The Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California is accepting
applications for full-time attorney positions in its trial unit, stationed in its office in downtown
Los Angeles, California. The trial unit is committed to the pursuit of justice by zealously
advocating in federal court for the constitutional rights and inherent dignity of individuals who
are accused or convicted of crimes and cannot afford their own lawyer.

The Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California is committed to equal
opportunity in the workplace. All applicants, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender
identity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or age, are encouraged to apply.

Job Duties: Trial attorneys primarily represent indigent individuals charged with violating
federal criminal statutes by handling all stages of federal criminal trial matters in the district
court. Core job duties include appearing on behalf of clients in court hearings and other related
proceedings; visiting clients in jail; drafting motions, briefs, and legal memoranda; and
collaborating with investigators, paralegals, and support staff. On occasion, trial attorneys are
also assigned cases involving appeals after conviction and post-conviction matters that are
involved in federal court proceedings. Trial attorneys must be available to work during regular
business hours, and when necessary, during evenings and weekends. Trial attorneys may work
remotely up to two days a week.

Requirements: All applicants must have graduated from an accredited law school and be members in good standing of the California Bar or must be willing to sit for the next California Bar exam. Preference will be given to applicants with at least three years of experience in state and/or federal criminal law or applicants with federal judicial clerkship experience, but neither is required. Experience or a commitment to working with culturally diverse populations and marginalized communities is also desired. In line with current appropriations law, applicants must be United States citizens or permanent residents seeking citizenship as described here: Selection Criteria: Candidates must have a demonstrated commitment to indigent criminal defense and/or public interest law; must have superior oral and written communication skills; possess excellent research skills; and work well in teams. A background investigation is required as a condition of employment. Salary/Benefits: This is a full-time, at-will position. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience and is subject to direct deposit. 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, two representative writing samples (limited to 15 pages each), and three references in a single PDF document to Cuauhtemoc Ortega, Federal Public Defender, at with the subject line: LA TRIAL ATTORNEY APPLICATION. All application materials must be received by January 26, 2024, however, interviews will occur on a rolling basis and the open position may be filled before that date. The Federal Public Defender’s Office may fill current and future positions from this vacancy announcement. No phone calls please
Job Contact
Cuauhtemoc Ortega