Assistant Federal Public Defender Capital Habeas Unit

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Job location
10 West Broad Street, Suite 1020
Columbus, OH 43215
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Federal Public Defender Southern District of Ohio
Job type: 
Legal - Defender
Position Description: 

The Federal Public Defender for the Southern District of Ohio is accepting applications for the position of Assistant Federal Defender for the Capital Habeas Unit to be stationed in the Columbus office. The Federal Public Defender, a branch of the U.S. Courts operates under the authority of the Criminal Justice Act, 18 USC 3006A, to provide defense services to indigent persons in federal criminal cases and related matters in the federal courts. The Capital Habeas Unit represents state death sentenced individuals in federal habeas and state clemency proceedings.

Duties: The Assistant Federal Defender is an attorney position which provides representation to clients in federal habeas proceedings who have been sentenced to death in the state courts of Ohio. Specifically the individual writes briefs, motions, petitions, legal memoranda and represents petitioners in capital habeas proceeding in federal court from the initial petition through appeal and clemency. The position requires trips to prison for client visits, and the ability to work with teams of attorneys and investigators representing people sentenced to death.

Salary and Benefits: Starting salary will be commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the applicant. This position is excepted service and does not carry the tenure rights of the competitive Civil Service. The position does offer federal government employment benefits including health and life insurance, retirement and the Thrift Savings Plan. Salary is payable only by Electronic Funds Transfer (direct deposit).

Conditions of Employment: All application information is subject to verification. Appointment to the position is contingent upon a background investigation including an FBI fingerprint check. Employees of the Federal Defender are members of the judicial branch of government; they are considered ‘at will’ and can be terminated with or without cause.


The successful applicant must be a graduate from an accredited law school and a member in good standing of a state bar and immediately eligible for District Court/Circuit bar admission. At least 10 years of legal work experience is desired. Significant experience in capital cases, habeas and/or post-conviction work is required. Applicants should have a commitment to providing quality representation to indigent defendants and have a reputation for personal integrity. Strong computer research, word processing, and interpersonal communication skills are essential for this position, as is the ability to analyze legal issues from lengthy, complex records and write clearly and concisely. Successful applicants will be able to prioritize projects and work both independently and cooperatively. Assistant Federal Defenders may not engage in the private practice of law.

To apply: 

Qualified applicants should send a letter of interest, current detailed resume, references and a writing sample in PDF format to [email protected]. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

The Federal Public Defender, Southern District of Ohio is an equal opportunity employer. Women, minorities and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. The FDO provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. The decision on granting reasonable accommodations will be made on a case by case basis. One or more applicants may be selected from this posting. This position is subject to the availability of funds.
Salary range: 
based on experience