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Federal Public Defender Opportunity - Northern District of California

March 5, 2021 / Ninth Circuit Public Information Office



The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit invites applications from all qualified persons for the position of Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of California. The term of office is four years, with potential for appointment to successive terms. The current authorized annual salary is $172,500. The position will be available upon successful completion of a background investigation.

The Federal Public Defender, functioning under the authority of 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(g)(2)(A) and the Criminal Justice Act Plan of the Northern District of California, provides criminal defense services to individuals unable to afford counsel. The Federal Public Defender also manages an annual budget of $15.5 million and an office of 65 employees, including attorneys, paralegals, investigators, and administrative personnel. The Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of California is headquartered in San Francisco and maintains fully staffed branch offices in Oakland and San Jose.

The Ninth Circuit prides itself on being a collegial and collaborative organization. We are an organization that promotes creativity and innovation, believes in diversity and inclusion, recognizes excellence, and makes a difference in administering justice. In return, we are looking for strong candidates who share our vision, values, and passion, and applicants of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Applicants must satisfy the following conditions: (1) be admitted to practice before the highest court of at least one state and be a member in good standing of every State Bar of which they are a member; (2) have a minimum of five years of criminal practice, preferably with significant federal criminal trial experience demonstrating an ability to provide vigorous representation of consistently high quality to criminal defendants; (3) possess the ability to effectively administer the office; (4) have a reputation for integrity; and (5) be committed to the vigorous representation of those unable to afford counsel. The Federal Public Defender may not engage in the private practice of law and is subject to a full background investigation and judiciary financial disclosure requirements.

A Local Screening Committee will review all applications and interview the most qualified candidates. The screening committee will refer the most qualified candidates to the Ninth Circuit’s Standing Committee on Federal Public Defenders, who will refer the best qualified candidate to the Court of Appeals for selection and appointment.

The application form and further instructions are available at https://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/fpd or from the Office of the Circuit Executive by email at cja@ce9.uscourts.gov or by phone at 415-355-8985. Applicants are advised to allow for sufficient time to complete and submit the application. A scanned PDF copy of the completed and signed application, including law school transcripts, state bar certifications of good standing, and optional letters of reference must be emailed to cja@ce9.uscourts.gov no later than Friday, April 30, 2021.



Questions? Contact Kristine Fox
Telephone: (415) 355-8985
Email: cja@ce9.uscourts.gov
Website: https://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/fpd


Submission Deadline:
Friday, April 30, 2021 


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