Position Information

Position Information Message
First Assistant Defender
Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. is seeking to hire a full-time First Assistant Defender.  The First Assistant Defender serves as the principal deputy to the Executive Director, assisting in the management of all phases of the defender organization. The First Assistant assumes the authority to take actions that affect the basic content and character of the organization’s administrative and legal operations.  In addition to providing zealous, professional legal representation to clients, the First Assistant assumes responsibility for the operations of the defender organization in the absence of the Executive Director. 

The First Assistant is someone who is a trusted and reliable manager who values professionalism and consistently uses sound judgment to carry out responsibilities.  A First Assistant partners with other members of management, keep confidences, and is comfortable acting both independently and as a member of our team.  The First Assistant should be centered to the mission of the office which is a commitment to excellence and a passion for justice in representing indigent people accused of myriad federal criminal offenses, combining hard work, constant training and intense dedication in the defense of each of our clients.  A First Assistant must demonstrate considerable resourcefulness, organization, attention to detail and deadlines, initiative, creativity, and compassion.  The First Assistant must demonstrate an ability to supervise others with empathy and understanding while maintaining high standards.   

The First Assistant Defender performs or supervises the performance of tasks such as the following:
  • Oversees the operations of the defender organization and ensures that costs are kept within allocated budget levels. May actively participate in financial and procurement management.  Participates as a fiduciary member of the FDSDI Pension Plan.
  • Initiates personnel actions involving all staff members when required.  Actions may include: assisting the Executive Director with employee hiring and job termination; drafting performance appraisals; participating in mediation, negotiation, and disciplinary actions.
  • Ensures compliance with FDSDI administrative and fiscal responsibilities.
  • Communicates in a supervisory capacity with the court, opposing counsel, clients and the families of clients concerning case-related issues.
  • Analyzes organizational structure and recommends policy implementation. Identifies, communicates, and positively resolves internal problems which might negatively impact the operation of the defender organization.
  • Acts as a liaison for FDSDI with community advocacy groups, the public, and the media.
  • Oversees attorney recruitment and hiring in conjunction with FDSDI’s Attorney Hiring Committee.  Participates in hiring of all staff.
  • Oversees the production of FDSDI’s Defending a Federal Criminal Case.  This includes assigning writing and editing duties, ensuring deadlines for production are met, evaluating additional topics/content for inclusion, vetting printer, distributors, e-commerce sites, communicating with DSO, overseeing sales and inventory of the DFCC for the life of the project (3-5 years), and overseeing support for download/distribution related concerns.
  • Supervises attorneys and legal staff members in order to provide clients with prompt, courteous and zealous legal representation.
Salary will be commensurate with experience. This position includes health insurance, life insurance, and 401k. Salary is payable only by direct deposit. Employment is subject to a satisfactory background verification. All education, experience, training, and certifications will be verified.

Selection of position will be based solely on merit without regard to race, color, religion, religious creed (including religious dress and religious grooming), sex (including pregnancy, perceived pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), gender, gender identity (including transgender identity and transitioning), gender expression and sex stereotyping, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, physical or mental disability, legally protected medical condition or information (including genetic information), family care or medical leave status, military caregiver status, military status, veteran status, marital status, domestic partner status, sexual orientation, status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, enrollment in a public assistance program, engaging in protected communications regarding employee wages, requesting a reasonable accommodation on the basis of disability or bona fide religious belief or practice, or any other basis protected by local, state, or federal laws.
Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resume highlighting relevant skills and experience to Kasha Castillo, Executive Director, CAS_Employment@fd.org.
Position open until filled.
Position: First Assistant Defender
Organization: Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc.
Location: San Diego,  CA 
United States
Salary: Supervisory Salary $175,355 to Maximum $176,200
Posting Start Date: 12/1/2022
Date Posted: 12/1/2022
Requirements https://fdsdi.com/attorneys/
Status: This listing expires on: 3/1/2023
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Organization Information
Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc.
225 Broadway
Ste 900
San Diego,  CA 92101
United States
Gina Watanabe