Employment

Legal Assistant (Boston)
The Position

The Federal Public Defender Office for the Districts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island is hiring a full-time legal assistant for its Boston, Massachusetts office.

What We Do

The Federal Public Defender Office is a law office that provides legal representation to persons charged with committing federal crimes who cannot afford to hire an attorney. We represent the accused from arrest through trial and appeal, including the U.S. Supreme Court and federal habeas corpus review. We work together to uphold every person’s right to be presumed innocent and to a fair sentence if convicted. Our defense is vigorous, both at trial and on appeal. We advocate for humane sentences by showing judges and prosecutors that we represent people, not criminals.

Who We Are

We are attorneys, legal assistants, paralegals, investigators, office administrators, and information technology specialists committed to cultivating a culture of acceptance and connectedness that honors the diverse backgrounds of the people we represent. We value diversity and a commitment to equality, and we believe better legal representation occurs when members of the defense team have diverse backgrounds and experiences. In recruiting members of our team, we welcome the full spectrum of humanity. We embrace the unique contributions that you can bring, including your culture, ethnicity, education, opinions, race, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, nation of origin, age, languages spoken, veteran’s status, religion, disability, and economic status.

Who You Are

You are a trusted, reliable, and efficient assistant who is eager to partner with members of the defense team so the office can provide exceptional legal services. You multitask effectively, have exceptional organizational skills, and are eager to learn new systems. You are a capable user of technology and understand its utility. You see the problems, but also the solutions, and you harness creativity, dedication, and persistence to overcome the challenges. Your communication with others is based in empathy and compassion, and you thrive in a fast-paced environment. You have high standards and want people to be treated fairly and respectfully, no matter the allegation or circumstance.

Required Experience
  • Experience using Microsoft Word, Microsoft Teams, Adobe Acrobat, Excel and other technology to review, process, and organize large amounts of information.
  • Experience using a multiline telephone system to receive, screen, and refer calls.
  • Experience working with diverse groups of people, such as economically disadvantaged people, people with emotional or mental health challenges, and those from disenfranchised communities.
  • The ability to multitask in a fast-paced environment.
  • The ability to write and speak clearly.
  • The ability to keep confidences and to protect relevant legal privileges.
  • The desire to work, as part of a team, for the benefit of those accused of committing federal crimes.
Preferred Experience
  • Experience as a legal administrative assistant or a legal secretary assisting criminal defense teams.
  • Experience editing, proofreading, and preparing documents for filing in the federal district courts and the federal courts of appeals.
  • Experience formatting legal pleadings and using Microsoft Word to create tables of contents and tables of authorities.
  • Experience assembling documents and appendices.
  • Familiarity with legal research databases like Westlaw and LexisNexis.
  • Familiarity with legal citation guides like the Bluebook.
  • Familiarity with the rules and protocols used by federal district courts and federal courts of appeals.
  • A curiosity to learn new systems and different office technology.
  • Considerable resourcefulness, initiative, creativity, and compassion.
  • Spanish fluency.
What a Legal Assistant Does
  • Receives, screens, and refers telephone calls.
  • Communicates with clients (many of whom are incarcerated) and their families regarding court dates and attorney conferences.
  • Maintains client confidences and protects the attorney-client privilege.
  • Screens incoming mail and routes it to the appropriate destination.
  • Prepares outgoing correspondence based either on general instruction or a prescribed format. Arranges for mail services and ensures outgoing mail is correctly processed.
  • Maintains attorney calendars, sets appointments, and arranges meetings and conferences. Reminds attorneys of calendar commitments, and informs participants of date, time, and location.
  • Proofreads and edits drafts of legal documents and, once finalized, assembles court filings and appendices for electronic submission to the appropriate court.
  • Formats legal documents, creates tables of contents and tables of authorities, and prepares appendices before filing in the federal court of appeals or the federal district court.
  • Creates and organizes attorney case files in electronic or hardcopy form. Closes files when cases are complete.
  • Communicates with court personnel, staff at the United States Attorney’s Office, and other stakeholders in the criminal justice system.
  • Arranges attorney business travel and facilitates reimbursement where appropriate.
  • Exercises good judgment and discretion, and performs other tasks as assigned.
How to Apply

Applicants must send both a resume and a cover letter to HRBoston@fd.org. Applicants who apply without submitting both documents will not be considered. Applications will be accepted through Friday July 23, 2021. Late applicants may not be considered. The Federal Defender Office may fill current and future positions from this vacancy announcement. We are an equal opportunity employer.

Paralegal (Concord)
The Position

The Federal Public Defender Office for the Districts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island is hiring a full-time paralegal for its Concord, New Hampshire office. The paralegal will provide litigation support for our clients under the direction of the case attorney.

What We Do

The Federal Public Defender Office is a law office that provides legal representation to persons charged with committing federal crimes who cannot afford to hire an attorney. We represent the accused from arrest through trial and appeal, including federal habeas corpus review. We work together to uphold every person’s right to be presumed innocent and to a fair sentence if convicted. Our defense is vigorous, both at trial and on appeal. We advocate for humane sentences by developing mitigation evidence and presenting judges with fully developed views of our clients and their lives.

Who We Are

We are attorneys, legal assistants, paralegals, investigators, office administrators, and information technology specialists committed to cultivating a culture of acceptance and connectedness that honors the diverse backgrounds of the people we represent. We value diversity and a commitment to equality, and we believe better legal representation occurs when members of the defense team have diverse backgrounds and experiences. In recruiting members of our team, we welcome the full spectrum of humanity. We embrace the unique contributions that you can bring, including your culture, ethnicity, education, opinions, race, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, nation of origin, age, languages spoken, veteran’s status, religion, disability, and economic status.

Who You Are

You are a trusted, reliable, and efficient assistant who is eager to partner with members of the defense team so the office can provide exceptional legal services. You multitask effectively, have exceptional organizational skills, and are eager to learn new systems. You are a capable user of technology and understand its utility. You see the problems, but also the solutions, and you harness creativity, dedication, and persistence to overcome the challenges. Your communication with others is based in empathy and compassion, and you thrive in a fast-paced environment. You have high standards and want people to be treated fairly and respectfully, no matter the allegation or circumstance.

Required Experience
  • Experience using Microsoft Word, Microsoft Teams, Adobe Acrobat, Excel, PowerPoint, and similar technology to review, process, and organize large amounts of information.
  • Ability to provide computer or technology aided litigation support.
  • Ability to organize and effectively analyze large amounts of complex case related materials.
  • The ability to multitask in a fast-paced environment.
  • The ability to write and speak clearly.
  • The ability to keep confidences and to protect relevant legal privileges.
  • The ability to work, as part of a team, for the benefit of those accused of committing federal crimes.
  • A valid driver license.
Preferred Experience
  • Fluency in Spanish.
  • An instinct to stand-up for those with few resources and the willingness to do so in the face of considerable power and influence.
  • A desire to work with diverse groups of people including economically disadvantaged populations, those with emotional or mental health challenges, and those from disenfranchised communities.
  • Experience working with criminal defense teams to recommend and develop appropriate strategies suited for individual cases.
  • Experience with electronic discovery sufficient to understand the volume, format, and content of the discovery being received so the litigation team can host, review, and analyze the discovery materials.
  • Experience coordinating witnesses and with the presentation of evidence for hearings or trials, including the use of software, timeline and diagramming applications, or audio-video equipment.
  • Ability to assess the costs and case benefits of handling tasks in-house, versus hiring an outside vendor or expert, and to assist in identifying appropriate vendors or experts to consider.
  • Ability to evaluate and suggest software packages and litigation support tools like hardware, servers, laptops, and other equipment for litigation support.
  • Ability to obtain, analyze, and organize historical client background information for use in mitigation submissions meant to reduce the sentence imposed by the court.
  • An interest in keeping current with new developments in litigation support technology.
  • Familiarity with legal research databases like Westlaw and LexisNexis.
  • Familiarity with the Bluebook guide to legal citation or a similar guide.
  • Considerable resourcefulness, initiative, creativity, and compassion.
How to Apply

Applicants must send both a resume and a cover letter to hrconcord@fd.org. Applicants who apply without submitting both documents will not be considered. Applications will be accepted through Friday, July 23rd, 2021. Late applications may not be considered. We are an equal opportunity employer.

Paralegal (Providence)
The Position

The Federal Public Defender Office for the Districts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island is hiring a full-time paralegal for its Providence, Rhode Island office. The paralegal will provide litigation support for our clients under the direction of the case attorney.

What We Do

The Federal Public Defender Office is a law office that provides legal representation to persons charged with committing federal crimes who cannot afford to hire an attorney. We represent the accused from arrest through trial and appeal, including federal habeas corpus review. We work together to uphold every person’s right to be presumed innocent and to a fair sentence if convicted. Our defense is vigorous, both at trial and on appeal. We advocate for humane sentences by developing mitigation evidence and presenting judges with fully developed views of our clients and their lives.

Who We Are

We are attorneys, legal assistants, paralegals, investigators, office administrators, and information technology specialists committed to cultivating a culture of acceptance and connectedness that honors the diverse backgrounds of the people we represent. We value diversity and a commitment to equality, and we believe better legal representation occurs when members of the defense team have diverse backgrounds and experiences. In recruiting members of our team, we welcome the full spectrum of humanity. We embrace the unique contributions that you can bring, including your culture, ethnicity, education, opinions, race, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, nation of origin, age, languages spoken, veteran’s status, religion, disability, and economic status.

Who You Are

You are a trusted, reliable, and efficient paralegal who is eager to partner with members of the defense team so the office can provide exceptional legal services. You multitask effectively, have exceptional organizational skills, and are eager to learn new systems. You are a capable user of technology and understand its utility. You can transition from being an integral member of the team to working independently when the task requires. You see the problems but also the solutions, and you harness creativity, dedication, and persistence to overcome challenges. Your communication with others is based in empathy and compassion and you want people treated fairly and respectfully, no matter the allegation or circumstance. You thrive in a fast-paced environment and have high standards.

Required Experience
  • Two years of relevant experience.
  • Experience using Microsoft Word, Microsoft Teams, Adobe Acrobat, Excel, PowerPoint, and similar technology to review, process, and organize large amounts of information.
  • Experience providing computer or technology aided litigation support.
  • Ability to organize and effectively analyze large amounts of complex case related materials.
  • The ability to multitask in a fast-paced environment.
  • The ability to write and speak clearly.
  • The ability to keep confidences and to protect relevant legal privileges.
  • The ability to work, as part of a team, for the benefit of those accused of committing federal crimes.
  • A valid driver license.
Preferred Experience
  • Fluency in Spanish.
  • An instinct to stand-up for those with few resources and the willingness to do so in the face of considerable power and influence.
  • A desire to work with diverse groups of people including economically disadvantaged populations, those with emotional or mental health challenges, and those from disenfranchised communities.
  • Experience working with criminal defense teams to recommend and develop appropriate strategies suited for individual cases.
  • Experience with electronic discovery sufficient to understand the volume, format, and content of the discovery being received so the litigation team can host, review, and analyze the discovery materials.
  • Experience coordinating witnesses and with the presentation of evidence for hearings or trials, including the use of software, timeline and diagramming applications, or audio-video equipment.
  • Ability to assess the costs and case benefits of handling tasks in-house, versus hiring an outside vendor or expert, and to assist in identifying appropriate vendors or experts to consider.
  • Ability to evaluate and suggest software packages and litigation support tools like hardware, servers, laptops, and other equipment for litigation support.
  • Ability to obtain, analyze, and organize historical client background information for use in mitigation submissions meant to reduce the sentence imposed by the court.
  • An interest in keeping current with new developments in litigation support technology.
  • Familiarity with legal research databases like Westlaw and LexisNexis.
  • Familiarity with the Bluebook guide to legal citation or a similar guide.
  • Considerable resourcefulness, initiative, creativity, and compassion.
How to Apply

Applicants must send both a resume and a cover letter to hrprovidence@fd.org. Applicants who apply without submitting both documents will not be considered. Applications will be accepted through Friday, July 23rd, 2021. Late applications may not be considered. We are an equal opportunity employer.

Law Student Internship Summer 2022 (Boston, Concord, Providence)
Please note that this posting is for 2022. The 2021 application period has closed.

The Federal Public Defender Office for the Districts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island is proud to sponsor a summer criminal defense internship for rising 2L and 3L law students interested in public service. Our office offers a unique and up-close opportunity to learn about the federal criminal process and public defense in a friendly, inclusive, and collegial environment. One or more internship positions are available in each of our three offices (located in Boston MA, Concord NH, and Providence RI). Our goal is to provide firsthand experience in federal public defense and guide students who wish to build public interest careers.

What We Do

The Federal Public Defender Office is a publicly-funded law office that provides legal representation to persons charged with committing federal crimes who cannot afford to hire an attorney. We are appointed to represent the accused upon arrest and through the completion of all appeals, including the U.S. Supreme Court and federal habeas corpus review. Charges we defend against include economic crimes, child pornography crimes, drug offenses, weapons offenses, immigration offenses, and violent crimes.

Who We Are

We are committed to cultivating a culture of acceptance and connectedness that honors the diverse backgrounds of the people we represent. We are an equal opportunity employer. We employ attorneys, paralegals, defense investigators, information technology specialists, and legal assistants. We work together to uphold every person’s right to be presumed innocent and to a fair sentence if convicted. We provide a vigorous defense at trial and, if the defendant is convicted, on appeal. We advocate for humane sentences by developing mitigation evidence and presenting judges with fully developed views of our clients as people, not criminals.

Who You Are

We value diversity and a commitment to equality, and we believe better representation occurs when members of the defense team have diverse backgrounds and experiences. In recruiting members of our team, we welcome the full spectrum of humanity. We embrace the unique contributions that you can bring in terms of your culture, ethnicity, education, opinions, race, sex, gender identity and expression, nation of origin, age, languages spoken, veteran’s status, religion, disability, economic status, and sexual orientation. We are interested in your talent, intelligence, dedication, persistence, and desire to see all people treated fairly and respectfully, no matter the allegation or circumstance.

The Summer Internship Program

The summer internship program will inform students’ understanding of the federal criminal justice system and build skills to best represent our clients.

Interns at the Federal Public Defender Office may engage in a wide range of activities, including:

  • Attending court and shadowing attorneys.
  • Researching and drafting legal memoranda and motions.
  • Helping to develop trial and sentencing strategy.
  • Assisting in our appellate, habeas, and certiorari practice.
  • Assisting in investigations, including collecting factual and mitigating information.
  • Reviewing discovery.

Each intern will be assigned to a lawyer mentor. Substantive editing feedback will be provided to help each student develop at least one piece of written work into a writing sample.

Preferably, students will be able to devote 40 hours per week for at least nine weeks, beginning June 1, 2022. While each student will be based in one of our three offices, opportunities may be available for students to attend hearings and trials in other districts. Students are required to abide by the FPDO’s confidentiality policy, and to act at all times in the best interest of the FPDO’s clients.

This is an unpaid internship; however, we will work with your schools to meet criteria for credit or financial support, if available.

Feedback will be provided along with a formal evaluation, if requested.

How to Apply

Interested students should submit the following documents in a single PDF to MA_Internships@fd.org:

  1. A one-page cover letter that (a) explains your interest in the Federal Public Defender Office; (b) lists any criminal law classes or clinics you have taken; and (c) addresses any personal experiences you have had in the criminal justice system.
  2. A one-page resume.
  3. A writing sample (no more than five pages, please).
  4. Two references or letters of recommendation.
  5. Specify which office(s) you are interested in working in (Boston, Concord, and/or Providence).

Please combine all of these materials into a single PDF titled “lastname.firstname.summer2022”. Questions and applications can be directed to MA_Internships@fd.org. The positions will be open until filled. Candidates will be interviewed and hired on a rolling basis. We typically finish hiring by mid-January.


Visit fd.org for employment opportunities in other Federal Defender offices.