Senior Assistant Public Defender 1

  • 22 Dec 2020 4:10 PM
    Message # 9446925
    Kim Fantaci (Administrator)

    Job Duties

    The Office of the Ohio Public Defender is seeking an organized, dedicated and mission-driven leader to serve as the Director of the Athens County Public Defender Office. The Athens County Office is a trial-level office with four attorneys, four administrative professionals, and one social worker. The team handles almost all juvenile delinquency, misdemeanors, and felonies in Athens County. The County Director will be responsible for the planning and strategic direction of the office. The position maintains communication and connection with the central Ohio Public Defender's office in Columbus, directly supervises five staff members, and will carry an independent case load.

    Essential duties of this position, which is classified as a Senior Assistant Public Defender 1, include but are not limited to:

    • Establish expectations and goals for the office, including for operations and management as well as client representation, independently and in collaboration with the Deputy Director of Trial Services.
    • Directly supervise three Assistant Public Defenders, one Program Administrator, and one Social Worker, and serve as the manager for three core administrative staff. Respond to questions and concerns and resolve problems; disseminate and interpret information, policies, procedures and best practices; provide coaching and training; complete timely performance reviews. 
    • Establish case strategy with staff attorneys on pending cases and act as an advisor on creating trial strategies and addressing ethical matters.
    • Negotiate contract provisions with county officials and private attorneys
    • Conduct staff meetings (e.g., trial preparation, staffing needs, budget requests).
    • Assign cases to attorneys and manage day-to-day rosters
    • Conduct legal research on and interprets the most complex criminal law problems; reviews statutes; prepares and files legal documents (e.g., briefs, memos in support, motions, and pleadings).
    • Serve on executive office committees (e.g., employee review and compensation).
    • Represent indigent criminal defendants at trial level. 
    • Respond to inquiries from inmates, legislators, and general public regarding agency policy and procedures.
    • Assist in budget preparation (e.g., prepares and provides information and statistical analysis on requests for additional staff and equipment).

    About the Office of the Ohio Public Defender

    The 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.

    OPD Mission: Advocating. Fighting. Helping.
    OPD Vision:   A Fair Justice System.
    OPD Values:  Compassion. Dignity. Equity. Integrity. Service. Community.


    OPD Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:  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 Ohio’s diverse communities. We are committed to building a work environment where all our team members have a voice and can embrace our differences to innovate service to the public. We can best meet our public defense mission through a diverse workforce and an inclusive workplace, where employees thrive, our mission is accomplished, and Ohioans are served. #TeamOPD is grounded in diversity, equity, inclusion as we work together to pursue fairness and justice for all people.

    Follow OPD on Facebook and Twitter 

    Benefits of joining the State of Ohio team:

    • Extensive health benefits for all full- and part-time permanent employees
    • Guaranteed 10 paid state holidays every year and paid leave accrues each pay period
    • At least a 14 percent employer contribution to your OPERS pension plan
    • Employee Tuition Reimbursement programs
    • Life insurance coverage for all permanent employees
    • See more at 

    The Office of the Ohio Public Defender complies with federal and state disability laws and makes reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with disabilities. If reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application or interview process, please contact Tamra Meister, ADA Coordinator, at 614-466-5394 or



    Admission to Ohio Bar pursuant to Section 4705.01; licensed to practice law for minimum of 5 years; 5 years criminal law experience which included preparing, trying & arguing murder, first degree felony & death penalty cases; prior to appointment as appellate counsel for an indigent defendant in a capital case pursuant to Appt.Coun.R. 5.03, an attorney shall obtain certification from the Commission on Appointment of Counsel in Capital Cases.

    Note: Temporary Certification for Practice in Legal Services, Public Defender, and Law School Programs may be accepted in lieu of License to practice law in State of Ohio pursuant to Gov. Bar R. IX of the Supreme Court of Ohio.

    Knowledge of criminal law; judicial system & process in Ohio; bookkeeping & budgeting*; public relations; inventory control*; management*; manpower planning; employee training & development; human resources training & development; supervision; human relations; legal counseling; interviewing; policies & procedures of Office of the Ohio Public Defender. Ability to deal with many variables & determine specific action; calculate fractions, decimals & percentages; prepare & review pleadings; motions, briefs, memoranda & administrative policy & reports; handle full range of legal issues, some without precedents, involving significant risks & intense personal pressure & requiring extensive ingenuity & initiative; establish friendly atmosphere as supervisor of work unit; gather, collate & classify information about data, people or things; establish good rapport with clients & their families; handle sensitive contacts with county public defenders, members of private bar, representatives of federal, state & local governments, private groups & individuals to discuss law & policy. (*)Developed after employment.

    Unusual Working Conditions
    Requires travel; visits jails; on call 24 hours/day to respond to difficult legal inquiries and problems during trials.

    This position serves at the pleasure and discretion of the State Public Defender. This position serves in a fiduciary relationship to the State Public Defender and will have an unclassified status per Ohio Revised Code 124.11 (A) (9).

    Intentional omission of relevant information, falsification, or misrepresentation of information on the application will disqualify the applicant. In addition, such intentional acts are grounds for immediate termination of an employee. 

    Background Check Information 

    The final candidate selected for the position will be required to undergo a criminal background check. Criminal convictions do not necessarily preclude an applicant from consideration for a position. An individual assessment of an applicant's prior criminal convictions will be made before excluding an applicant from consideration.  

    All final applicants tentatively selected for this position will be required to submit to urinalysis to test for illegal drug use prior to appointment. An applicant with a positive test shall not be offered employment.

    Click here to apply online. 

Ohio Women's Bar Association | 3053 Nationwide Pkwy| Brunswick, Ohio 44212| Phone (866) 932-6922 | Email

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