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225 Broadway Ste 900
San Diego, CA 92101
TEL: 619-234-8467
FAX: 619-687-2666
1699 W. Main St. Suite D
El Centro, CA 92243
TEL: 760-335-3510
FAX: 760-335-3610
Employment Opportunities
Employment Opportunities for Attorneys
Employment Opportunities for Attorneys

Federal Defenders seeks to recruit attorneys who strive for excellence, are willing to battle time and again against all odds, and who are committed to toiling tirelessly to protect the rights of the indigent accused. We attend national recruitment fairs searching for motivated and dedicated new graduates to join our team. Federal Defenders always welcomes applications from attorneys finishing judicial clerkships and other significant legal positions. We actively recruit year round to fill positions as they become available.






Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. is accepting applications for our trial attorney staff to begin work in fall 2017. FDSDI seeks applications from 3Ls and attorneys finishing clerkships or other legal positions who have a demonstrated interest in indigent defense as well as excellent research and writing skills.


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.


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.


Federal Defenders offers a competitive compensation package with excellent benefits. Compensation is commensurate with experience.


Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, detailed resume, unofficial transcript, and writing sample to:

Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc.
Attn: Michele A. McKenzie
225 Broadway, Ste. 900
San Diego, CA 92101

Or e-mail a cover letter, detailed resume, unofficial transcript, and writing sample to: Michele McKenzie


Open until filled.


*The material found on this Web site is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered to be legal advice and is not guaranteed to be complete or up to date. Use of this Web site is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between the user and Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc.. (FDSDI) or any of the firm's attorneys. Readers should not rely upon or act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. See full disclaimer.