A Commitment To Excellence

A Passion For Justice

Attorney

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

DESCRIPTION OF POSITION AND DUTIES

Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. is seeking to hire a full-time First Assistant Defender.  The First Assistant Defender serves as the principal deputy to the Executive Director, assisting in the management of all phases of the defender organization. The First Assistant assumes the authority to take actions that affect the basic content and character of the organization’s administrative and legal operations.  In addition to providing zealous, professional legal representation to clients, the First Assistant assumes responsibility for the operations of the defender organization in the absence of the Executive Director. 

The First Assistant is someone who is a trusted and reliable manager who values professionalism and consistently uses sound judgement to carry out responsibilities.  A First Assistant partners with other members of management, keep confidences, and is comfortable acting both independently and as a member of our team.  The First Assistant should be centered to the mission of the office which is a commitment to excellence and a passion for justice in representing indigent people accused of myriad federal criminal offenses, combining hard work, constant training and intense dedication in the defense of each of our clients.  A First Assistant must demonstrate considerable resourcefulness, organization, attention to detail and deadlines, initiative, creativity, and compassion.  The First Assistant must demonstrate an ability to supervise others with empathy and understanding while maintaining high standards.   

The First Assistant Defender performs or supervises the performance of tasks such as the following:

  • Oversees the operations of the defender organization and ensures that costs are kept within allocated budget levels. May actively participate in financial and procurement management. Participates as a fiduciary member of the FDSDI Pension Plan.
  • Initiates personnel actions involving all staff members when required. Actions may include: assisting the Executive Director with employee hiring and job termination; drafting performance appraisals; participating in mediation, negotiation, and disciplinary actions.
  • Ensures compliance with FDSDI administrative and fiscal responsibilities.
  • Communicates in a supervisory capacity with the court, opposing counsel, clients and the families of clients concerning case-related issues.
  • Analyzes organizational structure and recommends policy implementation. Identifies, communicates, and positively resolves internal problems which might negatively impact the operation of the defender organization.
  • Acts as a liaison for FDSDI with community advocacy groups, the public, and the media.
  • Oversees attorney recruitment and hiring in conjunction with FDSDI’s Attorney Hiring Committee. Participates in hiring of all staff.
  • Oversees the production of FDSDI’s Defending a Federal Criminal Case. This includes assigning writing and editing duties, ensuring deadlines for production are met, evaluating additional topics/content for inclusion, vetting printer, distributors, e-commerce sites, communicating with DSO, overseeing sales and inventory of the DFCC for the life of the project (3-5 years), and overseeing support for download/distribution related concerns.
  • Supervises attorneys and legal staff members in order to provide clients with prompt, courteous and zealous legal representation.


SALARY AND BENEFITS

Salary will be commensurate with experience. This position includes health insurance, life insurance, and 401k. Salary is payable only by direct deposit. Employment is subject to a satisfactory background verification. All education, experience, training, and certifications will be verified.

FEDERAL DEFENDERS OF SAN DIEGO, INC. IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER

Selection of position will be based solely on merit without regard to race, color, religion, religious creed (including religious dress and religious grooming), sex (including pregnancy, perceived pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), gender, gender identity (including transgender identity and transitioning), gender expression and sex stereotyping, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, physical or mental disability, legally protected medical condition or information (including genetic information), family care or medical leave status, military caregiver status, military status, veteran status, marital status, domestic partner status, sexual orientation, status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, enrollment in a public assistance program, engaging in protected communications regarding employee wages, requesting a reasonable accommodation on the basis of disability or bona fide religious belief or practice, or any other basis protected by local, state, or federal laws.

HOW TO APPLY

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resume highlighting relevant skills and experience to Kasha Castillo, Executive Director, CAS_Employment@fd.org.

Position open until filled.

DESCRIPTION OF POSITION AND DUTIES

Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. is seeking to hire a Training Director who will ensure that FDSDI attorneys receive training, mentorship and guidance to be excellent trial attorneys and advocates for our clients.  This attorney should have a significant history of litigation including various types of trial experience, original motion work, and evidentiary hearings. The Training Director occupies a leadership position, supervises other attorneys, and recommends actions that affect the organization’s legal operations.

 The Training Director will be responsible for ensuring that attorneys and legal staff members are adequately trained to perform assigned duties. Training topics include current case law developments, trial skills and advocacy in the courtroom, creative sentencing advocacy, developing advanced skills in written, oral and interpersonal communications, as well as the ongoing development of diversity, equity, and inclusion awareness and practice.  The Training Director will work with FDSDI supervisors to provide essential yearly training for all FDSDI staff.  The Training Director works with Management on selecting individuals to attend national trainings based on principles of fairness, the need for development, and equity. 

The Training Director will also provide the CJA Panel with training, information, and support to ensure an excellent standard of practice in the Southern District of California.  This includes the development of the annual CJA seminar, new CJA attorney training, and monthly CJA brown bags.

In addition, the Training Director will oversee the New Attorney Training and All Attorney Training Programs within FDSDI.  This includes providing yearly updates to the new attorney training syllabus, collaborating with training committees to brainstorm new topics, assigning trainers to designated topics, and creating training schedules.

The Training Director will assist in supervising new attorneys (0-2 year attorneys) in order to ensure adequate training and guidance on the zealous, professional legal representation to clients. The Training Director may be assigned trial cases, or other cases needing litigation, for the purpose of training attorneys on effective trial advocacy skills. 

The Training Director will collaborate with Management and Trial Team Leaders on identifying individual attorneys need additional training and/or guidance in their practice. The Training Director may supervise attorneys in a one-on-one capacity if additional support is needed.

The Training Director will work with national organizations, including the DSO Training Division, to identify available and appropriate national training programs for FDSDI staff.  

Finally, the Training Director will assist in overseeing the training budget of the defender organization, ensuring costs are kept within allocated budget levels.

SALARY AND BENEFITS

Salary will be commensurate with experience. This position includes health insurance, life insurance, and 401k. Salary is payable only by direct deposit. Employment is subject to a satisfactory background verification. All education, experience, training, and certifications will be verified.

 FEDERAL DEFENDERS OF SAN DIEGO, INC. IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER

Selection of position will be based solely on merit without regard to race, color, religion, religious creed (including religious dress and religious grooming), sex (including pregnancy, perceived pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), gender, gender identity (including transgender identity and transitioning), gender expression and sex stereotyping, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, physical or mental disability, legally protected medical condition or information (including genetic information), family care or medical leave status, military caregiver status, military status, veteran status, marital status, domestic partner status, sexual orientation, status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, enrollment in a public assistance program, engaging in protected communications regarding employee wages, requesting a reasonable accommodation on the basis of disability or bona fide religious belief or practice, or any other basis protected by local, state, or federal laws.

HOW TO APPLY

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resume highlighting relevant skills and experience to Kasha Castillo, Executive Director, CAS_Employment@fd.org.

Position open until filled.

DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES:

Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc., is looking for an attorney with a demonstrated interest in indigent defense as well as excellent research and writing skills to join our team. The primary duties of trial attorneys at Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. are to represent indigent persons accused of federal crimes at all stages of their court proceedings.

Trial attorneys interview clients prior to their first appearances, make sure that an attorney is assigned, fight for bail and conduct detention hearings. For clients that are assigned to Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. for the remainder of their cases, trial attorneys review discovery, convey offers, represent clients at their preliminary hearings, arraignments on indictment, waivers of indictment, and/or jury trial. Trial attorneys handle cases arising from complaints and/or indictments filed by the federal government.  They also handle identity and removal hearings as well as supervised release revocation proceedings.

QUALIFICATIONS:

Trial attorneys are expected to prepare their own cases for trial, including but not limited to: investigation, witness preparation, organizing a brain storm of the case for the other attorneys in the office, writing cross-examinations, opening statements, and closing arguments. If a case is lost at the district court level, the trial attorney will also represent the client on appeal before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. During the appeal, the trial attorney will brain storm the appeal with her appellate supervisor, do legal research, write the opening and reply briefs, and argue the case before the appellate courts.

BENEFITS:

Federal Defenders offers a competitive compensation package with excellent benefits. Compensation is commensurate with experience. Federal Defenders hires persons immediately following graduation from law school as well as attorneys finishing clerkships or other legal positions.

HOW TO APPLY:
Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and detailed resume to:

Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc.
Attn: Cassandra Lopez
225 Broadway, Ste. 900
San Diego, CA 92101

Or email a cover letter and detailed resume, writing sample, and list of references to: cassandra_l_lopez@fd.org

No Phone Calls.

DEADLINE:
Open until filled.

DESCRIPTION OF POSITION AND DUTIES

Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. has one or more vacancies for an experienced attorney with a significant history of criminal law practice to serve as Trial Team Leader.  This attorney should have a significant history of litigation including various types of trial experience, original motion work, and evidentiary hearings.  This attorney should also have the ability to mentor, supervise, and manage a group of attorneys with varying levels of experience.

The Trial Team Leaders of Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. are responsible for supervising trial teams comprised of 6-10 attorneys with differing levels of experience in federal criminal trial practice. The Trial Team Leader oversees, assists with, and provides professional advice and guidance to develop the in-court and in-office legal work done by trial team members.

The Trial Team Leader assigns cases to their trial team to ensure that work is distributed equitably among the team while keeping in mind the goals of the organization as a whole. The Trial Team Leader is also responsible for conducting case-review meetings with every trial team member to ensure high-quality legal representation is maintained, observing trial team members’ in-court work, attending brainstorms for all trial team members whenever practicable, regularly meeting with the trial team, and writing performance reviews annually for of each trial team member. Trial Team Leaders are also responsible for ensuring that their team members comply with certain case management duties, such as keeping time in defenderData, closing cases, and other office requirements.

The Trial Team Leader also works to foster good communication between trial team members and with other groups in the office, such as investigators, interpreters, and support staff.  The Trial Team Leaders are responsible for developing a teamwork relationship with management as well as supervisors of all departments throughout the office. The Trial Team Leader promotes effective Federal Defender Organization operations and ensures that FDSDI is carrying out its commitment to defend the indigent accused as zealously and professionally as possible.

SALARY AND BENEFITS

Salary will be commensurate with experience. This position includes health insurance, life insurance, and 401k. Salary is payable only by direct deposit. Employment is subject to a satisfactory background verification. All education, experience, training, and certifications will be verified.

FEDERAL DEFENDERS OF SAN DIEGO, INC. IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER

Selection of position will be based solely on merit without regard to race, color, religion, religious creed (including religious dress and religious grooming), sex (including pregnancy, perceived pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), gender, gender identity (including transgender identity and transitioning), gender expression and sex stereotyping, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, physical or mental disability, legally protected medical condition or information (including genetic information), family care or medical leave status, military caregiver status, military status, veteran status, marital status, domestic partner status, sexual orientation, status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, enrollment in a public assistance program, engaging in protected communications regarding employee wages, requesting a reasonable accommodation on the basis of disability or bona fide religious belief or practice, or any other basis protected by local, state, or federal laws.

HOW TO APPLY

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resume highlighting relevant skills and experience to Kasha Castillo, Executive Director, CAS_Employment@fd.org.

Position open until filled.

WE ARE AN

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER