Assistant Public Defender 1
Applications are accepted via the Ohio Hiring Management System. Interested individuals can apply here
. Deadline to apply is May 6, 2021.
The Office of the Ohio Public Defender seeks a committed, compassionate advocate for an Assistant Public Defender 1 (APD1) position for the Wrongful Conviction Project (WCP). The WCP is dedicated to identifying, investigating, and litigating cases of actual innocence for incarcerated people in Ohio. The Project also works to educate others on the causes and consequences of wrongful convictions and advocates for policy reform.
A successful APD1 in the Wrongful Conviction Project must exhibit a strong commitment to indigent defense. They will possess excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrate compassion for the WCP’s clients, their families, and all people who ask the WCP for assistance. They must have strong analytical skills, think creatively, be adept at legal research and writing, and have comfort advocating for clients in court. The WCP takes a collaborative approach to the analysis and investigation of innocence claims. The APD will work closely with the Project’s Director, attorneys, and investigator, as well as law students, as cases are reviewed and investigated.
Essential job duties include but are not limited to:
· Screen and evaluate claims of wrongful conviction
· Research, analyze, and interpret complex issues of law. Prepare briefs, memoranda, motions, and other pleadings subject to review (e .g., work as co-counsel or lead counsel on criminal cases at the trial, appellate, and post-conviction level)
· Participate with other attorneys and staff in the formulation of legal strategies for a particular client
- Research areas of forensic science and medicine as needed to advocate for particular clients
· Work with investigators to investigate claims of wrongful conviction
- Render legal advice to clients in conjunction with senior attorneys (e.g., correspond and meet with clients to explain legal strategies and obtain clients' input and approval)
· Appear in state and federal courts to represent indigent criminal defendants (e.g. oral arguments, hearings, trials, other proceedings)
· Assist county public defenders and members of the private bar in researching complex legal issues and preparing briefs, memoranda, and motions
· Under general supervision, prepare motions for new trial, postconviction petitions, and/or other legal memoranda; prepare cases for evidentiary hearings, oral arguments, or trial; try cases; examine witnesses; present legal arguments and evidence; conduct pre-trial conferences, hearings, and plea negotiations; conduct appeals; conduct other postconviction matters
- In conjunction with senior attorneys and staff, work with media and other stakeholders to advocate for particular clients and policy reform
· Assist in recruiting, training, and supervising legal interns and volunteers. Review drafts of briefs, memoranda, motions, and pleadings by legal interns. Assign legal interns and other personnel the preparation of case files or to collect evidence or data for case work
· Answer inquiries from indigent incarcerated people concerning their wrongful incarceration (e.g., answer phone calls and letters from indigent incarcerated people and their families; initiate correspondence; review and research claims; initiate legal petitions where appropriate; appear in court on behalf of indigent clients)
- Train county public defenders and members of the private bar in the areas of forensic science and evidence most prevalent in cases of wrongful conviction, by presenting at seminars and conferences. Interact with and assist the Innocence Network by participating in working groups and committees that focus on issues surrounding wrongful convictions
PLEASE NOTE: A WRITING SAMPLE AND COVER LETTER MUST BE SUBMITTED WITH THIS APPLICATION. Your application will not be considered without a writing sample and cover letter.
About the Office of the Ohio Public Defender
- Represent the Wrongful Conviction Project on internal agency task-groups, projects, and assorted committees
The OPD is the state agency responsible for providing legal representation and other services to people accused or convicted of a crime who cannot afford to hire an attorney.
: Advocating. Fighting. Helping.
: A Fair Justice System.
: Compassion. Dignity. Equity. Integrity. Service. Community.
OPD Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
: Our commitment to inclusion is inseparable from our commitment to a fair justice system. We strive to ensure inclusive spaces and services for our staff, our clients, and Ohio’s diverse communities. We are committed to building a work environment where all our team members have a voice and can embrace our differences to innovate service to the public. We can best meet our public defense mission through a diverse workforce and an inclusive workplace, where employees thrive, our mission is accomplished, and Ohioans are served. #TeamOPD is grounded in diversity, equity, inclusion as we work together to pursue fairness and justice for all people.
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Benefits of joining the State of Ohio team:
The Office of the Ohio Public Defender complies with federal and state disability laws and makes reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with disabilities. If reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application or interview process, please contact Tamra Meister, ADA Coordinator, at 614-466-5394 or HCM@opd.ohio.gov.
- Extensive health benefits for all full- and part-time permanent employees
- Guaranteed 10 paid state holidays every year and paid leave accrues each pay period
- At least a 14 percent employer contribution to your OPERS pension plan
- Employee Tuition Reimbursement programs
- Life insurance coverage for all permanent employees
- See more at totalrewards.ohio.gov
The typical starting salary for this position is $53,850; however, the salary will be commensurate with relevant experience.
This position serves at the pleasure and discretion of the State Public Defender. This position serves in a fiduciary relationship to the State Public Defender and will have an unclassified status per Ohio Revised Code 124.11 (A) (9).
Intentional omission of relevant information, falsification, or misrepresentation of information on the application will disqualify the applicant. In addition, such intentional acts are grounds for immediate termination of an employee.
Background Check Information
The final candidate selected for the position will be required to undergo a criminal background check. Criminal convictions do not necessarily preclude an applicant from consideration for a position. An individual assessment of an applicant's prior criminal convictions will be made before excluding an applicant from consideration.
All final applicants tentatively selected for this position will be required to submit to urinalysis to test for illegal drug use prior to appointment. An applicant with a positive test shall not be offered employment.