Appellate Defense Counsel

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Job location
P.O. Box 926
Norman, OK 73070
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Oklahoma Indigent Defense System
Street address: 
P.O. Box 926
Job type: 
Legal - Defender
Position Description: 

Position Description: Attorney job duties include the management of all aspects of the direct appeal case including consulting with the client; reading and digesting the trial record; identifying legal issues; locating and consulting with expert witnesses; devising and conducting extra-record investigations as necessary; performing extensive legal research; composing legal briefs and pleadings; and, when ordered, appearing at evidentiary hearings at the district court level or oral argument before the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals.

In addition, the position will also include investigative duties such as gathering and reviewing records and documentary evidence concerning the facts of the case and the client’s life history; locating and interviewing family members, witnesses and law enforcement personnel; working with attorneys to develop case investigation strategies; consulting with expert witnesses to provide documentation and evidence for forensic evaluations; and preparing memoranda concerning the results of investigative tasks. Salary for this position will be in accordance with the agency salary scales and level of experience.

Qualifications: This position requires a J.D. degree and active membership and good standing with State Bar of Oklahoma or eligibility for admission by motion. Applicants awaiting results of the July 2016 Oklahoma bar exam will be considered as will out-of-state applicants willing to sit for next Oklahoma bar exam.

No prior criminal appellate or investigative experience is required for this position. Applicants should possess a desire to work in public interest law and advocate on behalf of indigent clients. Applicants should have excellent research and writing skills, and the ability to argue effectively and persuasively in both written and oral form. Applicants with backgrounds in social work, social science, counseling, psychology, education, journalism, forensics, criminal investigation or law enforcement are encouraged to apply. Familiarity with mental health issues is preferred.

Applicants must be highly motivated, well-organized and able to multi-task and manage time effectively. The ability to work as part of a team is required, as are exceptional communication and interpersonal skills. Applicants must be willing and able to travel throughout the State of Oklahoma and occasionally out of state.


The Homicide Direct Appeals Division (HDA) of the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System is seeking applicants for an entry-level appellate defense counsel position that will also include part-time investigative duties. HDA is appointed by state district courts in Oklahoma to represent indigent clients convicted of all forms of homicide, including capital murder, on direct appeal to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals. HDA also represents death-sentenced clients on certiorari petitions to the United States Supreme Court and at remanded evidentiary hearings in the district courts as ordered by the Court of Criminal Appeals.

To apply: 

Please send a resume and writing sample no later than Friday, August 19, 2016, to:

Angie L. Cole, Chief Administrative Officer
Oklahoma Indigent Defense System
P. O. Box 926
Norman, OK 73070-0926
[email protected]

OIDS is an Equal Opportunity Employer
Salary range: 
Salary for this position is commensurate with qualifications and within agency salary schedule range. Excellent benefits.
Submission deadline: 
Friday, August 19, 2016