AFPD Appellate


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The Federal Public Defender for the Districts of Colorado and Wyoming seeks an experienced appellate attorney to fill an existing vacancy in our Denver office. The Office of the Federal Public Defender operates under authority of the Criminal Justice Act (18 U.S.C. 3006A) to represent individuals who are unable to afford counsel and are prosecuted in our federal courts. Our office is committed to serving the distinct needs of these individuals with a diverse group of dedicated professionals who collaborate with, listen to, and advocate on behalf of one another. We welcome and value individuals of any race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, disability, age, veteran status, and other status protected by law. Click here for more information about our office.

Job Description: The Appellate Assistant Federal Public Defender will provide zealous and professional appellate representation to individuals who are unable to afford counsel to challenge their convictions and sentences in the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. Appellate appointments include appeals from within the office and cold-record appeals from any district within the Tenth Circuit. This position will also include preparing complex district court motions. Travel outside Denver may be required on occasion. Defender attorneys may not engage in the private practice of law.

Applicants must be 1) a graduate of an accredited law school; 2) licensed by the highest court of a state, federal territory, or the District of Columbia; 3) a member in good standing in all courts admitted to practice; and 4) a United States citizen, or a person authorized to work in the United States and receive compensation from this organization. Employment is subject to a satisfactory background investigation, including an FBI name and fingerprint check, and an IRS tax check.

The successful applicant will have excellent legal research and writing skills, a strong work ethic, a demonstrated commitment to criminal defense, a team-oriented approach to work, and a reputation for personal integrity. Candidates with experience in a federal judicial clerkship are strongly preferred.

Salary and Benefits: This is an “Excepted Appointment” full-time position with federal benefits and salary commensurate with experience and qualifications within the range of AD-21 to AD-29 ($76,551 - $179,616). Among the many benefits of employment are the Federal Employees Retirement System, the Thrift Savings Plan (401k), paid annual and sick leave, 11 paid federal holidays, and health, life, disability, long-term care, dental, and vision insurance. Salary is payable only by direct deposit.

How to Apply: Qualified applicants should apply via email by submitting a letter of interest, a resume, and a writing sample that is your own work to Veronica Knights, Personnel Administrator, at Subject reference line should be AFPD – Appellate Division. No phone calls, please.

Position posted on November 2, 2023—Open until filled.

The Federal Public Defender is an equal opportunity employer.