Under general supervision, performs work of routine difficulty in providing legal services to indigent defendants who have been charged with criminal offenses in district court, and to juveniles who are alleged to be delinquent in the juvenile court.

Definition/Summary of Duties

Prepares cases for defense of indigent persons charged with criminal offenses in district courts; in dependency, neglect or delinquency petitions in juvenile court; interviews clients and prospective witnesses; prepares or oversees the drafting of briefs, memoranda, pleadings and other legal papers; conducts or directs legal research; represents misdemeanor, felony, or juvenile clients in court arraignments, pre-trial hearings, trials, dispositions and other proceedings; interviews clients in custody and makes initial decisions concerning such things as bail, release from custody, and mental competency to stand trial; determines need for expert witnesses; locates appropriate experts and schedules them for trial if needed; negotiates with County and City Attorneys to reach plea agreements; consults with social workers, probation officers, judges and referees in order to determine appropriate treatment programs for clients as a part of defense strategy; advises and directs work of law clerks; performs related work as required.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Good knowledge of criminal law and procedure; good knowledge of the principles, methods and practices of legal research and investigation; good knowledge of judicial procedures and the Rules of Evidence; good knowledge of the pleading and practice of effective presentation of court cases.

Ability to analyze legal documents and instruments; ability to appraise and organize facts to present evidence and other material in written or oral form; ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with prosecutors, judges, referees, and other professionals, as well as clients and the general public.

Good skills in conducting legal research and analysis of data; good skills in determining proper courses of action and presentation of facts and arguments. Basic computer skills.

Education and Experience

Graduation from an accredited college of law and admission to the Bar of the State of Minnesota or a person who has graduated from an accredited law school and is certified to practice under the Supreme Court Student Practice Rule. Individuals hired under the Student Practice Rule must pass the bar on their first attempt. Failure to pass the bar is grounds for dismissal.

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