Director of Public Defender’s Office

Location: 100 N. Closner Blvd, 5th Floor, Edinburg, TX 78539

Department: Public Defenders

Job Status: Full-Time

Shift: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Days Worked: Mon., Tue., Wed., Thu., Fri.

Rate of Pay: Grade 21 $94,554.00 – $104,833.00 Annual

Closes on: June 21, 2019

Details: Please submit resume along with application. Please attach a copy of your license to practice law in the State of Texas. Must be a member in good standing with the State Bar of Texas.

Job Description

Under policy direction from the County of Hidalgo Commissioners Court, and in coordination with the Executive Officer, directs and administers the operations of the Public Defender’s Office.

The incumbent is responsible for leading, managing and administering the programs, functions, budgets, operations and staff of the Public Defender’s Office and for participating in the preparation and defense of a variety of criminal and civil matters. The incumbent ensures that assigned programs and operations comply with all applicable laws and regulations, as well as with policies established by the County.  The incumbent is expected to model a strong work ethic and leadership skills, including accountability for oneself and others.

Examples of Work Performed

Plans, organizes and directs the programs, functions, budgets, operations, and staff of the Public Defender’s Office; directs operations to maximize efficiency, improve service levels, reduce administrative and service provision costs, and ensure effective utilization of  available resources; exercises good judgment and makes sound business decisions in managing activities; provides strategic leadership through communication, demonstration, and accomplishment of the organizational mission, vision, and values.

Through subordinate managers and supervisors, manages the work activities and responsibilities assigned to staff; directs and administers personnel matters, including employee selection, assignment, and evaluation; directs disciplinary actions if needed; directs and oversees staff development and training.

Directs the development and administration of the budget for the Public Defender’s Office; determines appropriate levels of customer service; analyzes services to ensure cost effectiveness and superior customer service; confers with management staff to develop workload standards and direct operational changes as needed.

Directs staff in preparing cases and representing clients in criminal and civil matters in both court and jury trials and hearings, including criminal defense, parole and post-release supervision violations, juvenile delinquency and dependency, mental health, probate, adoption, civil contempt and termination of parental rights; advises subordinate attorneys in the preparation of cases and defense of clients; serves as resource person for other attorneys.

Directs staff in the most difficult plea bargaining matters; confers with prosecution attorneys, probation authorities, and court officials to discuss pleas, modification of changes, presentation and review of evidence, and other legal matters; participates in mediation hearings to resolve legal problems without further court action.

Directs staff in recommending cases that should be appealed; directs the preparation and presentation of appealed cases.

Attends meetings and conferences and represents the office of the Public Defender; provides information on matters germane to areas of assignment; participates on committees and task forces; develops and maintains cooperative and collaborative working relationships with federal, state and county officials, the courts, community groups and the public; meets and confers with various agents to negotiate effective solutions to difficult problems.

Within the Public Defender’s Office, directs and manages the effective development and utilization of technology to improve systems and processes.

Performs related work as assigned.

Experience and Education

Juris Doctor Degree from an American Bar Association (ABA) accredited law school

Ten (10) years’ experience in criminal litigation, including five (5) years specializing in criminal defense, and five (5) years of experience in a management level capacity

Experience in leading, coordinating, and/or supervising professional staff

Current active membership in the State Bar of Texas required

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Knowledge in the principles and practices of criminal and civil law and their application

Knowledge in the principles and practices of public administration, including effective organization, administration, fiscal management, and supervision

Knowledge in judicial procedures and the rules of evidence

Knowledge in principles, methods, materials and practices of legal research

Skill in the use of a computer and applicable software

Skill in identifying and solving complex problems

Skill in prioritizing workloads

Skill in using judgment to identify courses of action. 

Ability to plan and direct the operations and programs associated with a public agency criminal defense office in a cost-effective manner while also ensuring excellent customer service

Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of the work, including other County departments, courts, external agencies, employees, and the general public

Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing

Ability to exercise analytical and critical thinking to analyze complex factual legal problems and recommend solutions

Employee may be assigned other duties in addition to those listed; duties may change according to the changing needs of the County

Registration, Certification, and Licensure

Must have a current valid Texas Motor Vehicle Operator’s License

Must be able to be insured by the County’s Insurance carrier

How to apply

All interested candidates must apply online at


The information contained in this posting is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by the County of Hidalgo Human Resources Department as a public service, and while we endeavor to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

The County of Hidalgo is an Equal Opportunity organization and employer, and considers employment applications solely on the basis of qualifications and special requirements. Applicants are selected without regard to race, national origin, gender, age, religion, disability, or any other protected status under applicable state and federal laws.

The County of Hidalgo complies with the American with Disabilities Act and the American with Disabilities Amendment Act, as well as applicable state and federal laws which prohibit discrimination in employment against qualified individuals with disabilities. . The County does not discriminate on the basis of disability in its hiring or employment practice, or against any individual who satisfies the skill, experience, education, and other job-related requirements of the position sought or held, and can perform the primary job tasks of the position with or without reasonable accommodation. The County shall provide reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in accordance with law. Qualified individuals with disabilities must make requests for reasonable accommodation. Upon request, the County shall meet with the individual to identify specific limitations resulting from the individual’s disability and the availability for any reasonable accommodation the County may be able to make. If you are qualified and require accommodation in order to apply for a position, please contact the Human Resources Department with your request.