The Ohio Public Defender’s Office (OPD) is currently seeking an organized and dedicated attorney to serve as an Assistant Public Defender 1 in our Athens County branch office of our Trial Services division. This individual will work under the supervision of a Senior Assistant Public Defender to primarily represent indigent trial-level clients in the Athens County Municipal, Common Pleas and Juvenile Court.
Under general supervision, the selected candidate will prepare cases for trial and independently try cases, examine witnesses, present legal arguments, and evidence, conduct pre-trial conferences, hearings, and plea negotiations.
The qualified applicant will have demonstrated knowledge of and litigation experience involving:
This position does not involve trial-level representation in federal court, post-trial representation on direct appeal, state post-conviction, or federal habeas litigation.
PLEASE NOTE: A COVER LETTER MUST BE SUBMITTED WITH THIS APPLICATION. Your application will not be considered without a cover letter. In your cover lever, please describe why you wish to be a public defender.
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 Commitment to Diversity 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 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.*
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Benefits of joining the State of Ohio team:
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 HumanResources@opd.ohio.gov.
Knowledge of criminal law; judicial system & process in Ohio; supervision; policies & procedures of Ohio Public Defender Commission (e.g., standards promulgated*; human relations; general management*; legal counseling; interviewing; public relations.) Ability to deal with many variables & determine specific action; prepare &/or review pleadings, briefs, motions & memoranda; gather collate & classify information about data, people or things; handle complex legal issues involving significant risks, personal pressure & unusual attention to detail; establish good rapport with clients & their families &/or work cooperatively with county public defenders & members of private bar; code items from one symbolic form to another; calculate fractions, decimals & percentages.
(*)Developed after employment.
The demands of representing trial-level clients do not fit neatly into a predictable daily or weekly work schedule. Employees must log 80 hours per two-week pay period. When required to work more than 80 hours in any pay period (e.g., when a client’s case goes to trial or entails lengthy work in preparation for trial), compensatory time is accrued, which can be used for paid leave in subsequent pay periods under established regulations.
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.
Unusual Working Conditions
Requires visits to local jails to meet with clients and/or witnesses. Will require travel with Athens County to visit clients in the Multi-County Jail. May require travel throughout the State of Ohio to visit clients in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections.
The typical starting salary for this position is $53,850; however, the salary will be commensurate with relevant experience.
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 a urinalysis to test for illegal drug use. An applicant with a positive test shall not be offered employment.
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