News & Updates

Benton County Office of Public Defense Seeks Public Defender
July 28, 2022 | Alison Pagan

If you are looking for a job that brings:
Fulfilment and meaning
Challenge and intellectual stimulation

In an office that provides:
Opportunity for professional growth and advancement
Camaraderie, in a friendly and encouraging team environment

And you are someone who is:
Conscientious, with a commitment to serving low-income clients
Motivated, with the ability to manage a large and varying caseload with limited supervision
Trainable and open to direction, training and ideas
A team player, and able to fit in with an office of dedicated, caring professionals with a strong office culture that emphasizes a strong sense of Mission and a set of shared Core Values.

Then you should consider joining us at the Benton County Office of Public Defense, a well-funded and supported, client-centric, motivated and innovative public defense office that serves almost all court jurisdictions and the 180,000 plus citizens of Benton County, WA.

What we are offering:

  • Entry-level Staff Public Defender position primarily assigned to our District Court Defense Unit;
  • A defined professional growth track with opportunities for advancement into our Superior Court Defense Unit as well as specialty Units such as the Homicide Defense Unit;
  • Excellent opportunities for professional development including class-leading in-house training and intensive Trial Advocacy Clinics, and fully paid attendance at off-site training sponsored by outside organization.
  • Competitive salary (on par with Deputy Prosecutor salary schedule in Benton County) and generous benefits package;

Benton County reserves the right to conduct interviews and/or make employment offers before the closing date for this announcement.

This is a professional legal position providing legal defense services to indigent persons on behalf of the Benton County Office of Public Defense.  An employee in this position will be assigned by the Court or Office of Public Defense to provide criminal defense representation to indigent defendants facing misdemeanor or felony criminal charges in Benton County District or Superior Courts.  Representation will involve all phases of criminal proceedings including initial appearances, arraignment, pre-trial hearings, trial, plea negotiations, sentencing, and appeals from District Court.  Primary caseload will consist of misdemeanor cases filed in District Court but responsibilities will also include preliminary appearance representation in Superior Court and appearance before Superior Court for District Court appeals.

The Benton County Office of Public Defense operates an intensive training and mentoring program for new Staff Public Defense Attorneys under the close supervision of the District Court Mentorship Supervisor.  This program is designed to maximize a new Public Defense Attorney’s success by providing the tools, resources and skills necessary to be an effective public defender in the courts of Benton County.  Public Defense Attorneys are expected to successfully complete this training and mentoring program within the first six months of their position.  Opportunities for professional and promotional growth (including assignments to other Public Defense Units such as Juvenile Court or Superior Court) are contingent upon successful completion of this program.

For more information, including how to apply, click here.