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Investigator-Capital Habeas Unit 18-04 Austin, Texas

Investigator - Capital Habeas Unit
Job Location: 
Austin, Texas
Date Posted: 
Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Federal Public Defender, for the Western District of Texas is now accepting applications for the position of Investigator for the newly formed Capital Habeas Unit in Austin, Texas. The Capital Habeas Unit (CHU) is responsible for representing death-sentenced prisoners in federal habeas corpus proceedings in the United States District Courts in Texas, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court. There are several CHUs in operation across the country, and this position will be in one of two CHUs established for the first time in Texas.


To be considered for the position of Investigator, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree.  The applicants must possess substantial criminal investigative experience, including the investigation and development of defense mitigation presentations in capital trials or post-conviction cases. Knowledge of federal and state court systems and familiarity with federal habeas corpus or other post-conviction litigation and/or complex federal civil or criminal litigation would be an asset.  Experience with mitigation investigations is required. Candidates must possess excellent oral and written communication skills, interpersonal skills, and the ability to work well with others in a team-based, client-centered office. Must possess a valid driver’s license, insurance, and own/operate a personal vehicle for business purposes (mileage is reimbursable).  This position may require work on holidays, evenings, and weekends, as the nature of the cases require, and some state and nationwide travel.  Frequent and extended travel to death row may also be required to meet with clients.  Spanish-language fluency is preferred for this position.  Employment is subject to a satisfactory background investigation including, but not limited to an FBI fingerprint and name check.  The full position qualifica­tions statement with position description is available upon request. 


The Investigator will play an integral role in the strategic development and work-up of liability-phase and mitigation-phase issues as well as state clemency presentations. The Investigator will conduct a thorough, independent investigation of the capital crimes of which the clients have been convicted and will be responsible for locating and interviewing witnesses, preparing affidavits, serving subpoenas, retrieving and analyzing documentary and physical evidence, and assisting the team in the development of theories and bases for relief.  It is expected that the successful applicant will use investigative software in order to conduct locate witnesses and help develop demonstrative evidence for use in litigation. It is further expected that the successful applicant will keep current on new developments in investigative technology and recommend additions and modifications to current tools as necessary.

Selection Criteria: 
The successful applicant must be able to work effectively in a team-based law practice; possess strong oral, written, and interpersonal skills; be a self-starter; be able to work independently and take direction; be able to set priorities to meet critical deadlines; and be committed to providing the highest quality representation to indigent prisoners.
Salary and Benefits: 
The starting salary of an Investigator will be commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the applicant, within a range from JSP-11, Step 1, to JSP-14, Step 1, and currently yielding $60,686 to $102,211 per annum. The position is in the excepted service and does not carry the tenure rights of the competitive Civil Service. This position offers federal government employment benefits, including participation in health and life insurance, retirement, and the Thrift Savings Plan. Salary is payable only by Electronic Funds Transfer (direct deposit).
How to apply: 

Persons may apply by forwarding a letter of interest (mentioning announcement number 18-04), a résumé, references, and representative writing sample to:  Maureen Scott Franco, Federal Public Defender, Western District of Texas, 727 E. César E. Chávez Boulevard, Suite B-207, San Antonio, Texas 78206-1278.  No electronically submitted applications will be considered.  For applicants with disabilities, this organization provides reasonable accommodations, which are decided on a case-by-case basis.  To request a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or interview process, contact Personnel Administrator Victoria B. Longoria, at (210) 472-6700.  More than one position may be filled from this announcement.  Position announced December 21, 2017; subject to the availability of funds, and is open until filled.


Federal Public Defender is an equal-opportunity employer.