Position Information

Position Information Message
Public Defender 5
Provide professional legal services representing juvenile and adult indigent clients, handle highly complex appeals or serve as lead counsel for serious violent felony or appeals and other highly complex litigation cases. 


Essential Functions


Public Defender 5:
  • Positions at this level handle all levels of criminal cases and legal matters including the most complex felonies, including high profile cases, such as capital cases.
  • Can act with independence with little guidance.
  • Has acquired sufficient knowledge and experience to handle an appellate caseload. 
  • Has knowledge and experience to prepare appellate briefs and argue cases before the Court of Appeals and for Supreme Court.
  • Incumbents in positions at this level are recognized as an expert in one or more areas of criminal law. 
  • Positions at this level may also provide supervision from a lead work perspective to attorneys at lower levels and conduct in-house training for attorneys.
  • Works independently and is able to recognize and resolve complex issues related to the caseload.
  • Provide input to the performance review and development of attorneys at lower levels.
  • Provides key input into the development of policies and procedures for the assigned organization unit and/or program.
  • Trains, coordinates and advises less experienced public defender attorneys to include co-counseling.
  • Conducts legal research/analysis of laws, precedents, legal issues, procedural rules, in preparation of cases.
  • Reviews and investigates client cases to determine legal position and propose legal strategy.
  • Prepares for litigation and appeal through initiation of legal documents, review of case information, obtaining evidence, conducting interviews, preparation of witnesses to testify.
  • Researches changes in laws, legislation, rules court decisions, case precedents, to determine/ anticipate legal problems and propose resolutions.
  • Drafts/reviews, proposes and prepares reports, memoranda in opposition, briefs, legal documents, motions, correspondence, and appeals for clients.  
  • Counsels and advises clients on cases such as pleadings, arraignments, trials, appeals.
  • Represents the client in legal matters, such as motions, hearings, litigation and appeals.
  • Explains, interprets and keeps client informed on changes in law, court decisions, legal issues and problems.
  • Attends seminars, training classes and reviews current professional literature to maintain and develop professional skill and knowledge.
  • Conducts plea bargaining with District Attorneys and other parties to establish agreements to resolve cases.
  • Follows through on case by ensuring client release, client payments. 
  • Performs related work as required. 
  • Depending on location: may assist with (CLIP) program or coordinate volunteer/intern/extern programs.
Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.
Note: An employee with this classification may be required to perform at a PD5 level or duties of a lower classification without additional compensation. Employee will be required to show competence in all levels PD2 through PD5.

All Applications must be submitted online at
Position: Public Defender 5
Organization: Law Offices of The Public Defender
Location: Aztec,  NM 
United States
Salary: $53,996.80 - $120,161.60 Annually
Posting Start Date: 1/11/2019
Date Posted: 1/11/2019
Minimum Qualifications


Current license as an attorney issued by the New Mexico Supreme Court or eligible for limited license issued by New Mexico Supreme Court and six (6) years of experience as a practicing attorney. 


Employment Requirements

Must possess and maintain a valid driver's license.

Collective Bargaining: This position may be covered by a collective bargaining agreement and all terms/conditions of that agreement apply and must be adhered to.

Default FLSA: Exempt.

Geographic Pay Differential: This position may qualify for Geographic Pay Differential. Please refer to the LOPD website, Geographic Differential, for more information.

The Law Offices of the Public Defender is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ancestry, national origin, sex, age, spousal affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, political affiliation or religion, mental or physical disability, or serious medical condition.

Status: This listing expires on: 4/11/2019
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Organization Information
Law Offices of The Public Defender
300 Gossett Drive

Aztec,  NM 87410
United States
Cassandra Montoya


December 15, 2018: Registration is now open for NAPD's Spring Events:
  • Executive Leadership Insitute (Frankfort, KY)
  • Train the Trainer (Frankfort, KY)
  • "We the Defenders" Investigators Conference (Biloxi, MS)
  • "We the Defenders" Social Workers/Sentencing AdvocatesConference (Biloxi, MS)
  • Team Mitigation Institute (Atlanta, GA)
Click on Events Tab for more info and to register.

October 30, 2018: NAPD releases a video about its achievements over the 5 years since forming in November in 2013. This films was coordinated by NAPD Steering Committee Member and San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi and debuted at the Racial Justice Training and 5 Year Celebration in Baltimore, Maryland. You can watch the video HERE

July 1, 2018: General Registration opens for the “WE THE DEFENDERS” TRAINING CONFERENCE,  November 26-29, 2018, Indianapolis, IN

You can watch a video about the event HERE 

Due to overwhelming demand, NAPD will again offer this comprehensive Investigator and Social Worker/Sentencing Advocate training experience! The program will include one track for Investigators and a separate track for Social Worker/Sentencing Advocates.  Hear from nationally recognized experts who will share their knowledge on a wide range of topics relevant to the work you do each and every day.  Network with other criminal defense practitioners from around the country and find your tribe. 

January 23, 2018: In response to US Attorney General Jeff Session's reversal of prior policy on the imposition of fines and fees for criminal defendants, NAPD submitted the following letter on behalf of the public defender community. You can read the letter HERE