The Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California is accepting applications for
a full-time legal assistant position in our trial unit for our Los Angeles office. The Federal Public
Defender’s office is committed to the pursuit of justice by aggressively advocating in federal court for
the constitutional rights and inherent dignity of individuals who are charged with federal crimes and
cannot afford their own lawyer.

The Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California is an Equal Opportunity
Employer. All applicants, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, sexual
orientation, religion, disability, or age, are encouraged to apply.

Job Duties: Legal assistants provide a full range of executive-level secretarial and clerical support
services to attorneys on trial, appellate, and habeas cases. General areas of responsibility include filing
of court documents electronically and manually; preparing and editing draft pleadings, reports, and
correspondence; maintaining attorneys’ calendars; accurately maintaining up-to-date case files and
facility clearances; composing correspondence; screening public and client telephone calls; and
processing mail, as needed. The legal assistant will be assigned to three or four attorneys and will be
required to assist with overflow coverage when needed

Requirements: All applicants must have graduated from an accredited school with a bachelor’s degree or at least one-year specialized experience performing progressively responsible duties as a legal assistant. Extensive relevant experience may substitute a bachelor’s degree. Candidates must demonstrate a high level of computer literacy, including expertise with Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat programs. Experience with legal practice-related programs such as evidence review platforms, document management systems, and document indexing tools is also highly preferred. The ideal candidate will also have comprehensive knowledge of legal secretarial principles, practices, methods, and techniques; an understanding of state, district and circuit court rules, protocols, policies, and precedents; and knowledge of legal terminology and Blue Book citation format. The ability to speak, read, and write in Spanish is preferred, but not required. Legal assistants must be available to work during regular business hours, and when necessary, during evenings and weekends. Selection Criteria: Successful applicants demonstrate an interest in social justice, civil rights, or indigent defense; must have excellent oral and written communication and interpersonal skills; have strong organizational, analytical, and technical skills; an ability to organize work and set priorities to meet critical deadlines; capable of learning new technological tools, when needed; be able to work independently and take initiative; and work well in teams. A background investigation is required as a condition of employment. In line with current appropriations law, applicants must be United States citizens or permanent residents seeking citizenship as described here: Salary/Benefits: This is a full-time, at-will position. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience and is subject to direct deposit. After successful completion of a probationary period, eligible employees may elect to telework up to two days per month, subject to certain conditions. Benefits include health and life insurance, retirement, and a Thrift Savings Plan. For more information on benefits, see How to Apply: Apply by emailing a letter of interest, résumé, and three references in a single PDF document to Cuauhtemoc Ortega, Federal Public Defender, at with the subject line: LEGAL ASSISTANT APPLICATION (LOS ANGELES). Application materials will be accepted on a rolling basis. The Federal Public Defender’s Office may fill current and future positions from this vacancy announcement. Please, no phone calls. Please visit our careers page at for more opportunities.
Job Contact
Cuauhtemoc Ortega