News & Updates

Office of the Federal Public Defender Seeks Assistant Federal Defender – Tacoma, Washington
April 5, 2021 | Alison Pagan

The Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Washington (FPD) is accepting applications for a full-time, Assistant Federal Defender in our Tacoma office. The AFD will provide legal representation for our clients charged with criminal offenses or involved in post-conviction proceedings in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

OUR ROLE AND MISSION: The FPD is a law office that provides legal representation to persons charged with committing federal crimes who cannot afford to hire an attorney. We are appointed to represent accused persons precharge, upon arrest, and through completion of all appeals and federal habeas corpus review. The FPD operates under the authority of the Criminal Justice Act and by appointment from the Court. We aspire to create an environment of mutual respect and collaboration, and to cultivate a culture of openness and connectedness that honors the diverse backgrounds of the people we represent. We work together to uphold every person’s right to be presumed innocent and to receive a fair sentence if convicted. We provide a vigorous defense at trial and, if our client is convicted, at sentencing and on appeal. We advocate for humane sentences by developing mitigation evidence and presenting judges with fully developed views of our clients and their lives, not merely their charges.

COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & INCLUSION: We value diversity and a commitment to equity and inclusion, and we believe better representation occurs when members of the defense team have diverse backgrounds and experiences. We seek a lawyer who shares our office’s commitment to providing the best possible representation to our clients. We embrace the unique contributions that you can bring to the FPD because of your background, social identity(s), and lived experiences. The FPD encourages applications from all qualified individuals and seeks a diverse pool of applicants in terms of race, ethnicity, nation of origin, culture, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual identity, education, opinions, age, languages spoken, veteran’s status, disability, religion, and socio-economic circumstance. We are interested in your talent, intelligence, dedication, persistence, and desire to see all people treated fairly and respectfully, no matter the allegation or circumstance. We especially encourage applications from Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), people who have been affected by mass incarceration, and people from other underrepresented and historically marginalized groups.

SELECTION CRITERIA: The candidate selected will have a demonstrated commitment toward quality representation and will have recent, substantial criminal defense experience. A proven reputation for integrity, teamwork and effective organizational and prioritization skills are important considerations. Spanish fluency is a plus. Essential for this position are the abilities to manage a substantial caseload, travel, and work flexible hours.

RESPONSIBILITIES: The AFD will immediately assume an active caseload and represent clients in criminal cases in the United States District and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The criminal cases will range from very serious complex felonies to a number of misdemeanor prosecutions. This will require managing cases at various stages of litigation; preparing pleadings, briefs and motions; appearing on behalf of the client in court hearings and at other related proceedings; developing litigation strategies; meeting with clients, experts, witnesses, family members, and other duties as assigned. This position requires some travel throughout the Western District of Washington and on occasion outside of this district. Lawyers assigned to the Tacoma office may also be assigned to cases filed in the Seattle courthouse.

REQUIREMENTS: Applicants must be licensed attorneys in good standing with a federal and state bar, have criminal defense trial and sentencing experience, and significant writing experience. Attorneys not licensed in the state of Washington must seek admission to the Washington state bar within one year. Full time telework is not available for this position. Applicants should be available to start no later than July 15, 2021.

SALARY: This position has a starting salary range of $70,821-166,173. Salary will be based on professional attorney experience with a minimum of two years of such experience. Compensation includes generous federal government benefits, paid vacation, sick leave and holidays. Salary is paid biweekly and only by direct deposit.

QUALIFICATIONS: To qualify, an applicant must meet US citizenship or immigration status requirements.


APPLICATIONS: Qualified persons may apply by submitting a letter of interest, resume, and two work references (including their names, addresses and telephone numbers). Preference will be given to applications received by April 15, 2021. Submit applications by email only to:

Michael Filipovic
Federal Public Defender
Attn. Human Resource

Saturday, March 27, 2021