Attorney - Assistant Public Defender I/II - Arlington, VA

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Job location
Arlington, VA
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Virginia Indigent Defense Commission
Street address: 
1604 Santa Rosa Road
Job type: 
Legal - Defender
Position Description: 

The Virginia Indigent Defense Commission (VIDC) is now accepting applications for the position of Assistant Public Defender I/II the Office of the Public Defender for Arlington County and the City of Falls Church. This opening is for immediate employment with the office. The VIDC is committed to providing high-quality legal representation to indigent defendants charged with criminal offenses, and the qualified candidate should be committed to advocating zealously on behalf of indigent clients both in trial and appellate courts. The Assistant Public Defender I/II position reports to the Chief Public Defender for the Arlington Office and is employed at-will. In addition to the listed salary, there is a 22.5% local salary supplement, although this 22.5% supplement is discretionary, subject to annual approval by Arlington County, and earnings from the supplement do not impact retirement benefits.

If you are interested in applying and joining our mission, please complete an application. If you have specific questions related to applying, please contact us at [email protected].

Duties include conducting client and witness interviews; preparing and litigating pre- and post-trial motions; working with staff investigators and the sentencing advocate to investigate allegations, collect mitigating evidence, and develop mitigation themes; collaborating with mental health and substance abuse services to identify alternatives to incarceration; representing clients at trial in the District and Circuit Courts; and representing clients on appeal in the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court of Virginia.

The IDC is committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in our workforce. We encourage and welcome qualified applicants of all identities, cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.


• Demonstrate a deep belief in zealous, client-centered advocacy and a passion for working on behalf of indigent defendants.
• Value camaraderie and working closely with like-minded individuals in a team environment.
• Comfortable with public speaking, and have the potential to argue persuasively before judges and juries.
• Possess effective legal research and writing skills, and the capacity to think creatively about legal issues.
• Comfortable working with disadvantaged persons—including mentally ill individuals and those charged with serious felony crimes.
• Demonstrate commitment to criminal defense, social justice, and/or public service.
• Comfortable working in a fast-paced, unpredictable environment with varying tasks and time demands.
• Open to supervision and training in the interest of professional growth and the development of advocacy skills.
• Communicate effectively with colleagues, supervisors, and the court.
• Thorough, detail-oriented, and organized.

A Virginia State Bar license is required for employment as an Assistant Public Defender I/II. The vacancy may be filled at one of two levels, depending on the applicant’s experience. At least two years of criminal defense practice experience is required to be considered for the Assistant Public Defender II position and significant jury trial experience is preferred. Assistant Public Defender I, on the other hand, is an entry-level position, for which applications currently registered for the Virginia Bar Exam and recent February bar passers are encouraged to apply, as well as licensed Virginia attorneys.

Preferred Qualifications:

Prior experience as a practicing defense attorney is required in order to be considered for the Assistant Public Defender II position, but prior experience with indigent defense—professional, post-graduate or clinical—is preferred for either position (Assistant PD I/II), as is current VIDC certification. The ideal candidate has a background of public service and may have experience working directly with underprivileged people. Spanish fluency is not required but would be of substantial benefit to the Office.

The IDC is committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in our workforce. We encourage and welcome qualified applicants of all identities, cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.
Salary range: 
$65,624.00 / $74,184.00 + State Benefits
Submission deadline: 
Friday, June 16, 2023