Regional Assistant Chief Public Defender

Regional Public Defender’s Office

Assistant Chief Public Defender

Salary: Depending on experience- up to $106,500.

Location: Atascosa, Wilson, Karnes and Frio Counties (four counties of the 81st-218th Judicial District)

Please submit resume and cover letter via email to Chief Public Defender Becky James at [email protected]; or via mail to Chief Public Defender, 1501 Campbell Ave, Jourdanton, TX 78026. Open until filled.

Job Summary:

Atascosa Area Advocates provides quality legal defense to individuals charged with criminal offenses who have been determined to be eligible for appointed counsel. The AAAPDO handles a caseload that includes felony, misdemeanor, juvenile, mental health, and other cases in all four counties. The Assistant Chief will assist the Chief in managing the AAAPDO, supervising junior attorneys, and handling complex felony cases. This is an exciting opportunity to help create a holistic, client-centered regional public defender’s office.

Atascosa, Wilson, Karnes and Frio Counties:

Atascosa, Wilson, Karnes and Frio Counties provide idyllic, quiet family life, with kind-hearted residents, amenities within a short drive, excellent schools, and family-centered events throughout the year. We are ideally located in South Central Texas. Our region is adjacent to and easily commutable from San Antonio, and is a short drive to Austin, Houston and beaches along the Gulf Coast.

Assistant Chief Public Defender Duties:

• Help supervise an office of approximately fourteen attorneys and seven support staff.
• Ensure that AAAPDO provides quality criminal defense representation that complies with federal and state constitutions, state statues, ethical rules, and state and national best practices.
• Oversee and provide criminal legal representation to defendants.
• Assist with hiring and evaluation of attorneys and staff as needed.
• Ensure that all attorneys and staff are trained to comply with state and federal constitutions, state and federal laws, ethical rules and best practices, including holistic, client-centered representation.
• Direct staff on legal issues, case dispositions, and advocacy.
• Supervise professional and support personnel.
• Assist the Chief Public Defender on financial and budget issues and compliance with data collection and reporting requirements.
• Coordinate meetings with clients, judges, prosecutors, commissioners, and others.
• Identify community-based resources that support client needs.
• Present to social and civic groups, incarcerated persons, and other organizations to explain, publicize, and promote the public defender program and defendant’s rights.
• Represent the Public Defender’s Office, as needed, in appropriate public and professional meetings and conferences; in interactions with the state, county, and municipal officials; county and state bar associations; and citizen groups.
• Perform additional duties that are logical assignments to the position of Assistant Chief Public Defender.

Minimum Qualifications:

• Juris Doctor degree from an accredited law school for at least five years.
• Licensed by the State Bar of Texas and must be in good standing with the State Bar; applicant must have no disciplinary history (including private reprimands) with the State Bar of Texas or any other state bar.

Priority will be given to applicants who meet or exceed the following qualifications:

• Demonstrate commitment to criminal justice and indigent defense.
• Embrace a holistic, client-centered philosophy for criminal defense.
• Litigated criminal cases for at least five years.
• Tried at least 10 cases, including felonies, to verdict.
• Worked as a lawyer in public defense for at least three years.
• Managed daily operations for a legal organization.

Preferred Skills:

Advanced research, writing and advocacy skills. Leadership, supervision, management, and organization skills. Advanced knowledge of the rules of evidence, case law, Texas Penal Code, and Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. Ability to motivate, train, supervise, and develop attorneys and support