Deputy Public Defender (Public Defender IV):

The Kansas State Board of Indigents’ Defense Services is accepting applications for the position of Deputy Public Defender (PD IV) in the 29th Judicial District Public Defender Office (Wyandotte County) in Kansas City, Kansas.

The position of Deputy Public Defender is reserved for attorneys who hold a formal and designated supervisory position, and who act as part of their office’s management team.

The Mission

The Board of Indigents’ Defense Services (BIDS), through its regional public defender offices like the 29th Judicial District Public Defender Office, represents adults charged with felonies who cannot hire an attorney. By supporting and elevating public defense in the State of Kansas, BIDS empowers its team to provide relentless representation and collaborative, holistic advocacy in service of client-centered outcomes.

The Kansas State Board of Indigents’ Defense Services is in the process of remaking its public defense model with a renewed emphasis on building public defense offices with an interdisciplinary team-based collaborative defense system that uses community connections and resources to better represent not just an individual’s case, but the client as a whole.

The office of the 29th Judicial District Public Defender is entirely new in Wyandotte County. We are looking for dynamic, client-centered advocates who are passionate about the importance of public defense and are interested in aiding our efforts to fundamentally rebuild our system and transform the new public defender office in the 29th Judicial District into a model of collaborative public defense practice.


Deputy Public Defenders assist with the evaluation of employee performance within their office and perform administrative tasks as assigned by their Chief Public Defender. Deputy Public Defenders assign work to the attorneys and staff, assist in personnel matters, schedule and lead office and project meetings as needed, and conduct trainings when called upon to do so. Deputy Public Defenders assist the Chief Public Defender in addressing office matters and larger criminal justice issues in their jurisdiction.

Deputy Public Defenders represent adults charged with criminal felonies in their local district court jurisdiction who are deemed indigent and unable to afford to hire an attorney. They also carry a slightly reduced caseload to allow for their duties providing active supervision of the other attorneys and support staff in the office, as directed by the Chief Public Defender.

Deputy Defenders are readily and regularly accessible to the employees in the office. Deputy Defenders help to develop a positive office culture and support and implement the directives of the Chief Public Defender and the Executive Director. Deputy Defenders may help the Chief Public Defender write objective and comprehensive employee evaluations, recognize and answer ethical questions, and make client-conflict determinations, among other office management duties. Deputy Public Defenders may also serve as a liaison between the District Court, the County or District Attorney Office, community legal or justice oriented associations or committees, and the Public Defender Office.


Minimum requirements for this position include:

  • At least 5 years of criminal defense experience handling major felonies preferred.
  • Must be a graduate from an ABA accredited law school and licensed attorney who is active and in good standing in the State of Kansas at the time of employment.
  • Must have exceptional communication skills.
  • Must have the ability to effectively communicate in written and oral form.
  • Must have the ability to use all necessary electronic devices including computers, e-filing systems, as well as case management systems.
  • Must have the ability to coordinate with supporting personnel to provide client-centered, holistic representation.
  • Must have appropriate time management skills and organizational skills and demonstrate proficiency of avoiding unnecessary delays in client’s cases through appropriate preparation and planning.
  • Must be able to process, organize and manage complex litigation.
  • Must be able to handle emergency or crisis situations.
  • Must be able to handle frequent interruptions and multiple calls and inquiries.
  • Must be able to effectively interact with clients, co-workers and other colleagues in a respectful and appropriate manner.
  • Must be academically curious about criminal law and procedure.
  • Must be able to treat every client, witness and colleague with dignity and respect without exception.
  • Must demonstrate an on-going commitment to a client-centered practice.
  • Must be able to maintain confidentiality and manage confidential information.
  • Must have a keenly developed and uncompromising set of personal and professional ethics.
  • Occasional travel to other work locations including courts and jail.

Highly preferred qualifications include:

  • Prior or current service as a trial-level public defender.
  • Prior administrative or supervisory experience.
  • Prior service as a Deputy Defender.
  • Prior experience handling personnel issues.
  • Experience developing or leading training programs.
  • Experience creating and implementing new office policies.
  • Ability to demonstrate a continuing commitment to the provision of quality criminal defense services to indigent clients.
  • Experience and/or familiarity with holistic, client-centered public defense practices.
  • Experience working with economically and racially diverse populations.

Salary and Benefits

Compensation for this position (Public Defender IV) ranges from $85,000.00 – $120,750.00. Salary may vary depending upon experience or qualifications. We are happy to discuss salary expectations with interested applicants.

The State of Kansas Employment Benefits Package includes:

  • First day of employment comprehensive coverage under the State Employee Health Plan (SEHP) for medical, prescription drug coverage, dental, and vision Tax advantage accounts are available and include options such as a Health Savings Account, Health Reimbursement Account, and Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Additional voluntary benefits including Hospital Indemnity Insurance, Accident Insurance, and Critical Illness Insurance
  • SEHP members and their covered family members have access to the HealthQuest Health Center at 9th and Kansas Avenue in Topeka for in person and virtual health care services
  • Sick & Vacation leave
  • Work-Life Balance programs: paid parental leave, military leave, jury leave, and funeral leave
  • Paid State Holidays
  • Fitness Centers in select locations
  • Employee discounts with the STAR Program
  • Retirement and deferred compensation programs

Application Materials Needed

Cover letter
Writing sample
List of references
If you are claiming Veteran’s Preference, please also include your DD214.

Send resume, cover letter, writing sample, list of references, and DD214 (if applicable) by email to

Tiffany Reed
Human Resources Director
State Board of Indigents’ Defense Services

When emailing application materials, please include “Wyandotte County Deputy Application” in your email subject line.

Application deadline: Open until filled, priority given to applications received by February 9, 2024.

Please be aware that if an offer of employment is made, actual employment is subject to two pre-employment conditions which include:

  • Confirmation of licensure as an active attorney in good standing the State of Kansas, or successful admission to the Kansas Bar, prior to start date.
  • Governor’s salary approval.

Kansas Tax Clearance Certificate required:

Each applicant (even non-residents) applying for a State of Kansas job vacancy must obtain and submit a valid Kansas Tax Clearance Certificate within 10 days from the date of the offer letter to the hiring agency by accessing the Kansas Department of Revenue’s website at A Tax Clearance Certificate is a comprehensive tax account review to determine and ensure that an individual’s account is compliant with all primary Kansas Tax Laws. A Tax Clearance expires every 90 days.  This is in accordance with Executive Order 2004-03.  If you need assistance with the tax clearance, please contact 785-296-3199 or by email at

How to Claim Veterans Preference:

Former military personnel or their spouse that have been verified as a “veteran”; under K.S.A. 73-201 will receive an interview if they meet the minimum competency factors of the position.  The veterans’ preference laws do not guarantee the veteran a job. Positions are filled with the best qualified candidate as determined by the hiring manager.

Equal Employment Opportunity: 

The State of Kansas is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We value diversity, equity, and inclusion as essential elements that create and foster a welcoming workplace. All qualified persons will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, political affiliation, disability or any other factor unrelated to the essential functions of the job.

If you wish to identify yourself as a qualified person with a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act and would like to request an accommodation, please address the request to the agency recruiter.

Advertised by Kansas State Board of Indigents’ Defense Services.