Position Information

Position Information Message
Criminal Defense Counsel
Who we are:

The Public Defense Services Commission (PDSC), a nine-member commission appointed by the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court, serves as the governing body for Oregon’s public defense system. The Commission provides policy direction and oversight for the administration of public defense services statewide.  As required by ORS 151.216(1)(b), the Commission oversees the Office of Public Defense Services (OPDS), which serves as the administrative agency responsible for carrying out the Commission’s directives and other statutorily defined duties. The legal services provided by OPDS represent an essential component of Oregon’s public safety system.

The mission of OPDS is to establish and maintain a public defense system that ensures the delivery of public defense services consistent with the Oregon Constitution, the United States Constitution and Oregon and national standards of justice.

OPDS employs up to 140 staff and personnel and includes the Executive Division, Trial Division, Appellate Division, and the Administrative Services Division. The agency negotiates contracts with trial level public defense providers and administers and distributes funds for representation and related services for cases during the biennium for criminal, juvenile, post-conviction relief, habeas and civil commitment cases. The agency provides compliance and oversight to the trial community providers through quality assurance practices, training, and education.  Financial Services processes all expenses related to representation in public defense cases. The Appellate Division provides direct legal representation in the state appellate courts in criminal cases, juvenile dependency and termination of parental rights cases, and parole cases. Other services in the agency include, Data Collection and Analysis, General Counsel, Human Resources, Information Technology Services, Internal Audit, and Policy Development.

Organization Website: https://www.oregon.gov/opds/pages/default.aspx

Primary purpose of this position:

Pursuant to legislative direction in the budget report for HB 5030 (2021), the PDSC directed OPDS to restructure the agency “to help strengthen the agency’s program management, performance, and oversight.”   The Compliance, Audit & Performance (CAP) Unit, comprised of legal expertise and research and policy personnel, works directly with and responds to the needs of the Trial Division. The Criminal Trial and the Juvenile Trial sections of the Trial Division are each made up of a Chief Trial Counsel and three Deputy Trial Counsels, all of whom are experienced providers of public defense services with expertise in criminal and/or juvenile law.  The attorneys work collaboratively—both with the CAP Unit and with staff throughout the agency—to provide oversight of and support to the independent contractors who provide the vast majority of legal representation and related services to those in Oregon who are entitled to court-appointed counsel at state expense.

This position within the Trial Division will engage in quality assurance and oversight activities of adult criminal defense providers. The Deputy Criminal Trial Counsel will support the Chief Criminal Trial Counsel in executing comprehensive quality assurance and assessment of adult criminal case providers. The position will engage in a range of quality assurance activities to support high-quality criminal case representation statewide, including using standardized quality assurance tools to monitor and assess providers, providing specialized training and resources, and offering direct case consultation and support to trial level attorneys. CAP will use research and data to understand workload fluctuations and inform resource, contracting and budgetary decisions.  The CAP Unit’s work will enable OPDS’ oversight of attorney performance, data-informed budgetary and contract decision-making and high-quality public defense legal service delivery to financially eligible Oregonians. 


Quality Assurance of Criminal Defense Providers 
  • Work closely with the Chief Criminal Trial Counsel and Information Technology to develop and continuously refine standardized data collection tools and assessment processes to monitor and evaluate provider quality and identify regional needs.
  • Conduct site visits, courtroom observations, review of summarized provider activity and caseload data, structured stakeholder interviews/surveys and provider meetings to evaluate provider compliance.
  • Assess and respond to provider quality assurance concerns, as evidenced through data trends or stakeholder complaints.
  • Develop relationships and maintain communication with regional criminal defense attorney and non-attorney providers as well as regional public defender and criminal justice system stakeholders. 
  • Work with CSS (Case Support Services) Team to evaluate criminal defense attorney funding requests for case expenses.
Training and Resource Development
  • Develop and deliver resources to support provider practice, such as checklists, reference guides, sample filings and other materials responsive to provider and system needs.
  • Offer case consultation to criminal defense attorney providers, including technical, legal, and strategic guidance on trial level representation.
  • Identify, schedule and plan trainings for OPDS-contracted criminal defense attorneys.
Systems Improvement.
  • Participate in related workgroups and task forces, in consultation with Chief Criminal Trial Counsel.
  • Research and stay up to date on policy, legislative and legal updates that could impact criminal defense practice.
  • Engage in effective team participation through willingness to assist and support co-workers, supervisors, and other work-related associations.
  • Develop good working relationships with internal and external customers and supervisors through active participation in cross-divisional group projects and in identifying and resolving problems in a constructive, collaborative manner.
  • Perform work in a manner that consistently promotes safety and wellness in the workplace and promptly reports safety concerns to management.
  • Contribute to a positive, respectful, and productive work environment in a manner that fosters and promotes the importance and value of a diverse, discrimination and harassment-free workplace. Respect diversity of opinions, ideas, and cultural differences.
  • Other duties as assigned.
**This position is under the Deputy General Counsel Classification**

  • Research suggests that women and people of color are less likely to apply unless they are confident they meet 100% of the listed qualifications. We strongly encourage all interested individuals to apply, and allow us to evaluate the knowledge, skills and abilities that you demonstrate, using an intentional equity lens.
  • Knowledge of the procedural operations of all levels of court; and legal research and writing techniques.
  • Demonstrable knowledge of criminal defense trial practice, evidence, and criminal law and procedure, good knowledge of judicial procedures, ethics law and commission rules. 
  • Must be able to establish and maintain effective working relationships with defense attorneys, prosecutors, judges, hearings officers, corrections agents, colleagues, as well as criminal defendants and the general public.
  • Possess basic computer skills, solid research and analytic skills.
  • Ability to analyze facts and legal documents.
  • Ability to interpret laws, regulations and policies.
  • Ability to effectively communicate, both orally and in writing, with persons having a wide variety of education backgrounds.
  • Ability to speak effectively in public.
Position: Criminal Defense Counsel
Organization: Office of Public Defense Services
Location: Salem,  OR 
United States
Salary: $9827 - $14519
Posting Start Date: 7/30/2022
Date Posted: 7/30/2022
  • Graduation from an accredited college of law AND member of the Oregon State Bar.
  • Five (5) years full-time experience in the practice of law AT LEAST three (3) of which must be in the practice of criminal defense or related field.


**This recruitment is scheduled to be open until it is filled, with the option to close the recruitment at any time.**


Status: This listing expires on: 10/4/2022
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Organization Information
Office of Public Defense Services

Salem,  OR 
United States
Chantelle Avila