The Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Washington (FPD) is accepting applications for a full-time, criminal defense paralegal in our Seattle office. The paralegal will provide services for our clients charged with criminal offenses or involved in post-conviction proceedings in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. This position will provide an opportunity to work in a fast-paced, challenging, diverse, and rewarding environment.




The FPD is a law office that provides legal representation to persons charged with committing federal crimes who cannot afford to hire an attorney. We are appointed to represent accused persons pre-charge, upon arrest, and through completion of all appeals and federal habeas corpus review. The FPD operates under the authority of the Criminal Justice Act and by appointment from the Court.


We aspire to create an environment of mutual respect and collaboration, and to cultivate a culture of acceptance and connectedness that honors the diverse backgrounds of the people we represent. We work together to uphold every person’s right to be presumed innocent and to receive a fair sentence if convicted. We provide a vigorous defense at trial and, if our client is convicted, at sentencing and on appeal. We advocate for humane sentences by developing mitigation evidence and presenting judges with fully developed views of our clients and their lives, not merely their charges.




We hope to find a paralegal with criminal defense experience; considerable resourcefulness, initiative, creativity, and compassion; a desire to stand up for those with few resources, and the demonstrated ability to do so in the face of considerable power and influence; along with a commitment to the humanity of the people accused, even when the evidence against them appears strong.


Paralegals provide litigation support for our clients under the direction of the case attorney, chief paralegal and the Federal Defender. Responsibilities include providing case support at varying stages of litigation; organizing and maintaining voluminous discovery and ESI using a range of formats and platforms; reviewing and analyzing discovery and case documents; gathering and maintaining records; preparing pleadings efficiently and with attention to detail; identifying subject matter experts, assisting with hiring and working with experts, and maintaining a database of experts; maintaining regular communication with clients and assisting clients with ancillary matters; preparing demonstrative evidence and exhibits for pleadings, hearings, and trials; coordinating witnesses for hearings; assisting attorneys at hearings, trials and sentencings, including using presentation software Trial Director and PowerPoint; assisting attorneys in preparing voir dire, jury instructions, and trial pleadings; preparing appellate briefs and excerpts of record; and contributing to sentencing mitigation packages, including written submissions, letters of support, and mitigation videos.


The successful candidate must have a minimum of three years of paralegal experience and three years of general experience. We encourage applications from both college graduates and those who do not possess a college degree but have equivalent experience. Computer litigation support experience and familiarity with the Western District of Washington are preferred. Spanish fluency is a plus. Essential for this position are the abilities to manage a challenging caseload, organize case materials, determine priorities, work flexible hours, possess a reputation for integrity, work in a team environment and also independently, have excellent oral and written communication and people skills, be proficient in technology, possess a valid driver’s license, and be able to drive.


The position has federal benefits and a starting salary range of $70,821 to $119,281 with the potential for promotion. The salary will be based on education and years of relevant experience consistent with federal guidelines and regulations. This position is dependent on federal funding and subject to mandatory Electronic Funds Transfer (direct deposit). Employment will be provisional pending the successful outcome of a background fingerprint check. A prior criminal conviction is not necessarily disqualifying.




We value diversity and a commitment to equity, and we believe better representation occurs when members of the defense team have diverse backgrounds and experiences. We seek a paralegal who shares our office’s commitment to providing the best possible representation to our clients. In recruiting members of our team, we welcome the full spectrum of humanity. We embrace the unique contributions that you can bring to the FPD because of your background, identity, and personal experiences.


The FPD encourages applications from all qualified individuals and seeks a diverse pool of applicants in terms of race, ethnicity, nation of origin, culture, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, education, opinions, age, languages spoken, veteran’s status, disability, religion, and socio- economic circumstance. We are interested in your talent, intelligence, dedication, persistence, and desire to see all people treated fairly and respectfully, no matter the allegation or circumstance. We especially encourage applications from Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), people who have been affected by mass incarceration, and people from other underrepresented and historically marginalized groups.


To apply, please email a letter of interest, resume and two work references (including names, addresses, and telephone numbers). Please record the position number in the email subject line. A confirmation reply to the application will be sent to the email address used. Only those who receive an interview will be contacted again. This position will remain open until filled. Applications will be accepted only by email to:


Michael Filipovic

Federal Public Defender

Attn: Human Resources



The FPD is an equal opportunity employer and values diversity in the workplace.

Thursday, June 3, 2021