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Job Details for Assistant Federal Public Defender

Court Name/Organization: Arizona Federal Public Defender
Location: Tucson, AZ
Opening and Closing Dates: 10/07/2021 - Open Until Filled
Appointment Type: N/A
Classification Level/Grade: AD - Ungraded
Link to Court Careers Information:
Announcement Number: 22-01
Position Description

The assistant federal public defender will represent clients charged with federal criminal offenses and clients involved in other matters covered under the Criminal Justice Act. The position requires travel for investigation, litigation, and training. Federal public defender attorneys may not engage in the private practice of law.


An assistant federal public defender must be:

  1. A graduate of an accredited law school
  2. Admitted to practice in good standing before the highest court of a state
  3. Licensed to practice in the U.S. District Court by the time of entrance on duty

Applicants must have a commitment to criminal defense with at least five years of experience in trial work, particularly in the areas of capital, white collar, and complex litigation. Appointment is subject to a satisfactory background investigation including an FBI name and fingerprint check and an IRS tax check.

Selectee will be required to attest to COVID vaccination status and, if not vaccinated or declined to answer, will be required to undergo weekly COVID testing.

Selection Criteria: The successful applicant will have a clearly demonstrated aptitude for excellence in criminal defense practice, a commitment to the representation of indigent accused persons, and a reputation for personal integrity. Applicants must also possess the ability to communicate effectively with clients, witnesses, colleagues, staff, and court and agency personnel as part of their employment. Experience in handling federal criminal cases is preferred.


The salary of an assistant federal public defender is commensurate with that of an assistant U.S. attorney with similar qualifications and experience. The position is in the excepted service and does not carry the tenure rights of the competitive Civil Service. The position does include regular Government employment benefits including health and life insurance, retirement, and the Thrift Savings Plan. Salary is payable only by Electronic Funds Transfer (direct deposit). All positions are at will and are subject to the availability of funds.

How To Apply

Qualified persons may apply by sending via e-mail a letter of interest, resume, and representative writing sample. References will be required from candidates selected for an interview. Applicable experience should be described in detail. Send completed application to the Personnel Administrator, Federal Public Defender, District of Arizona, at Announced Oct. 7, 2021; Open until filled.

Women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

The federal Judiciary is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer.