Temporary Assistant Federal Public Defender (Boston)
The Position

The Federal Public Defender Office for the Districts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island is hiring an experienced trial attorney to be a temporary Assistant Federal Public Defender (AFPD) in its Boston, Massachusetts office. The position is for a year and a day.

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 AFPD reports directly to the Federal Public Defender or another designated supervising attorney.

Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications. Benefits include health and life insurance, retirement, and the Thrift Savings Plan.

What We Do

The Federal Public Defender Office 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.

Our office is made up of attorneys, paralegals, investigators, office administrators, information technology specialists, and legal assistants. We work together to uphold every person’s constitutional rights, including their right to be presumed innocent and to a fair sentence if convicted. Our defense is vigorous, both in the trial courts and on appeal. We advocate for humane sentences by showing judges and prosecutors that we represent people, not criminals. We also support private lawyers representing indigent defendants in federal court through training and consultation.

Who We Are

As the primary providers of legal representation to indigent persons accused of federal crimes in our region, we set and maintain a high standard for federal criminal defense. We are 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 that 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.

Who You Are

You are an intelligent, dedicated, and persistent defender of those the government seeks to convict and incarcerate. You are a talented trial attorney with an instinct to stand up to power and influence for those with few resources. You maintain a commitment to the humanity of the person accused, even when the evidence is strong. You use grit, creativity, and compassion to solve problems and drive outcomes. You work collaboratively with others to achieve the best results.

Experience Required
  • Admission to practice in the highest court of any state or the District of Columbia.
  • A minimum of three years of criminal trial experience.
  • Experience cross-examining witnesses, both at evidentiary hearings and at trial, as well as experience preparing witnesses to testify on direct examination.
  • Excellent research, writing, and oral advocacy skills.
  • An understanding of criminal law, criminal procedure, and evidence.
  • The ability to work as part of a team and to delegate assignments to others when appropriate.
  • Ability to identify relevant facts, laws, and regulations.
  • Commitment to keep confidences and protect legal privileges.
  • Ability to multitask and prioritize in a fast-paced environment.
  • Desire to work with, and on behalf of, people from diverse backgrounds.
Experience We Hope For
  • Experience as a trial attorney at a public defender organization.
  • A commitment to our mission to provide exceptional services to the indigent accused.
  • A commitment to working as part of a team in an open and collegial environment.
  • Considerable resourcefulness, discretion, initiative, creativity, and compassion.
  • Ability to review and analyze large volumes of electronic discovery using various programs.
What an AFPD Does
  • Provides zealous, professional legal representation to those accused, or convicted of, committing federal criminal offenses.
  • Appears at court hearings at all stages of a case.
  • Communicates with the court, opposing counsel, probation officers, lay and expert witnesses, clients
    and the families of clients concerning case-related issues.
  • Maintains in-depth and updated knowledge of criminal defense trial and appellate
    practices. Attends trainings to remain knowledgeable of new areas relevant to the practice.
  • Prepares motions and legal memoranda for consideration by courts. Argues those motions at both evidentiary and non-evidentiary hearings.
  • Represents clients at trial.
  • Develops expertise with the federal sentencing guidelines and other relevant sentencing factors. Fully develops mitigation evidence to present to the court at sentencing.
  • Represents clients at related, collateral proceedings, including in motions to vacate prior convictions that serve as sentencing enhancements.
  • Understands the ethical obligations related to public defender advocacy.
  • Consults with investigative and support staff regarding case related issues.
  • Examines complex records and legal documents in preparation for motions, trials, appeals, and habeas corpus petitions.
  • Determines relevant legal issues and strategizes the presentation of physical and testimonial evidence.
  • Performs legal research using all available resources including computer-assisted
    legal research tools.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.
How to Apply

Applicants must send an email titled “Temp AFPD” with both a resume and a cover letter attached to HRBoston@fd.org. Applicants who apply without submitting both documents will not be considered. Applications will be accepted through December 3, 2021. We are an equal opportunity employer.

Law Student Internship Summer 2022 (Boston, Concord, Providence)

Intern hiring has been completed for summer 2022. If you have any questions, please contact MA_Internships@fd.org. Thank you for your interest in our office.

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