APPELLATE ATTORNEY

POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT

ASSISTANT FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER – APPELLATE

The Federal Public Defender for the Districts of Colorado and Wyoming seeks an appellate attorney to join our office’s established Appellate Section in Denver. 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:  The Appellate Assistant Federal Public Defender will provide zealous and professional appellate representation to indigent persons challenging their convictions and sentences in the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.  Appellate appointments include cold-record appeals from any district within the Tenth Circuit (CO, KS, NM, OK, UT & WY).  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 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 and substantial oral argument experience. A strong and established work ethic, a demonstrated commitment to criminal defense, a team-oriented professional demeanor, and a reputation for personal integrity are core requirements.  Applicants should have, at a minimum, five years of appellate litigation experience, preferably in federal criminal defense appeals. Applicants with less experience but strong credentials, and a background in federal practice, will also be considered.

Salary and Benefits: This is an “Excepted Appointment” full-time 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.

How to Apply:  Apply by submitting a letter of interest, resume, and a writing sample (preferably an appellate brief) that is your own work. E-mailed and faxed applications will not be considered.  Interviews will be conducted in person. Cost of travel must be incurred by the applicant. This position is subject to the availability of funds. NO PHONE CALLS, PLEASE.

Applications should be sent to: 


Kim W. Bechard
Administrative Officer
Office of the Federal Public Defender
633 17th Street, Ste #1000
Denver CO 80202

The Federal Public Defender is an equal opportunity employer.


Posted: October 30, 2018. Open until filled.

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Selection for this position is contingent on proof of U.S. citizenship or, for noncitizens, proof of authorization to work in the United States plus proof of entitlement to
receive compensation. Even if a noncitizen is authorized to work in the United States under the immigration laws, this agency may not use appropriated funds to pay compensation to a noncitizen employee in the continental United States unless he or she falls within one of the following categories of exceptions:

  • Persons lawfully admitted for permanent residence who are seeking citizenship or are willing to seek citizenship when eligible.
  • Persons admitted as refugees under 8 U.S.C. 1157 or granted asylum under 8 U.S.C. 1158 who have filed a declaration of intention to become lawful permanent residents and then citizens when eligible.
  • Persons who owe permanent allegiance to the United States (for example, natives of American Samoa and Swains Island).
  • Persons who were officers or employees of the U.S. Government on December 16, 2009.

    For a list of documents that may be used to provide proof of citizenship or authorization to work in the United States, please refer to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, available at 
    http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf .