Benefits include health and life insurance, retirement and the Thrift Savings Plan. This position is subject to mandatory Electronic Funds Transfer (direct deposit) participation for payment of net pay.

Application Information:
Qualified persons are invited to apply by sending a letter of interest and resume listing at least three professional references no later than April 19, 2019 to: G. Patrick Black, Federal Public Defender, 110 North College, Suite 1122, Tyler, Texas 75702. Legal experience should be described in detail. The start date of this position is contingent upon availability of funds. Please, no telephone inquiries. Position open until filled.

The Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Eastern District of Texas is an equal opportunity employer.


Public Defenders

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid seeks public defenders for its Beeville office who have a passion to aggressively represent low-income clients in criminal cases. The TRLA Beeville office provides legal services to the following counties in the coastal bend area of Texas: Live Oak, McMullen, Bee, Goliad, and Refugio. We have positions open for a lawyer with a Texas law license and experience in criminal trial practice, state courts. We also have open positions for attorneys newly licensed in Texas or law school graduates taking the July 2019 Texas Bar Exam.

TRLA operates one of the largest legal services programs in the country and is nationally recognized for high-quality, zealous advocacy for its clients. The public defender division handles 100% of the criminal court appointments docket in its service area, apart from conflicts that arise. We handle Class B and A misdemeanor charges, felonies, juvenile cases, and appeals. TRLA’s public defender program organizes its case assignment vertically. We assign an attorney [or attorneys] to a case at intake. That assignment continues until resolution.

Compensation, benefits, and training:

Salary is commensurate with experience and includes an excellent fringe benefits package including law school loan repayment. Graduates from law school typically start being paid the first week of June, but report to work after the bar exam in July. TRLA provides reimbursement for the bar application fee and bar preparation course.

TRLA Public Defenders utilize trial lawyer training programs at the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and Gideon’s Promise. TRLA provides trainings customized for specific needs of our team. As a member of TRLA Public Defenders, you will receive opportunities to train and learn from criminal defense trial lawyers throughout the country on various areas of expertise at no to low cost.

Qualifications and preferences:

Must be licensed to practice law in Texas, able to waive into the Texas bar, or willing to take the next available bar exam.

Preferred applicants have demonstrated an interest in providing justice to those who need it most, have strong academic credentials, are functionally fluent in Spanish, and want to live and work where the greatest need is in the TRLA service area.

TRLA is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to an equitable workplace.

Application process:

Step One—Apply online: https://trla.wufoo.com/forms/r18n7vw20gxf1kp/.

Step Two—Selected applicants will be contacted for a telephone interview.

Step Three—Typically, selected applicants will be invited to visit TRLA offices, meet with staff, and tour the service area. TRLA will provide travel, accommodations, and food throughout the visit.

Step Four—Selected applicants will be offered a position which if made in the winter often remains open until mid-April (near the deadline to apply to take the bar exam).

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  • Send job listings to mschank@tcdla.com, free for TCDLA members, $50 for non-members