Position Information

Position Information Message
Assistant Public Defender - Youth Defense
You will provide assistance to children in Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS) on conditions of confinement matters, which includes responding to requests for assistance, reviewing fact investigations, determining whether the child's conditions of confinement claim has merit, and referring the child to a private attorney for direct representation of their claim. If no private attorney accepts the case within a reasonable time, you will prepare pro se pleadings, including a complaint, a motion for appointment of counsel, and other applicable pleadings. You will also advocate for children during discipline and release reviews to the ODYS Release Authority, which impacts the child's length of stay and release date. You will be most successful in the position if you are organized, solutions oriented, adept at effective documentation and communication, and empathetic. This position is a hybrid position, which allows the employee to work from home, with in-office minimums weekly. However, frequent travel to juvenile correctional facilities is required.

Duties include but are not limited to the following:
  • Provide legal assistance to incarcerated youth residing in Ohio Department of Youth Services (“DYS”) facilities and DYS contract facilities
  • Travel to DYS and contract facilities to meet with youth in-person
  • Provide legal orientation to youth upon their admission to DYS
  • Interview youth on questions pertaining to conditions of confinement (e.g., medical deliberate indifference, excessive use of force, failure to protect, etc.)
  • Advocate for youth on administrative issues that could result in the extension of the youth’s period of confinement
  • Regularly provide DYS youth with legal information and advice on release and re-entry information
  • Work with DYS administrators and OPD staff on providing re-entry services to youth
  • Investigate youth claims pertaining to conditions of confinement issues, including but not limited to the following: ensuring that youth follow DYS grievance processes and procedures and exhaust administrative remedies; submitting records requests to DYS following a youth’s request for assistance; reviewing facility documentation of a youth’s claim as well as any video footage, if available; and, under the supervision of higher level assistant public defenders, determining the merits of a youth’s claim by analyzing relevant case law
  • Provide youth with age-appropriate written explanations of the results of any investigation
  • Under the supervision of unit Supervisor or the Youth Defense Department Managing Counsel, refer apparent meritorious claims to private counsel. If referrals cannot be accomplished within a reasonable time, prepare pro se pleadings and motions for appointment of counsel, completes affidavit of indigence and motions for appointment of guardian ad litem when necessary, to enable a youth to file pro se
  • Collect data and compiles information for monthly reports
  • Organize paperwork and request forms
  • Maintain intra-agency intake calendar
  • Collaborate with other attorneys in the department
  • Refer matters to outside agencies when appropriate
  • Answer inquiries from indigent youth pertaining to general issues of juvenile law
  • Conduct intake for the department’s post-disposition and trial staff
  • Appear in public and private settings on behalf of the Public Defender to discuss law and policy
  • Train youth defenders on issues pertaining to post-dispositional and administration assistance/representation, appearing as counsel or co-counsel to represent youth on matters including judicial release, sealing and expungement, serious youthful offender invocation hearings, new charges, and other matters related to the youth’s confinement
Position: Assistant Public Defender - Youth Defense
Organization: Ohio Public Defender
Location: Columbus,  OH 
United States
Salary: $65,645 - $93,392 annually
Posting Start Date: 3/31/2023
Date Posted: 3/31/2023
Requirements Admission to Ohio bar
Status: This listing expires on: 6/29/2023
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Organization Information
Ohio Public Defender
250 E. Broad St. Suite 1400

Columbus,  OH 43215
United States
(614) 466-5394
Elisa Lenssen