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Assistant Federal Public Defender 17-5 (Norfolk, VA)

Assistant Federal Public Defender

The Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Eastern District of Virginia is accepting applications for the position of Assistant Federal Public Defender (AFPD) in the Norfolk office. The Federal Public Defender operates under the authority of the Criminal Justice Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3006A, to provide defense services to people unable to afford counsel in federal criminal cases and related matters by appointment from the Court.

Date Posted: 
Tuesday, June 13, 2017

An AFPD must possess a law degree from an accredited law school, have membership in good standing in the Virginia State Bar (or either waive into the Virginia Bar or successfully pass the Virginia bar exam within one year of joining the Office), and have at least three years practicing law.

The following qualifications are preferred but not required: Proficiency in a language other than English, especially Spanish; significant experience representing the indigent; and federal trial experience.


The duties of an AFPD include conducting client interviews, directing the defense investigation, reviewing discovery, representing clients in federal court at every stage of the federal criminal process, preparing written submissions, and working collaboratively with other attorneys and staff. Some travel to visit detained clients is required.

Selection Criteria: 

Applicants will be evaluated based upon their commitment to representing indigent clients, aptitude and experience in litigation, and the ability to immediately undertake the defense of criminal cases in federal court. This position requires excellent research and writing skills as well as the ability to represent clients in the courtroom.

The selected candidate also will be subject to a background investigation, including an F.B.I. name and fingerprint check and an I.R.S. tax check. Employees of the Federal Public Defender Office are in the excepted service, meaning they are considered at-will employees.

Salary and Benefits: 

Starting salary will be commensurate with experience and qualifications. The position does offer federal government employment benefits, including participation in health and life insurance, retirement, and the Thrift Savings Plan. Salary is payable only by Electronic Funds Transfer (direct deposit).

How To Apply: 

To be considered for this position, please visit the FPDO website located at, click on “Employment Opportunities” and submit a cover letter, resume and completed application by the closing date of June 30, 2017 to the following e-mail address:

Make sure to mention announcement number 17-5 in the subject line. Position is subject to the availability of funds, and is open until filled. Please do not contact the office by telephone. All responses will remain confidential. It is possible that more than one position may be filled from this announcement. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

The Federal Public Defender is an equal-opportunity employer.