The Department of Public Defense (DPD) is renowned nationally for its excellent legal representation to indigent clients in the only county in the United States named after Martin Luther King Jr, one of the most influential civil rights leaders in our nations’ history, King County.
DPD provides legal representation to indigent clients in several practice areas, including felonies, misdemeanors, juvenile offenders, dependencies, involuntary commitment, civil commitment of sexually violent predators, and contempt of court. The department also works to address racial disproportionality in the criminal justice system, the collateral consequences of justice involvement, and other structural and/or systemic issues that undermine the rights of the criminally accused. It employs not only attorneys, but also skilled investigators, mitigation specialists, paralegals, and other support staff. Expert services are regularly funded, in keeping with state court rules. King County public defense has also been a leader in the development of therapeutic courts, providing diversion and support to clients who have entered the criminal justice system due to drug involvement, mental illness, or other issues.
The Department is looking for talented, committed, hardworking advocates with excellent trial, research, and writing skills, and an ability to work in a fast-paced environment. The successful applicant will have a passion for public defense and a demonstrated commitment to helping those who are less fortunate. He or she will also have a demonstrated ability to receive feedback and integrate that feedback into his or her practice. The scope of representation expected by an attorney is determined by the nature of the case assignment and in accordance with the Rules of Professional Conduct. Caseload standards established by the State Supreme Court and that foster excellence in legal representation are observed in accordance with Washington State Bar Association guidelines. Attorneys in the Department of Public Defense are expected to complete all required trainings and to actively advance their level of practice by seeking additional learning opportunities.
For more information, including how to apply, click here.