Assistant Public Defender

You are here

Job location
P.O. Box 2097
Lubbock, TX 79408
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Regional Public Defender for Capital Cases
Street address: 
P.O. Box 2097
Job type: 
Legal - Defender
Position Description: 

This position is located in Lubbock, Texas.

Appointed by the Chief Public Defender, the Assistant Public Defender is responsible for providing legal representation for capital defendants in criminal proceedings and ensuring their constitutional rights are upheld. Serves as lead counsel in some cases. Oversees and participates in preparation, presentation and disposition of cases.

Examples of Duties / Knowledge & Skills
Provides legal advice to clients. Interviews clients and witnesses to obtain information necessary for preparing a defense.
Participates in plea negotiations with prosecutors regarding the pending case. Advises clients on plea offers, options, and potential for success at trial or other disposition of cases.
Directs the work of investigators, mitigation specialists and legal assistants in the preparation of a defense.
Seeks from the Court any necessary funding for outside experts in the preparation of a defense.
Performs legal research. Searches resources and studies legal records and documents to obtain information applicable to case issues under consideration.
Obtains documents by subpoena and other discovery methods.
Drafts briefs, motions, orders, subpoenas and other legal documents, as well as correspondence and reports.
Identifies any affirmative or de facto defenses and tactical procedural choices for clients.
repares cases for court and conducts hearing and trial related to pending cases.
Provides narrative, descriptive entries in client files of opinions, impressions, and facts collected.
Preserves any potential error for appellate points.
Advises clients of the constitutional rights waived by pleading guilty and the potential direct and collateral consequences of a guilty plea. Advises non-citizen clients of the specific immigration consequences of criminal convictions.
Selects juries, examines and corss-examines witnesses, drafts and argues jury instructions and argues cases to the jury.
Staffs other cases assigned to the office with other attorneys and staff.
Responds to telephone calls from non-clients, family members of clients and walk-in customers, including private attorneys seeking advice and counsel.

Lubbock County
916 Main Street Suite 1206

Lubbock, Texas, 79408-3536


Minimum qualifications & Requirements
J.D./LL.B. from an accredited law school AND meet the requirements of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedures Article 26.052b. Those qualifications are:

Be a member in good standing of the State Bar of Texas.
Exhibit proficiency and commitment to providing quality representation to defendants in death penalty cases.
Have trial experience in:
The use of and challenge to mental health or forensic expert witnesses.
Investigating and presenting mitigating evidence at the penalty phase of a death penalty trial.
Have at least five years experience in criminal law and during that time demonstrated that he or she has the required legal knowledge and skill necessary to provide representation in capital felonies and will apply that knowledge and skill with appropriate thoroughness and preparation.
Have tried to verdict as lead counsel a significant number of felony trials, including homicide trials and other trials for offenses punishable as first or second degree felonies or capital felonies, at least one of which was a homicide case.
Have participated in continuing legal education courses or other training relating to criminal defense in death penalty cases.
Supplemental information
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Substantial knowledge and understanding of relevant state, federal and international law, both procedural and substantive, governing capital cases. Skill in interviewing a variety of individuals and soliciting needed information to determine facts and circumstances, in developing effective defense strategies, in analyzing cases and applying legal principles, in presenting statements of law clearly and logically in written and verbal form, in presenting an effective defense in court, and in preparing clear, concise, accurate and effective legal, policy and procedural guidelines; skill in the management and conduct of complex negotiations and litigation; skill in legal research, analysis, and the drafting of litigation documents; skill in oral advocacy; skill in the use of expert witnesses and familiarity with common areas of forensic investigation, including fingerprints, ballistics, forensic pathology, and DNA evidence; skill in the investigation, preparation, and presentation of mitigating evidence; skill in the elements of trial advocacy, such as jury selection, cross-examination of witnesses, and opening and closing statements; skill in managing multiple projects simultaneously; skill in communicating effectively with diverse groups of individuals utilizing tact and diplomacy. Ability to handle highly stressful capital murder cases; ability to adjust to rapidly fluctuating situations; ability to operate a personal computer and basic office equipment; ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with subordinates, co-workers, County employees, Department Heads, Elected/Appointed Officials, outside organizations, attorneys, the news media and the general public.

Physical and Environmental Requirements:

Physical requirements include lifting/carrying 25 lbs. occasionally; visual acuity, speech and hearing; hand and eye coordination and manual dexterity necessary to operate computer keyboard and basic office equipment. Subject to sitting, standing, walking, reaching and handling to perform the essential functions.

Equal Opportunity Employer