Non-Capital Habeas Unit Attorney

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Job location
321 E. 2nd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Federal Public Defender's Office, Central District of California
Job type: 
Legal - Defender
Position Description: 

The Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California is accepting applications for full-time attorney positions in its non-capital habeas unit (NCHU), stationed in Los Angeles, California. The NCHU is committed to the pursuit of justice by aggressively advocating in federal court for the constitutional rights and inherent dignity of individuals who are convicted of crimes and cannot afford their own lawyer.

Job Duties: NCHU attorneys primarily represent indigent California state prisoners in federal habeas corpus actions challenging their state judgments. Core job duties include communicating with clients; summarizing trial transcripts; conducting research; directing investigation; working with experts; drafting habeas petitions, motions and briefs; and conducting evidentiary hearings and appellate arguments. On occasion, NCHU attorneys are also assigned to federal criminal trial cases and capital habeas corpus cases.

Salary/Benefits: This is a full-time, at-will position. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience and is subject to direct deposit. Benefits include health and life insurance, retirement, and a Thrift Savings Plan. For more information on benefits, see


Requirements: All applicants must have graduated from an accredited law school and be members in good standing of the California Bar or must be willing to sit for the next California Bar exam. Preference will be given to applicants with at least three years of experience in state and/or federal criminal law or applicants with federal judicial clerkship experience. Applicants must have United States citizenship or be authorized to work in the United States.

Selection Criteria: Candidates must have a demonstrated commitment to indigent criminal defense and/or public interest law; must have superior oral and written communication skills; possess excellent research skills; and work well in teams. A background investigation is required as a condition of employment.

To apply: 

Apply by emailing a letter of interest, résumé, two representative writing samples (limited to 15 pages), and three references in a single PDF document to Hilary Potashner, Federal Public Defender, at [email protected] with the subject line: NCHU ATTORNEY APPLICATION. All application materials must be received by September 11, 2017. The Federal Public Defender’s Office may fill current and future positions from this vacancy announcement. Please, no phone calls.

The Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All applicants, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or age, are encouraged to apply.
Submission deadline: 
Monday, September 11, 2017