Senior Legal Assistant / Paralegal



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The Colorado office of the Federal Public Defender for the Districts of Colorado and Wyoming seeks a legal assistant/paralegal to join our Denver office. The Office of the 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 our clients 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 legal assistant provides secretarial and clerical support to staff attorneys representing indigent persons charged with criminal offenses in the United States District Court, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. Routine duties include maintaining attorneys’ calendars; arranging attorney-client meetings and telephone calls; filing pleadings with appropriate courts using CM/ECF systems; organizing case files and handling case management functions as assigned; receiving and routing incoming telephone calls and mail; delivering and collecting documents from the courts; and performing other secretarial functions as assigned.

Legal assistants with knowledge of the above may be promoted to paralegal and will be expected to draft pleadings and correspondence for attorneys; proofread attorney-drafted pleadings for content, grammar, and punctuation; utilize knowledge of legal terminology; communicate and coordinate with retained experts; research case law and cite check on behalf of attorneys; analyze records and files to offer case-related recommendations; prepare summaries of discovery, exhibits, and other case-related materials; compile trial notebooks, exhibits, and files; create electronic pleadings indexes; track case lists and upcoming deadlines; assist in all aspects of case preparation; develop relationships with clients by answering general inquiries (e.g. information regarding case status and court appearances) according to office policy; attend court appearances to observe hearings, track exhibits, take notes, and provide feedback; anticipate the needs of the legal team and completing tasks without formal direction; attend trainings; train members of the office and CJA panel on best practices for completing the aforementioned duties; and perform other similar or related duties that are consistent with the general level of the position and responsibilities described.

Requirements and Qualifications: To qualify for this position, a candidate must be a high school graduate, or equivalent, and have a minimum of two years of general office experience and one to three years of specialized legal assistant experience. To qualify for and receive compensation as a Senior Legal Assistant, applicants must have two years of general experience and at least four years of specialized experience. To qualify for and receive compensation as a Paralegal, a candidate must have a high school diploma or equivalent, three years of general office experience, three years of specialized experience, and one year of experience at a Federal Public Defender office. Proficiency in Word and Excel for Microsoft 365 is required. Attention to detail, strong proofreading skills, and superior organizational skills are required. Applicants must have the ability to communicate/collaborate with others, to adapt to change, and to prioritize and multitask. Experience with criminal litigation, marking briefs, generating table of contents and authorities, and CM/ECF and electronic case filing is preferred but not required.

Applicants must be United States citizens or eligible to work in the United States. Employment is subject to a satisfactory background investigation, including an FBI name and fingerprint check.

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 JSP Grade 9 ($66,670 - $86,670) and JSP Grade 11 ($80,665- $104,861). Among the many benefits 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 individuals should submit a letter of interest and resume, in .pdf format, to Veronica Knights, Personnel Administrator, at Subject Reference should Legal Assistant/Paralegal Position – Denver.

Interviews will be conducted in person or via videoconference. Cost of travel must be incurred by the applicant. No phone calls, please.

Position posted on April 30, 2024. Updated on May 10, 2024 – Open until filled.

The Federal Public Defender is an equal opportunity employer.