Assistant Public Defender 1
The Office of the Ohio Public Defender seeks an Assistant Public Defender 1 (APD 1) for the Appeals and Post-Conviction section of its Juvenile Department. Appellate attorneys in the Juvenile Department provide representation in a wide range of proceedings following a child’s delinquency adjudication in juvenile court or conviction in criminal court, post-transfer. Successful APDs in the Juvenile Department demonstrate a commitment to indigent defense and a compassion for children. They also have strong analytical skills and are adept at legal research and persuasive writing. Further, an APD 1 also demonstrates excellent interpersonal skills, a desire to expand one’s legal knowledge and skills, the ability to accept constructive feedback, and works well as a member of a team.
The essential duties of an APD 1 in the Juvenile Department are:
Provide direct representation to justice-system-involved children, teenagers, and young adults who are in the custody of the Ohio Department of Youth Services (ODYS) or incarcerated in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) in post-disposition actions in state and federal court. Department attorneys may appear in any of Ohio’s 88 counties, including juvenile courts, courts of common pleas, or courts of appeals. With gained experience, APD 1s may also represent indigent defendants in the Supreme Court of Ohio and in the federal court system.
In direct appeals and post-conviction actions, an APD 1 generally acts as sole counsel, but will work with co-counsel in and outside of the Juvenile Department on occasion. Such representation includes reviewing the record of the case, including all transcripts, exhibits, and pleadings; meeting with the client and giving legal counsel; conducting research and identifying issues of merit; drafting merit and reply briefs and presenting oral argument. For cases of post-conviction, an APD 1 may work with an investigator to identify, locate, and interview witnesses, and/or may secure affidavits from expert witnesses in support of a post-conviction petition. If the trial court grants an evidentiary hearing, an APD 1 will participate in the hearing.
An APD 1s duties also include conducting merit reviews for cases that have potential merit for a discretionary appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court, filing jurisdictional memoranda in meritorious cases, and pursuing the appeal if the case is accepted. An APD 1 also reviews assigned cases for arguable merit in federal habeas corpus cases and may pursue habeas litigation both in the federal district courts of Ohio and in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. APD 1s in the Juvenile Department also engage in motion practice, including filing motions for confinement and/or jail-time credit, judicial release, sex offender classification/reclassification, and motions for sealing and expunging. APD 1s also file extraordinary writs in the courts of appeals and the Supreme Court of Ohio when necessary to protect a child’s rights.
In addition, an APD 1 in the Juvenile Department will:
Travel to DYS and/or DRC facilities to assist with legal orientation and client interviews; answer inquiries from incarcerated children concerning the fact and duration of their incarceration; review motions and memoranda prepared by legal interns; assign legal interns and other personnel appropriate support assistance or to collect data or evidence in preparation of case work; participate with other attorneys in the formulation of legal strategies for a particular client; render legal advice to clients through in-person, telephone, or written correspondence; and, meet with clients to explain legal strategies and obtain client’s input and approval on the direction of their case.
APD 1s will also assist county public defenders and members of private bar in researching complex legal issues and in preparing briefs, motions, memoranda, and pleadings; render legal advice to county public defenders and members of private bar; and under supervision from the Department’s Supervising attorney and/or Chief Counsel, participate in training defenders throughout the state on issues related to juvenile justice and post-disposition representation.
PLEASE NOTE: A WRITING SAMPLE MUST BE SUBMITTED WITH THIS APPLICATION. Your application will not be considered without a writing sample.
About the Office of the Ohio Public Defender (OPD)
The Office of the Ohio Public Defender (OPD) is the state agency responsible for providing legal representation and other services to people accused or convicted of a crime who cannot afford to hire an attorney.
Advocating. Fighting. Helping.
A Fair Justice System.
OPD EEO Diversity and Inclusion Mission:
- Compassion. We will be mindful of the conditions and experiences that shape those who come to us for help and each other.
- Dignity. We will treat all with respect.
- Equity. Our work and our office will be free from bias or favoritism towards others and each other.
- Integrity. We will act with sound moral character and a dedication to professional and ethical principles for our clients and each other.
- Service. We will dedicate ourselves to protecting the rights of indigent individuals, and in doing so will protect the rights afforded to all citizens by the Constitution.
- Community. We will foster a collaborative and supportive environment and empower each other in our work protecting the rights of our clients.
Our commitment to inclusion is inseparable from our commitment to a fair justice system. We strive to ensure inclusive spaces and services for our staff, our clients and our diverse Ohio community. We recognize that we can best meet our public defense mission by recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce. Together, we commit to creating a culture of respect that enacts our values and supports success.