Position Information

Position Information Message
Deputy Public Defender, Appellate Division
Colorado’s Office of the State Public Defender (OSPD) maintains a reputation as one of the top organizations in the nation specializing in the delivery of indigent criminal defense. We operate as an independent agency within the Judicial Branch of Colorado State Government with nearly 1,000 dedicated employees assigned to twenty-one Regional Trial Offices, a centralized Appellate Division, and a centralized Administrative Office. The mission of OSPD is to defend and protect the rights, liberties, and dignity of those accused of crimes who cannot afford to retain counsel. We do so by providing constitutionally and statutorily mandated representation that is effective, zealous, inspired, and compassionate.

The OSPD’s Appellate Division handles appeals of felony convictions and post-conviction rulings from across the State of Colorado. The Appellate Division has multiple openings for full-time, entry-level Deputy State Public Defenders with start dates to be determined. We seek to hire attorneys who are dedicated to public service and committed to serving our clients. We are a team-oriented environment, where self-motivation and a personal commitment to high performance are important attributes for success. Appellate Division attorneys are responsible for counseling clients with respect to their appeals and preparing briefs and presenting oral argument in the Colorado Court of Appeals and Colorado Supreme Court. Appellate Division attorneys also appear in district court on matters necessary to meet the goals of the representation, when required.

Appellate Division attorneys are responsible for all aspects of assigned appeals, including ensuring the completeness of the record, drafting all principal briefs and related motions, orally arguing appropriate cases, and maintaining communication with the client throughout the appellate process. Ideal candidates will possess excellent written and verbal communication skills, strong attention to detail, effective time-management skills, strong legal research and analytical skills, ability to work in a self-directed environment, and will show accountability for work-product. Strong candidates will demonstrate compassion, commitment to public service, and a desire to advocate on behalf of the poor.

Typical responsibilities for Appellate Division attorneys include, but are not limited to:
  • Reviewing trial court records and transcripts in order to identify potential issues for appeal;
  • Conducting legal research in order to evaluate relative strengths and weaknesses of issues identified for appeal;
  • Writing well-reasoned and persuasive briefs based on evidence in the appellate record and supported by accurate statements of relevant law;
  • Presenting appeals with zealousness and tenacity;
  • Communicating effectively with clients throughout the case. Promptly initiating and maintaining regular contact via in person prison visits, by phone, and through written correspondence. Responding promptly and professionally to client calls and correspondence;
  • Establishing positive, productive, and respectful working relationships with clients and their families, consistent with ethical obligations;
  • Managing caseload and time to maximize personal effectiveness and to provide vigorous and effective representation to all clients. Analyzing caseload to ensure sufficient time to carefully review the appellate record, consider and discuss potential issues, conduct all necessary research, and edit and proofread all briefs;
  • Developing professional, cooperative, productive, and respectful relationships with all members of the Public Defender system, including administrative staff, investigators, legal assistants, social workers, and attorneys;
  • Traveling with some frequency to, and performing duties in, courthouse(s), jails, and correctional institutions.
Qualified individuals must e-mail a resume, cover letter, law school transcripts, references, and a writing sample (unedited by others) to Anne T. Amicarella at anne.amicarella@coloradodefenders.us by Friday, June 3, 2022, 11:59 p.m. (Mountain Time).
(Only individuals selected for interview will be contacted.)

For a summary of employee benefits (health, dental, life, and disability) please visit: https://stateofcoloradobenefits.com/. Other benefits include retirement plan options through Colorado PERA www.copera.org, eleven paid holidays a year, and paid-time-off for personal and sick leave. Additional information about the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender can be found at: http://www.coloradodefenders.us/
The Office of the Colorado State Public Defender provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, or other protected status, in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws. Consistent with this commitment, our agency will assist individuals who have a disability with any reasonable accommodation requests and selection process. If you have a disability and require reasonable accommodation, please contact Laura Darrow at, laura.darrow@coloradodefenders.us.
Position: Deputy Public Defender, Appellate Division
Organization: Office of the Colorado State Public Defender
Location: Denver,  CO 
United States
Salary: $5,355 Monthly
Posting Start Date: 5/4/2022
Date Posted: 5/4/2022
Requirements QUALIFICATIONS: (Employees must be able to perform the essential functions of the job, with or without reasonable accommodation.)

Education and Experience:
Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from an ABA accredited law school; license to practice law in the State of Colorado.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
  • Must have exceptional communication skills;
  • Ability to effectively communicate in written and oral form;
  • Ability to use all necessary electronic devices, especially computers;
  • Ability to review appellate records, which may include visual depictions of evidence and crime scenes;
  • Must be able to process and retain large amounts of information;
  • Must be able to handle frequent interruptions and multiple calls and inquiries;
  • Must be able to maintain confidentiality and manage confidential information.
Status: This listing expires on: 8/2/2022
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Organization Information
Office of the Colorado State Public Defender
1300 Broadway, Suite 300

Denver,  CO 80203
United States
Anne T. Amicarella, Appellate Division Chief