Assistant Post-Conviction Defender

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Job location
404 James Robertson Pkwy
Suite 1100
Nashville, TN 37219
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Tennessee Office of the Post-Conviction Defender
Job type: 
Legal - Defender
Position Description: 

The Tennessee Office of the Post-Conviction Defender is accepting applications for an Assistant Post-Conviction Defender position.

The OPCD is an independent agency of the Tennessee state government. The agency represents people sentenced to death in Tennessee and provides non-case-specific assistance and educational resources to appointed counsel in capital cases. Direct representation focuses on the investigation and presentation of collateral claims in state courts, primarily in post-conviction proceedings. The OPCD handles cases throughout Tennessee and travel is required. Please see for further details.

Assistant Post-Conviction Defenders work as part of a team under direction of a supervising attorney. Duties of the Assistant Post-Conviction Defenders include:

• Developing and maintaining a strong working relationship with the client
• Reviewing and analyzing large volumes of documents and records
• Identifying potential legal claims and investigative needs
• Overseeing paralegals in record collection and investigators in field investigation
• Participating in investigation as needed
• Identifying experts and working with them in developing claims
• Performing legal research and collaborating with others in drafting extensive pleadings in the trial and appellate courts
• Working with the team to prepare for and conduct an evidentiary hearing in every post-conviction case
• Presenting oral arguments in appellate courts
• Staying abreast of developments in relevant case law


Minimum Requirements:

• Tennessee Bar license or obtaining one within a year of accepting the position
• Ability to travel extensively
• A valid driver’s license

Selection Criteria:

• Demonstrated commitment to capital defense, indigent criminal defense or public interest advocacy, and to zealous client-centered representation
• Highly developed writing and oral communication skills
• Ability to work closely with others within a team-based model of representation
• Ability to communicate effectively with people who may be mentally ill, intellectually disabled, or traumatized
• Preference will be given to candidates with prior experience in capital or other criminal defense, complex civil litigation, or judicial clerkship

To apply: 

Interested candidates should send: 1) a cover letter discussing their experience, skills, and interest in death penalty work; 2) a resume; 3) three professional references; and 4) a writing sample to [email protected]. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

The OPCD is an equal opportunity employer.
Salary range: 
Salary is statutory and based on experience. Health insurance and other benefits are provided.