The IDC is dedicated to protecting and defending the rights and dignity of clients through zealous, compassionate, high-quality legal advocacy. The Public Defender is an at-will position reporting to the Executive Director and serving at the pleasure of the Commission. A successful candidate is subject to a fingerprint-based criminal background check. The position is subject to final budget approval and will start in July 2024.

We’re seeking a Public Defender for a newly established Public Defender Office in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County who is not only passionate about protecting the rights of the accused but also dedicated to leading and inspiring a team of legal professionals.

Your Role as the Public Defender
As the Public Defender, you will wear many hats, blending the roles of legal champion and inspirational leader. Your diverse range of responsibilities will include:

1. Defender of Justice: Handle a personal caseload with unwavering commitment, ensuring that each client receives the highest level of representation and advocacy.

2. Inspirational Leadership: Lead and supervise our dedicated defense team. Provide expert guidance on case preparation, trial strategies, client interactions, plea negotiations, appellate practice, and sentencing advocacy. Manage the performance of staff through regular evaluations and corrective action where necessary.

3. Administrative Duties: Manage essential administrative functions, such as budget management, records retention, timekeeping, and policy compliance. Your organizational skills will keep our office running smoothly.

4. Staff Recruitment and Development: Lead the recruitment and hiring process for legal and support staff positions within the office ensuring a diverse and talented team. Review resumes, conduct initial screenings, and assess candidates’ qualifications, skills, and cultural fit through interviews and assessments. Provide orientation, training, and ongoing professional development opportunities to new hires and existing staff members to promote skill development and career advancement.

5. Advocate for Excellence: Ensure that our attorneys and staff are equipped with the necessary training and continuing education to excel in their roles. Lead efforts to secure and maintain court appointment certifications and adhere to the Standards of Practice for Indigent Defense Counsel.

6. Engagement: Further the mission of the VIDC through participation with local and state boards, organizations, and community groups.

If you’re ready to take the helm as a Public Defender who not only defends the accused but also drives innovation and excellence in our legal practice, we want to hear from you.

The IDC is committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in our workforce. We encourage and welcome qualified applicants of all identities, cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.

Minimum Qualifications Juris Doctor (J.D) and Virginia State Bar admission, extensive criminal litigation experience, comprehensive knowledge of Virginia Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, and the Standards of Practice for Indigent Defense Counsel, considerable knowledge of management principles, demonstrated ability to effectively supervise subordinate staff, actively manage employee work performance and familiarity with agencies that interact with the Public Defender Office and a demonstrable commitment to quality indigent defense representation are required. The ability to fully utilize technology tools and systems. The successful candidate will take advantage of opportunities to further the mission of the IDC through participation with local and state boards, organizations, and community groups. Being present in the office on a regular basis and maintaining physical attendance are considered crucial aspects of this job. A valid driver’s license is required. Additional Considerations   Significant recent experience working as an Attorney in a Public Defender Office will be strongly considered.
Job Contact
Ashley Washington