We are a Community Defender Organization, making us a non-profit corporation funded by a grant from the federal government. We are not government employees, and our employment status is considered “at will.” The organization’s main office is in Spokane, Washington, with a branch office in Yakima, Washington.

We provide legal representation to individuals accused of committing federal crimes who cannot afford to hire an attorney. We begin helping as early as pre-indictment investigations, and continue helping them through trial and appeal, including discretionary review at the U.S. Supreme Court. We also help with habeas review.
But we are more. We are a team of attorneys, legal assistants, paralegals, investigators, mitigation specialists, office administrators, and IT specialists who are committed to vigorously representing our clients. We believe vigorous representation involves holistic representation, which means we routinely work with community resources to help our clients navigate not only the legal hurdles they face, but also obtain employment, housing, and any treatment they might need.

While employed with our office, you may not engage in the private practice of law and must get approval from the Executive Director to engage in any outside employment activities.
What we value. We believe effective, holistic representation occurs when members of the defense team have diverse backgrounds and experiences. This means that, in recruiting individuals to join our team, we value (and embrace) the unique contributions you as the applicant can bring, including your culture, ethnicity, education, opinions, race, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, nation of origin, age, languages spoken, veteran’s status, religion, disability, and economic status. We welcome those who seek such an environment to apply, and are an equal opportunity employer.

To be hired you must be a trusted, reliable, and efficient attorney who is eager to collaborate with other members from our team in an effort to provide effective, holistic representation. You are organized, capable of multi-tasking, and harness creativity, dedication, and persistence to overcome the myriad challenges our clients (and you) will face. You want to learn, and you want to help those around you.

You need no prior experience, and that’s the best part about our fellowship program. We’ll train you from soup to nuts. Initial case assignments will be simple (e.g., supervised release violations and simple criminal cases), allowing you to become comfortable with how holistic representation works. Once you’re comfortable, your case assignments will become more complex. The assignments will vary, but you’ll likely work on cases involving immigration, firearms, drugs, fraud, and sex offenses. And since both our offices are surrounded by Native American lands, we also see cases coming from those lands, including assaults, murders, and robberies.

We take care of our team. This full-time position has a starting annual salary $90,000 depending on your years of relevant professional experience. You will be eligible for benefits, including the following: 1) health; 2) vision; 3) dental; 4) life insurance/AD&D & long-term disability; 5) flexible savings account; 6) 403(b) Retirement Plan; 7) eleven paid federal holidays; 8) thirteen days of paid annual sick leave; and 9) thirteen days of paid annual vacation (the rate of paid vacation leave increases based on years of service). Salary is paid semi-monthly (mid-month and end-of-month) via direct deposit.

What qualifications you’ll need. Even though you don’t need experience, you’ll still need to meet the following qualifications:
  • be a graduate of an accredited law school.
  • be admitted to practice before the highest court in a state (or be licensed by November 1, 2024).
  • be eligible for admission to the courts where we practice (i.e., the Eastern District of Washington; the District of Idaho; and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals).
  • have fewer than three (3) years of professional experience.
  • Spanish fluency is preferred but not required.
  • be tech-savvy, as we are a paper-light office.
Job Contact
Brandy Pinder Federal Defenders of Eastern Washington & Idaho
(509) 624-7606 Brandy_Pinder@fd.org