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REQUIREMENTS AND QUALIFICATIONS: An ideal candidate will possess excellent written and oral persuasive narrative skills, a proven commitment to public interest law and experience in at least one of the following areas: criminal law, Pennsylvania post-conviction litigation, or habeas corpus litigation. A background in any area of mental health and/or social work is helpful.  In addition to strong communication and interpersonal skills, capacity to work independently and collaboratively and an ability to prioritize and meet critical deadlines with team leadership is essential. Fluency in Spanish is a plus. An AFPD must be an attorney admitted and in good standing before a state bar and eligible for admission to the bars of the Middle District of Pennsylvania, the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.  The successful candidate will possess a valid driver’s license and the ability to travel in and out of state, and work weekends, evenings and holidays as needed. 


SALARY AND BENEFITS: This is a full-time, ungraded position with federal salary and benefits based on qualifications and years of experience, consistent with federal guidelines and regulations. This position is subject to mandatory Electronic Funds Transfer (direct deposit) participation for payment of net pay. Employees of the Federal Defender are members of the judicial branch of government; they are considered “at will” and are not covered by the Civil Service Reform Act.  The selected candidate will be subject to a background check as a condition of employment. Our CHU is in Harrisburg, the #1 city to live in Pennsylvania according to 2023 U.S. News and World Report, telework is currently available two days per week at the discretion of the Federal Public Defender, and while AFPDs are required to be in the office regularly as team leaders, remote work with routinely scheduled travel to the office may be considered for an ideal candidate. 


HOW TO APPLY: Interested candidates should apply by forwarding: 1) a letter of interest, 2) a detailed curriculum vitae, and 3) one writing sample (10-20 pages) all together in ONE pdf to: 



Capital Habeas Unit Federal Public Defender Office Attn: Assistant Federal Public Defender 100 Chestnut Street, Third Floor Harrisburg, PA 17101


Position is open until filled. Priority consideration will be given to applications received by March 20, 2024.

The Federal Public Defender for the Middle District of Pennsylvania is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Job Contact
Diana Vazquez