Under the direction of the Chief Public Defender, serves as attorney for indigent clients throughout the courts in Ingham County.   Performs legal research using electronic and on line tools.  Represents clients as assigned.  Advocates in the best interest for clients.

Essential Functions

  1.  Provides legal representation to the clients assigned by the Office of the Public Defender as determined by the Chief Public Defender or his designate.
  2. Promptly meets with clients to understand goals and expectations.  Maintains appropriate client contact throughout the entire process.
  3. Is familiar with all Michigan Indigent Defense Commission standards and the best practices that implement them.
  4. Analyzes charging instrument and discovery as furnished by the prosecutor/prosecuting official.
  5. Along with other team members within the Office of the Public Defender , conducts or directs investigations and arranges for follow up as necessary.
  6. Able to handle all aspects of the client’s matter through negotiation, plea or trial.
  7. Maintains relevance on current developments in criminal law, procedure, evidence and other areas of the law necessary to be effective in advocacy.
  8. Ensures that files being handled are kept current through notes in the case management system so other members of the Office of the Public Defender can determine the case status if necessary.
  9. Must complete 12 hours of approved continuing legal education each calendar year.
  10.  Is respectful of the widely divergent backgrounds and special requirements of the clientele the office represents.
  11.   Is passionate about advocating for the needs and interests of the client.

Other Functions:

Performs other duties as assigned.

More experienced attorneys will play a role in mentorship and consultation with the less experienced attorneys to help in their professional development.

Must adhere to departmental standards in regard to HIPAA, attorney client confidence professional rules and other privacy issues.

(An employee in this position may be called upon to do any or all of the above tasks.  The examples do not include all of the tasks which the employee may be expected to perform.)


Employment Qualifications

Education:  Must be a graduate from an accredited law school and a member in good standing of the Michigan Bar Association.

Experience:  This position is open to all levels of experience.   Salary will be based on experience with an emphasis on experience in criminal cases.


Other Requirements:

       Must be able to work in highly stressful situations.

       Must possess and demonstrate empathy for people who are also undergoing highly stressful situations.

(The qualifications listed above are intended to represent the minimum skills and experience levels associated with performing the duties and responsibilities contained in this job description.  The qualifications should not be viewed as expressing absolute employment or promotional standards, but as general guidelines that should be considered along with other job related selection or promotional criteria)

Requirements and Working Conditions

Working Conditions:

  1.  This position works in an indoor environment.  There is not planned exposure to prominent lights, noises, odors, temperatures or weather conditions.
  2. This position is exposed to individuals in crisis.   These individuals may suffer from mental or emotional illness, have violent tendencies or be unconcerned with their personal safety and hygiene.
  3. This position is required to travel for meetings and appointments.  A valid driver’s license and full time access to transportation for this purpose is required.   Some appointments may be held at personal residences where levels of cleanliness and safety vary.

Physical Requirements:

            This position requires the ability to sit, stand, walk, traverse, climb, balance, twist, bend, stoop/crouch, squat, kneel, crawl, lift, carry, push, pull, reach, grasp, handle, pinch, type, endure repetitive movements of the wrist, hands, or fingers.

            The physical requirements of the position involve periodic stamina in climbing, balancing, twisting, bending, stooping, crouching, squatting, kneeling, crawling, pushing, pulling, handling and pinching.

            The physical requirements of the position require regular stamina in standing, walking, traversing, lifting, carrying, reaching and grasping.

            The physical requirements of the position require continuous stamina in sitting, typing, and enduring repetitive movements of the wrists, hands and/or fingers.

            This position performs medium work requiring the ability to exert between 20-50 pounds of force in the physical requirements above.

            This position primarily requires close visual acuity to perform tasks such as viewing a computer screen, using measurement devices, close inspection of objects that may become evidence, etc.

            This position requires the ability to communicate and respond to inquiries in person, by phone and via e-mail.

            This position involves extensive use of computer, the ability to enter and retrieve data accurately and proficiency in learning computer programs.

(This job requires the ability to perform the essential functions contained in this description.  These include but are not limited to, the requirements listed above.  Reasonable accommodations will be made for otherwise qualified applicants unable to fulfill one or more of these requirements.)


Teamster Public Defender

Public Defender 

September 2022

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