Trial Attorney (Riverside, CA)

You are here

Job location
3801 University Ave., Ste. 700
Riverside, CA 92501
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Federal Public Defender's Office
Street address: 
321 E. 2nd Street
Los Angeles
Job type: 
Legal - Defender
Position Description: 

The Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California is accepting applications for a full-time attorney position in its trial unit in Riverside, California. The Riverside Office represents individuals charged with federal crimes occurring in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The trial unit is committed to the pursuit of justice by aggressively advocating in federal court for the constitutional rights and inherent dignity of individuals who are accused or convicted of crimes and cannot afford their own lawyer.

Job Duties: Trial attorneys primarily represent indigent individuals charged with violating federal criminal statutes by handling all stages of federal criminal trial matters in the district court. Core job duties include appearing on behalf of clients in court hearings and other related proceedings; visiting clients in jail; drafting motions, briefs, and legal memoranda; and collaborating with investigators, paralegals, and support staff. On occasion, trial attorneys are also assigned cases involving appeals after conviction and post-conviction matters that are involved in federal court proceedings.

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.

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

The Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California is committed to equal opportunity in the workplace. All applicants, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or age, are encouraged to apply.


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, but neither is required. In line with current appropriations law, applicants must be United States citizens or permanent residents seeking citizenship as described here:

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be requested of the candidate(s) selected for this position. Additional information regarding the office’s vaccine policy will be provided to the selected candidate(s).

To apply: 

Apply by emailing a letter of interest, résumé, two representative writing samples (limited to 15 pages each), and three references in a single PDF document to Cuauhtemoc Ortega, Federal Public Defender, at [email protected] with the subject line: RIVERSIDE TRIAL ATTORNEY APPLICATION. All application materials must be received by October 7, 2022, however, interviews will occur on a rolling basis and the open position may be filled before that date. The Federal Public Defender’s Office may fill current and future positions from this vacancy announcement. No phone calls please.

Equal Opportunity Employer
Salary range: 
Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience.
Submission deadline: 
Friday, October 7, 2022