Greater Colorado Fellowship
Are you interested in living and working in a small town in Colorado? Are you
interested in starting your own law firm to improve access to justice for people
outside of the major metropolitan areas? Are you passionate about helping
indigent people accused of criminal or delinquent acts? Do you believe that
holistic, team-oriented representation is essential for all people accused of criminal or delinquent acts? If so, then this is a great opportunity to make a difference! The Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel is offering a unique opportunity for one person to develop a private practice in an underserved area of Colorado through the Greater Colorado Fellowship Program.
The Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel (OADC) is the legislatively created
state agency responsible for providing client services and legal representation for
indigent individuals (adults and youth) when the state has charged them with a
criminal or delinquent act and the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender
has a conflict of interest. The OADC accomplishes this by contracting with over
400 private attorneys and another 500 legal service providers ( forensic social
workers/clinical advocates, paralegals, investigators, legal researchers, case
assistants, legal interns, etc.) to provide client services on an hourly basis. Our
fundamental belief is that interdisciplinary legal defense teams that practice
holistic defense produce good results for our clients.
The mission of the Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel (OADC), through the
practice of holistic public defense, is to help adults and children who the
government has charged with criminal and delinquent offenses. The OADC’s
holistic practice model fosters ethical, informed, and standard-driven best
practices in public defense. The OADC allocates resources in a manner
intentionally designed to rebalance the disparate power wielded by the
government in the criminal legal system. OADC advocates for every client’s
inherent worth and dignity by centering the client’s lived experiences and voice to
achieve the best legal outcome.
The OADC is dedicated to zealous, client-centered advocacy rooted in social
justice, integrity, and humility. We recognize that we are working within a broken
and racist criminal legal system. Public defense advocates play an essential role in challenging bias and disparity within the courtroom, within our offices, and
within ourselves. Statistical data and experiences support that there is a disparate presence of violent policing, over-charging, and harsher sentencing outcomes for Colorado’s people of color and other vulnerable populations. The OADC is unwavering in its support of decarceration, the decriminalization of youth, and equity within the criminal legal system.
About the Greater Colorado Fellowship:
The rural attorney shortage is a nationwide problem. Despite about 14 percent of
Americans living in rural communities, only about 2 percent of law firms are
located in small towns or rural areas. Further, the number of attorneys in rural
communities has only continued to decline as many existing rural lawyers are
approaching retirement age, with too few law school graduates moving in to
replace them. Colorado is not immune to this problem.
The OADC has struggled with a chronic shortage of qualified attorneys (and other legal service providers) in rural Colorado. We are attempting to fix this problem through the Greater Colorado Fellowship program. This Fellowship will provide a lawyer or recent graduate with an opportunity to develop a successful law office in an area that the OADC considers to be an underserved area of legal
representation. We are focusing on the areas surrounding 5 cities - Alamosa,
Sterling, Canon City, Grand Junction, and La Junta – but are open to other
possibilities if a candidate has ties to a different Greater Colorado community.
While there are challenges to starting a legal practice in a rural community, these
communities also have many unique strengths and opportunities. For example,
underserved areas, by definition, have less competition and upward mobility is
easier. Plus, substantially smaller legal communities can provide opportunities
for collaboration and reduce bureaucratic barriers allowing for innovation. For
general examples of rural communities using their strengths for innovations, see
the Rural Justice Collaborative’s Innovation Sites.
This Fellowship Program is the ultimate public-private partnership as the state
employee position will provide salary and benefits while the fellow develops their
emerging business in a rural community. This employee position will begin as
early as March of 2023 and terminate no later than two years from the date of hire. The exact duration of the fellowship will be tailored to meet the needs of the fellow and their surrounding Colorado community. During that time, the OADC will provide “wrap-around” mentorship from experienced criminal defense
practitioners to assist with developing appropriate legal skills, case management,
and professional development. In addition, the OADC has a robust training
program to further aid in professional development.
Although the project is geared toward developing an attorney who is proficient in
criminal defense, we understand that the fellow will need to develop a “smalltown” practice that involves representing people in more than just criminal
matters. It is anticipated that the fellow will work to build relationships so that at the conclusion of their fellowship, they can develop other sources of income including private representation, court-appointed work in dependency and neglect cases through other state agencies (e.g., the Office of Respondent Parent Counsel or the Office of the Child’s Representative), and partnerships with civil litigation associations such as Legal Aid (Colorado Legal Services). As such, the OADC has partnered with other entities to provide further mentorship assistance in areas of law other than criminal defense to meet the needs of the individual fellow.
Other duties deemed necessary to help fulfill our Mission.
The OADC is a collaborative workspace designed for people who thrive in a team environment. This position reports to the Attorney Development Coordinator and will engage with all members of the OADC team.
The State of Colorado is committed to providing employees with a comprehensive and competitive benefits package that supports you, your health, and your family. Click here
for further information about State of Colorado Employee Benefits.
Monthly Salary Range: $5,516-$8,108
Annual Salary Range: $66,192-$97,296
FLSA Status: Exempt
The Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel is an equal-opportunity employer that is committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, age, religion, social class, national origin, marital or parental status, pregnancy, disability status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, veteran status, or political affiliation. We are committed to fostering a culture of inclusion and an environment of representation diversity and we encourage individuals of many identities, backgrounds, and experiences to apply.
To request accommodation, please contact Daniel Nunez at
email@example.com or (303) 515-6924 as soon as possible. Any person with a disability, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), may be
provided a reasonable accommodation upon request to enable the person to
participate in the hiring process. The person making the request may be asked to
provide additional information regarding functional limitations and the type of
accommodation needed, which will be kept confidential. Preparation may be
required, so timely requests for accommodation are appreciated.