Current Openings

November 18, 2021



The Federal Public Defender Office for the Western District of Washington is hiring an Administrative Officer. The duty location will be in the Seattle, Washington office, with occasional travel to our Tacoma branch office. This is a non-telework position.


The Administrative Officer is a one-of-a-kind position within the office. We are looking for a leader who can act independently and who understands the challenges associated with managing and providing administrative support to two offices and 54 employees while supporting the office’s mission to zealously and actively represent clients targeted or charged with federal criminal prosecution through all stages of their proceedings.


This high-level manager will report to, and collaborate with, the Federal Defender and other members of management to oversee the operations of the Federal Defender Office, which is a federal agency within the U.S. Court system.


Starting salary varies based on education and experience, with a range from Grade 11 at $70,821 to Grade 15 at $140,306 (FY 2021 Judiciary Salary Plan). The position includes a generous federal benefits package.




The Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Washington was established in the Spring of 1975. We have a main office in Seattle and a branch office in Tacoma. Our staff of 54 employees provide services for our clients through the federal court system. We represent the majority of indigent individuals targeted or charged with federal criminal prosecution in our district. We may be appointed even before a charge is filed or an arrest is made. Regardless of how we receive the appointment, we continue to represent our clients through all stages of the proceedings, including trials, appeals, and post-conviction.


We have an active Criminal Justice Act (CJA) program that provides support and training to private attorneys appointed to represent indigent clients pursuant to the CJA in the Western District of Washington.


The Western District of Washington includes all Washington counties located between the crest of the Cascade Mountains, west to the Pacific Ocean, and from the Canadian border south to the Columbia River, which borders Washington and Oregon.




We are attorneys, paralegals, investigators, office administrators, and information technology specialists. We work together to uphold every person’s right to be presumed innocent. Our advocacy is vigorous, both at trial and on appeal.


We value diversity and a commitment to equality, and we believe better legal representation occurs when members of the defense team have diverse backgrounds and experiences. In recruiting members of our team, we welcome the full spectrum of humanity. We embrace the unique contributions you can bring, including your culture, ethnicity, education, opinions, race, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, nation of origin, age, languages spoken, veteran’s status, religion, disability, and economic status.




You are a trusted and reliable individual with a heart for public service. You use sound judgment to carry out your responsibilities. You appreciate the importance of diversity and teamwork. You work with other members of the office, seek the opinions of your colleagues, and enjoy working individually or in a team environment. You work with a strong sense of integrity and follow all required ethical standards. You understand and value the critical role of administrative analysis, financial management, personnel administration, supervision and training, space and facilities management, equipment, telecommunications, and office automation management, as well as property, records, and procurement management. When you don’t understand something or don’t have an answer to a question, you pursue self-education and seek assistance until you do. You are a self-starter, an innovative thinker who identifies and solves problems. You are a well-organized person who can handle multiple tasks. You are dedicated to serving clients by supporting the office as a whole. You treat your co-workers with respect and appreciation for their role. You are candid in your advice. Above all, you maintain your high standards while treating our clients and your co-workers with empathy and understanding.




You have a minimum of at least three years’ general experience and three years’ specialized experience in office administration, office management, or a related field. Some higher education from an accredited college or university, preferably with a concentration in business administration, economics, public policy, or a related field, may be substituted for some of the required experience. A Bachelors or advanced degree is preferred. The following skills are required:


  • Leadership and management experience working with a staff of 50+ employees.
  • Experience in financial planning and management, including budget compliance and accounts payable.
  • Computer literacy, including fluency in the Microsoft Office suite of programs including Excel and Adobe Acrobat.
  • Strong planning and organization skills. Ability to speak and write clearly and effectively.
  • Ability to keep confidences and protect legal privileges.
  • Desire to work with, and on behalf of, people from diverse backgrounds.




  • Experience supervising staff and in the assignment and review of work.
  • Experience in human resource management.
  • Experience with telecommunications, office automation, and office space management.
  • Ability to coordinate and supervise staff working remotely or from another office.
  • Familiarity with the purchase and procurement of government goods and services.
  • Familiarity with federal government business and the federal court system, including recordkeeping and generating reports as required.
  • A strong commitment to our mission to provide exceptional services to our clientele.
  • Ability to be resourceful and show discretion, initiative, and compassion.




General administration, management, and supervision:

  • Acts as the principal advisor to the Federal Defender on all aspects of office administration and management.
  • Directly assists with key day-to-day planning, process improvement, policy development, and short and long-term strategic planning.
  • Works with managers to recognize and address issues, and to improve the organization’s overall management, efficiency, and effectiveness.
  • Develops and maintains internal controls to assure segregation of financial, procurement, property management, and human resource functions.
  • Supervises and directs administrative, financial, human resource, and IT functions.


Budget and financial management:

  • Manages, with the Federal Defender and other members of management, the financial operations of the Federal Defender Office.
  • Plans, directs, and coordinates budget formulation, analysis, and execution.
  • Analyzes long-range budgetary and organizational emphasis, including staffing needs and resource allocation.
  • Prepares financial plans and staffing patterns, and develops caseload projections in conjunction with budget plans.
  • Manages and oversees day-to-day accounting functions, including the disbursement of appropriate funds for the Federal Defender Office.
  • Prepares and reviews vouchers for payment, ensuring accuracy and appropriateness.
  • Develops and monitors monthly variance reports, status of funds reports, and monthly reconciliation reports for review and approval by the Federal Defender.


Human resources and personnel management:

  • Provides the Federal Defender with advisory assistance in the recruitment and selection of staff, position classification and compensation, employee performance and evaluation, grievance and EDR procedures, education about and use of employee benefits, and the implementation of personnel policies and procedures for the Federal Defender Office.
  • Develops and administers procedures for recruitment and selection of applicants with an eye to diversifying the Federal Defender Office workforce.
  • Recommends personnel policies to the Federal Defender and other members of management on matters like performance management, standards of conduct, disciplinary proceedings, and employee development and promotion.
  • Administers EDR programs and complies with reporting requirements, and acts as employee benefits coordinator.
  • Initiates and maintains a comprehensive onboarding program for all new employees and ensures documentation and justification for decisions made. Manages off-boarding process and conducts exit interviews of departing employees.
  • Conducts performance appraisals for administrative support staff, and coordinates performance appraisals for all other staff.
  • Maintains the integrity and confidentiality of personnel files and records.


Procurement of government goods and services:

  • Determines need and ensures procurement of supplies, equipment, furnishings, and professional contract services from government and non-government sources while following established policies and procedures for procurement.
  • Trains and supervises employees responsible for various procurement duties.


Property management:

  • Organizes and manages storage systems for records and monitors property inventory.
  • Prepares for and administrates an office move scheduled for 2024.
  • Coordinates office repairs and/or renovations and arranges office space and relocation when needed.




This is a high-sensitive financial position within the Judiciary and requires a full background investigation with periodic updates every five years thereafter. Appointment to the position is contingent upon the successful completion of this investigation, including an FBI name and fingerprint check. Employees must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide proof of such prior to entrance on duty. An applicant must meet US citizenship or immigration status requirements and be eligible to receive compensation as a federal employee.




Please submit a letter of interest, detailed resume, and two work references (including names, addresses, and telephone numbers) to:


Michael Filipovic

Federal Public Defender

Attn: Human Resources


Reference “Administrative Officer” in the subject line.


No phone calls please. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.