Assistant Federal Defender

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Job location
411 E. Wisconsin Avenue
Suite 2310
Milwaukee, WI 53202
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Federal Defender Services of Wisconsin, Inc.
Street address: 
411 E. Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 2310
Job type: 
Legal - Defender
Position Description: 

Federal Defender Services of Wisconsin, Inc. (“FDSW”), a Community Defender Organization serving the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin, seeks an exceptional lawyer to join our Milwaukee Office as an Assistant Federal Defender (AFD).

ABOUT US: FDSW represents people accused of federal crimes who cannot afford a private attorney. We are committed to providing a vigorous defense to all our clients, from the moment of their arrest through trial and appeal. Our office is energetic, passionate, and above all else, collaborative. We believe it is through the collective efforts of our committed lawyers and staff that our office serves its fundamental mission: providing the best defense money can’t buy.

DUTIES: The responsibilities of an AFD include meeting with clients; zealously advocating for their release at detention hearings; crafting creative legal challenges; drafting briefs and motions; investigating potential factual defenses; preparing and presenting trial defenses; investigating and presenting persuasive mitigation arguments and preparing sentencing memos; and briefing and arguing appeals.

SALARY AND BENEFITS: FDSW is a nonprofit corporation. While our office is not a federal government agency and our lawyers are not federal employees, we provide comparable benefits, including health insurance and contributions to a retirement plan. Salary will be based on years of professional experience, with a starting range of $75,864 to $178,003. Direct deposit of pay is required.


QUALIFICATIONS: Candidates must have graduated from an accredited law school and be in good standing with the highest court in the state where licensed. Because some travel is necessary, a valid driver’s license, insurance, and a personal vehicle are required. Qualified candidates should have superior research, writing, and litigation skills, the ability to manage complex factual and legal issues, a strong work ethic, and a reputation for integrity and professionalism. A passion for defending the accused and protecting individual rights is a must.

To apply: 

HOW TO APPLY: Candidates should send a single PDF document, including a cover letter, résumé, no more than three references, and a writing sample representing the applicant’s personal work-product to:

JoLynn Blei, Administrative Officer
[email protected]

The position will remain open until filled, with priority given to applications received by June 1, 2024. Only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone inquiries. All positions are at-will and are subject to the availability of funding and a background check verifying all education and training.

FDSW is an equal opportunity employer. We believe that the best legal representation occurs through a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce. We value the insight and skills brought to our work by those with lived experience in historically marginalized communities. We strongly encourage such candidates to apply.
Salary range: 
$75,864 to $178,003
Submission deadline: 
Saturday, June 15, 2024