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SAN DIEGO OFFICE
225 Broadway Ste 900
San Diego, CA 92101
TEL: 619-234-8467

Toll Free: 888-614-9867
FAX: 619-687-2666

EL CENTRO OFFICE
1699 W. Main St. Suite D
El Centro, CA 92243
TEL: 760-335-3510

Toll Free: 877-404-9063
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.

 

Due to the large volume of applications received by FDSDI, we do not respond to each applicant individually. If you are selected for an interview or if additional materials are needed, you will be contacted by FDSDI.

 

 

 

 

 

TITLE: Executive Director

ABOUT FEDERAL DEFENDERS of SAN DIEGO, INC.

Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. (FDSDI), is the Community Defender Organization for the Southern District of California. Organized under 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(g)(2)(B), our nonprofit firm – with offices in San Diego and El Centro, California – represents indigent persons accused of criminal offenses in federal court. We are independent from the local federal judiciary and funded by a sustaining grant awarded by Congress under the
Criminal Justice Act. A nine-member Board of Directors oversees the work of the organization.

 

FDSDI’S close proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border has a strong influence on our caseload and our advocacy efforts; the majority of our clients are charged with immigration and drug-related offenses. The office also handles serious fraud, RICO, violent offenses and public corruption cases.

 

With an operating budget of $25 million, FDSDI employees more than 60 attorneys and 70 support personnel. We have aggressive and distinguished trial and appellate departments. Our attorneys are assisted by highly trained and dedicated investigators and have the benefit of in-house interpreter and bond departments.

 

OVERVIEW OF THE POSITION:

The Executive Director is a highly-skilled federal criminal defense trial attorney who has held a leadership position within a public defense organization and is passionate about representing the indigent accused. As such, this executive has cooperated with and advocated for the interests of the defense community and the needs of his/her organization with various federal agencies, defender organizations, and the Courts. An effective leader, the Executive Director has a track record of collaborating with and leading senior managers, and a proven ability to motivate, support, and develop diverse staff at all levels of an organization. As a proven administrator, this executive is capable of ensuring the sound fiscal and operational management of a $25 million organization with 135 staff members. S/he is skilled at raising awareness of federal criminal defense work within the greater community and, in partnership with a Board, at stewarding the work of the organization into the future.

 

Among the Executive Director’s many duties, this leader is responsible for:

 

STRATEGIC AND INSPIRATIONAL LEADERSHIP:

·Serving as a mentor, role model and superb practitioner of federal criminal defense trial practice

·Collaborating with the Board to develop innovative plans for advancing the work and mission

·Maintaining consistent communication with the Board on critical budgetary, strategic, personnel and program issues

·Collaborating with senior managers on the creation of policy, procedures, practices and strategies for furthering the work of the firm  

  • ·Ensuring a high level of staff productivity and work product quality throughout the organization while fostering employee morale and cohesiveness
  • ·Inspiring, supervising, coaching, and evaluating experienced attorneys 
  • ·Implementing policies and practices that foster a diverse and inclusive staff
  • ·Effectively representing FDSDI clients in all phases of litigation. 

 

EXTERNAL RELATIONS/ADVOCACY:

·Negotiating and advocating for the interest of the defense community administratively and substantively within the Southern District of California.

·Advancing the interests of the federal criminal defense system at the national level through individual advocacy and by serving on working committees and advisory groups that inform policy and administrative matters.

·Representing the organization through all manner of media relations and public speaking engagements at district conferences, meetings with the bench, public events, etc.

·Developing strategic relationships that assist FDSDI with contract talks and other business negotiations.

 

ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGEMENT:

·Spearheading federal contract negotiations

·Monitoring regulatory compliance and communicating compliance requirements effectively to others throughout FDSDI

·Developing and monitoring budgets and financial plans in collaboration with appropriate personnel

·Working closely with the Board of Directors to ensure FDSDI fiduciary and regulatory compliance responsibilities are fulfilled in a transparent and responsible manner

  • ·Ensuring a high level of staff productivity and work product quality throughout the organization while fostering employee morale and cohesiveness
  • ·Handling high-level personnel issues including conflict resolution, disciplinary action and termination processes
  • ·Ensuring policies and procedures are in place to protect the organization
  • ·Other duties as required.

 

QUALIFICATIONS:

·Highly proficient in all manner of federal criminal defense

·Member of the California Bar (or willingness to sit for the California exam)

·Sophisticated knowledge of the federal criminal defense regulatory environment

·Excellent communication and relationship building skills with an ability to prioritize, negotiate and work with a variety of internal and external stakeholders

  • ·High-level management experience within a public defender organization (specifically, contract negotiation, budgeting, etc.)
  • ·Advocacy, public speaking and media relations skills
  • ·Prior experience supervising, coaching and mentoring a senior team and inspiring line staff
  • ·A commitment to lead by example, passion for federal criminal defense work, and dedication to the mission.

 

SALARY:
$164,200 Full benefits provided


HOW TO APPLY:
Please submit a resume and cover letter to Search@patlibby.com


No phone calls please.

POSTING EXPIRATION DATE:
September 3, 2018, 5:00 PM EST.

 

FDSDI is an equal opportunity employer committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity and inclusion in its work and with its staff.

 

TITLE: Trial Attorney

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.

 

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.  Federal Defenders hires persons immediately following graduation from law school as well as attorneys finishing clerkships or other legal positions.

 

Federal Defenders is an equal opportunity employer.  Selection of candidates 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, detailed résumé, transcript, and writing sample in PDF format 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 résumé, writing sample, and list of references to: attorneyapp@fdsdi.com with subject line “Trial Attorney Position”


No phone calls please.

DEADLINE:
Open until filled.

 

TITLE: El Centro Staff Attorney

 

DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES:

The El Centro branch office of Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. is looking for a staff attorney. The primary duties of the staff attorneys in El Centro are to represent indigent persons accused of federal crimes at their preliminary court appearances. Staff 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, the El Centro staff attorneys act as the primary counsel while the clients are in El Centro (e.g., staff attorneys will review discovery, convey offers, represent clients at their preliminary hearings, arraignments on indictment, waivers of indictment, etc.). For Federal Defender clients charged with misdemeanor illegal entry, our El Centro staff attorneys handle both the guilty plea and sentencing phases of their cases. They also handle identity and removal hearings occurring in the Imperial Valley.

 

TRAINING:

While not a trial attorney position, Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. offers all new attorneys extensive training in federal criminal procedure and practice. Training of new attorneys—and on-going training of more senior attorneys—occurs in San Diego and our El Centro staff attorneys travel to San Diego to attend such training.

 

REQUIREMENTS:

Applicants for this position must be members, in good standing, of the State of California bar. Additionally, applicants should possess superior organizational, time management, and communication skills. Applicants with a commitment to indigent defense— even if they lack prior public defender work experience—are welcomed. This is a full-time, permanent position; a minimum commitment of 2 years in the El Centro office is desired but will also consider commitments of shorter duration. Spanish language fluency preferred but all applications will be considered.

 

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:
Qualified persons may apply by emailing a letter of interest, resume and three references in pdf format to:

attorneyapp@fdsdi.com with subject line “El Centro Attorney Position”


No phone calls please.

DEADLINE:
Open until filled.


EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER


If you have a question about an upcoming job fair FDSDI is attending, please contact us at jobfair@fdsdi.com

 

If you are interested in an internship please visit the legal interns page for more information.

*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.