A career with the Federal Public Defender is one of the most rewarding experiences you will have in your legal career. Learn more about the benefits of working at our office.
The Federal Public Defender Districts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island 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.
The Federal Public Defender Office for the Districts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island is hiring an experienced trial attorney to be full-time Assistant Federal Public Defender (AFPD) in its Western Massachusetts office. The position will be based in our office’s Springfield, Massachusetts, branch. The successful applicant will be selected through a nation-wide search. All eligible attorneys interested in this position are encouraged to
The AFPD position requires managing cases at various stages of litigation; preparing pleadings, briefs, and motions; appearing on behalf of clients in court hearings and at other related proceedings; developing litigation strategies; meeting with clients, experts, witnesses, and family members; and performing other duties as assigned. The AFPD will work to uphold every person’s right to be presumed innocent; receive a vigorous defense; and, if convicted, receive a fair sentence. They will advocate for humane sentences by collaborating with teams of investigators, paralegals, mitigation specialists, and other staff to develop
mitigation evidence and to present judges with developed views of our clients and their lives, not merely their charges. This position requires significant travel throughout our district and occasional out-of-district travel. The AFPD primarily represents indigent individuals charged in federal district court with committing federal criminal offenses. The AFPD also represents clients on appeal before the circuit court, in post-conviction proceedings, and as grand jury or trial witnesses. The Springfield AFPD reports directly to the Federal Public Defender or another designated supervising attorney in Boston.
WHAT WE DO:
The Federal Public Defender Office is a law office that represents 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, mitigation specialist, 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 when 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:
In addition to exceptional trial, research and writing skills, you have a minimum of 5 years of experience as a lawyer. You are a trusted, reliable, and efficient attorney 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 are committed to contributing to local, regional, and national trainings. You are willing to serve our Districts on committees that impact system change. 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.
Experience using Microsoft Word, Microsoft Teams, Adobe Acrobat, Excel, and other technology to review, process, and organize large amounts of information and data.
Must have a degree from an accredited law school.
Must be admitted to practice and in good standing before the highest court of any state or the Districts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, or New Hampshire.
Must be admitted (by the time of duty) to the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
Must be a U.S. citizen or have a work authorization.
Must possess a valid Massachusetts driver’s license.
Experience working with diverse groups of people, such as economically disadvantaged people, people with emotional or mental health challenges, and those from disenfranchised communities.
Prior Criminal Defense experience serving adults.
Familiarity with federal habeas corpus or other post-conviction litigation, capital, and/or appellate work.
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, to benefit those accused of committing federal crimes.
Experience in criminal defense or federal courts.
The ability to handle Compassionate Release cases and be a resource on those case within the office and to CJA Attorneys.
Strong computer and technological skills.
Considerable resourcefulness, initiative, creativity, and compassion.
Spanish fluency or any other second language.
SALARY AND BENEFITS:
Starting salary for the Assistant Federal Public Defender – will be set commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the applicant currently yielding $81,963 to $191,900 per annum.
HOW TO APPLY:
Applicants must send an e-mail titled “Assistant Federal Public Defender” with a single Adobe .pdf document which includes:
A Cover Letter;
A Resume and Three References;
Form AO-78 (found at https://www.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/ao078.pdf); and
A Writing Sample (10-20 pages).
Send all items listed above to HRBoston@fd.org.
*No Calls Please. Applicants who apply without submitting all four documents will not be considered. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Priority consideration will be given to applications received by February 23, 2024. The selected candidate will be subject to a background check or investigations and subsequent favorable suitability determination for employment. We are an equal opportunity employer
Our Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island offices also offer fall and spring internships for rising 2L and 3L law students, both part-time and full-time. These internships provide opportunities for students to develop their research and writing skills, to receive comments on their written work from experienced attorneys, to participate in the defense of criminal cases, and to attend trials, bail hearings, appeals, and arguments in both cases in which they assist and other cases in the office.
The Massachusetts office has filled internship positions for Spring 2024 and open for Fall 2024. The New Hampshire office will have an internship available in Spring 2024, and the Rhode Island office will have internships available in Fall 2024 and Spring 2025.
To apply to one of the offices, please email a cover letter, resume, and a brief writing sample to:
Boston, MA: Liz Prevett at email@example.com
Concord, NH: Dorothy Graham at firstname.lastname@example.org
Providence, RI: Rebecca Aitchison at email@example.com
We are no longer accepting applications for the summer of 2024. Please watch this site for information about summer 2025 internships.
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 (Boston, MA, Concord, NH, and Providence, RI).
Our goal is to provide first-hand 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:
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 3, 2024.
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 (for internships in Boston), Dorothy_Graham@fd.org (for internships in Concord), and/or Rebecca_Aitchison@fd.org (for internships in Providence):
Please combine all these materials into a single PDF titled:
Questions 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. As we typically hire multiple interns to work in Boston, that office reviews applications in two phases. The first phase of review begins in September. This portion of our hiring is usually done by October. We reserve at least one slot for a second phase of review that begins in December.
Our hiring is usually complete by mid-January.
51 Sleeper Street, 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02210
Phone: (617) 223-8061
Fax: (617) 334-7991
1 Federal Street
Springfield, MA 01105
Phone: (857) 331-2118
Fax: (617) 334-7991
22 Bridge Street
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: (603) 226-7360
Fax: (603) 371-9415
10 Weybosset Street, 3rd Floor
Providence, RI 02903
Phone: (401) 528-4281
Fax: (401) 867-2814