The Federal Public Defender, Northern District of California is accepting applications for the position of a full-time Legal Assistant to Supervisory (Chief) Assistant Federal Public Defenders (“AFPD.”) The Defender operates under the authority of the Criminal Justice Act, U.S.C. § 3006A, to provide defense services in federal criminal cases. More information about the office may be found at

This is a termed position. The length of this term will begin at the date of hire and will end at the earlier date of three years from the date of hire, or September 30, 2022. This Legal Assistant will provide executive-level secretarial services to the Chief of Investigators and Paralegals, and to the Chief of the Appellate Unit. The Secretary / Legal Assistant will act as a liaison between these Chiefs and the Federal Public Defender, other staff members, the Court, and the public. In addition to case-related responsibilities the Legal Assistant will manage the Chiefs’ travel itineraries, will help with reports and auditing requirements, and will undertake a range of additional administration tasks.

This position will have other related responsibilities. The Legal Assistant will provide secretarial support to one or more AFPDs, in addition to the two Chief AFPDs described in this notice. The Legal Assistant will also be responsible for coordinating and processing travel vouchers in the San Francisco office, for assigned staff. The Legal Assistant will routinely provide coverage for reception duties. Finally, the Legal Assistant will perform other related secretarial tasks, as required.

Applicants must possess strong technology skills, and must be eager to learn and master new software.

Responsibilities will include word processing, preparing pleadings, and filing pleadings and appeals. The position requires familiarity with legal terminology, court procedures, and court rules. Demonstrated expertise and experience with Word 2016 is required. Experience with Excel 2016 and Adobe Acrobat is preferred. Applicants invited to interview will be tested on their mastery of this software.

To qualify for this position applicants must have a high school degree or the equivalent.

Applicants must be able to work well with others and have a commitment to working with and on behalf of indigent clients charged with federal criminal offenses. The position requires physical activity; applicants must be able to lift and file banker’s boxes of legal files and move boxes of case files or supplies. Specifically, applicants must be able to sit for extended periods, stand, bend, and lift materials up to 25 pounds.

Federal salary for this position will be based on qualifications and experience. Salary is based on the Judicial Salary Plan and is commensurate with experience. The position is subject to mandatory electronic fund transfer (direct deposit) for payment of salary. Direct deposit of pay is
required. Benefits are provided. More information on benefits for federal judiciary employees may be found here:

This position is subject to an FBI fingerprint check and background investigation. Employment will be provisional and contingent upon satisfactory completion of the required investigation.

Non-Citizen Applicants: Under federal law, non-citizens may be interviewed and considered for employment in the Office of the Federal Public Defender. Employment offers, however, can onlybe made to individuals who qualify under one of the exceptions in 8 U.S.C. § 1324b(a)(3)(B). In most cases, this means that an offer of employment cannot be made unless the candidate is a U.S.Citizen, or a lawful permanent resident who is seeking U.S. citizenship as described here:

The Application Process

Applications will only be accepted online, and must be submitted at:

In addition to the biographical information requested at this application site, please prepare and upload a .pdf application packet. This packet should include in a single .pdf file:
1. An otherwise-blank cover page that lists, in size 40 or larger font, the applicant’s Last Name, First Name, and their current place of employment or employment status;
2. A brief cover letter;
3. A résumé;
4.At least three employment references. (References will only be contacted after applicants are notified).

The completed and uploaded single .pdf file should be named, “Last name, first name” (e.g., “Doe, Jane.pdf”) and uploaded to the website listed above.

Applications will not be accepted by mail, email, or fax. Accurate compliance with these application instructions is a factor expressly considered in the evaluation of the application.

Applicants will only be contacted if selected for an interview. The position will remain open until filled by the Federal Public Defender.