Research and Writer (Term) - DENVER, CO



(One-Year-One-Day Term Position)

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The Federal Public Defender for the Districts of Colorado and Wyoming seeks applications for a year and a day term Research & Writing Specialist 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: The Research & Writing Attorney provides advanced research and writing support for cases at both the trial and appellate levels. This position is housed in our office’s Motions Team, which is responsible for preparing complex motions on novel legal questions, working closely with both trial attorneys and appellate attorneys in developing legal strategies and tracking legal developments in substantive criminal law and criminal procedure. The attorney also will have the opportunity to work on appeals in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit under the supervision of an appellate attorney. Some travel is possible. Research & Writing 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, 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. Prior criminal defense experience in employment or internship, and at least two years of practice (part or all of which may be comprised of 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 “R&W 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 9/30/2021. 

Posted: September 21, 2021