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The Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California is accepting applications for a full-time legal assistant position stationed in Los Angeles or Santa Ana, California. The Federal Public Defender’s office is committed to the pursuit of justice by aggressively advocating in federal court for the constitutional rights and inherent dignity of individuals who are charged with federal crimes and cannot afford their own lawyer.

Job Duties: Legal assistants provide a full range of executive-level secretarial and clerical support services to attorneys on trial, appellate, and non-capital habeas cases. General areas of responsibility include filing of court documents electronically; preparing and editing draft pleadings, reports, and correspondence; maintaining attorney’s calendar; accurately maintaining up-to-date case files; composing correspondence; screening telephone calls; and processing mail, as needed. The legal assistant will be assigned to three or four attorneys and will be required to assist with overflow coverage when needed.

Requirements: All applicants must have graduated from an accredited school with a bachelor’s degree and at least one-year specialized experience performing progressively responsible duties as a legal assistant. Extensive relevant experience may substitute a bachelor’s degree. The ideal candidate will have comprehensive knowledge of legal secretarial principles, practices, methods, and techniques; an understanding of district and circuit court rules, protocols, policies, and precedents; and knowledge of legal terminology and Blue Book citation format. A high level of computer literacy is required, and applicants must be able to organize work and set priorities to meet critical deadlines. The ability to speak, read, and write in Spanish is preferred, but not required. A background investigation is required as a condition of employment. Applicants must be United States citizens or permanent residents seeking citizenship as described here:

Selection Criteria: Successful applicants demonstrate an interest in social justice, civil rights, or indigent defense; must have excellent oral and written communication and interpersonal skills; have strong organizational and analytical skills; be able to work independently and take initiative; and work well in teams.

Salary/Benefits: This is a full-time, at-will position. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience and is subject to direct deposit. Benefits include health and life insurance, retirement, and a Thrift Savings Plan. For more information on benefits, see

How to Apply: Apply by emailing a letter of interest, résumé, and three references in a single PDF document to Cuauhtemoc Ortega, Interim Federal Public Defender, at with the subject line: LEGAL ASSISTANT APPLICATION. All application materials must be received by August 14, 2020. The Federal Public Defender’s Office may fill current and future positions from this vacancy announcement. Please, no phone calls.

The Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California 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.