AFPD Appellate and Trial (Term) - DENVER, CO



(One-Year-One-Day Term Position)

CLICK HERE for a PDF copy of this announcement

The Federal Public Defender for the Districts of Colorado and Wyoming seeks applications for a year and a day term Assistant Federal Public Defender to join our Denver office. The Office of the Federal Defender operates under authority of the Criminal Justice Act (18 U.S.C. § 3006A) to provide court-appointed defense services to persons prosecuted in our nation’s federal courts. 

Job Description: This Assistant Federal Public Defender position will serve a hybrid appellate/trial role, assigned to our office’s Motions Team, which is responsible for preparing complex motions on novel legal questions, as well as working on motions under Fed. R. Crim. P. 12 and sentencing challenges, among other projects. The position entails extensive research and writing responsibilities, and the AFPD will work closely with both trial attorneys and appellate attorneys in developing legal strategies and tracking legal developments in substantive criminal law and criminal procedure. The AFPD also will maintain a limited appellate caseload, challenging convictions and/or sentences in the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. Travel outside Denver may be required on occasion. Periodic in-court appearances are likely. AFPDs 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 where admitted to practice; and 4) a United States citizen, or a person authorized to work in the United States and receive compensation from this agency. 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, good interpersonal communication skills, a team-oriented approach to work, and a reputation for personal integrity. Successful applicants will be able to prioritize projects and work both independently and cooperatively. In addition to general knowledge of criminal law, procedure, and evidence, applicants ideally will have a working knowledge of the Fourth Amendment and federal sentencing guidelines. At least three years of practice (part of which may be a judicial clerkship) is preferred but not required. A start date by or before November 1, 2021 is preferred.

Salary and Benefits: This is an “Excepted Appointment” term position with federal benefits and salary commensurate with experience and qualifications. Benefits include health and life insurance, retirement, and the Thrift Savings Plan. Salary is payable only by direct deposit. The Federal Public Defender is an equal opportunity employer. A combination of in-office and telework will be permitted.

How to Apply:  Please submit a single PDF file containing a (1) letter of interest, (2) resume, and (3) writing sample that is your own work and no more than 15 pages, by email to, with the subject line “AFPD Position – Term.” Interviews will be conducted by videoconference.

This position is subject to the availability of funds. No phone calls, please.

Open until filled. Applications will be reviewed as they are received, with priority consideration of those received before 09/30/2021. 

Posted: September 21, 2021