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Paralegal or Assistant Paralegal 18-09 Austin, Texas

Paralegal or Assistant Paralegal
Job Location: 
Austin, Texas
Date Posted: 
Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Federal Public Defender, Western District of Texas, is accepting applications for the position of paralegal or assistant paralegal to be stationed in the Austin office. The Federal Public Defender operates under authority of the Criminal Justice Act, 18 U.S.C. 3006A, to provide defense services in federal criminal cases and related matters by appointment from the court to individuals unable to afford counsel.

Requirements: 

To be considered for a paralegal position, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university or have a paralegal certificate from an accredited paralegal program. Spanish-language fluency is required for this position. Candidates must also possess:

  • a strong legal, administrative, or paralegal background;
  • excellent organization, communication, and administrative skills;
  • computer proficiency with word processing, email, legal research, and database maintenance, using Word and other Windows-based applications;
  • excellent command of English grammar and spelling;
  • the ability to work collegially; and
  • integrity, character, and good judgment.

To be considered for an assistant paralegal position, a person must be a high school graduate, and have at least two years of paralegal or comparable experience, or an educational substitute. A bachelor’s degree is preferred. Spanish-language fluency is required for this position.  Candidates must also possess:  

  • a working knowledge of law office operations, legal practices, methods and techniques, mental health issues, and capital legal system;
  • an understanding of paralegal and secretarial duties in a legal environment; 
  • the skill and judgment in the analysis of assignments;
  • an understanding of criminal law, criminal procedure, and evidence;
  • experience as a paralegal performing progressively responsible paralegal duties;
  • the ability to work collegially; and
  • integrity, character, and good judgment.  
Duties: 

The paralegal and assistant paralegal performs legal and administrative duties using legal terminology, procedures, and documents that include cite checking, draft motions and orders in criminal cases, and maintain electronic case files and databases. Paralegals and assistant paralegals assist the assistant federal public defenders in the daily activities of the office, performing duties that include assisting with case file management; gathering, organizing, summarizing and indexing of electronic and paper documents and other discovery materials. Paralegals also assist attorneys at hearings and trials; with client contact; interviewing witnesses; provide litigation support services using advanced software programs; and other duties as assigned. The full position qualifica­tions statement with position description is available upon request.

Selection Criteria: 
The successful candidate will have a working knowledge of law office operations, legal practices, methods and techniques, and an understanding of criminal law, procedure and evidence. Prior federal court litigation experience is preferred. Employment is subject to a satisfactory background investigation, including an FBI name and fingerprint check.
Salary and Benefits: 
The starting salary of a paralegal salary 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 $61,929 to $104,304 per annum. The starting salary of an assistant paralegal will be commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the applicant at JSP-9, Step 1, and currently yielding $51,186 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 18-09), résumé, and writing sample, along with 3 references to: Maureen Scott Franco, Federal Public Defender, Western District of Texas, 504 Lavaca St., Suite 960, Austin, Texas 78701-2860. 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 Victoria B. Longoria, Personnel Administrator, at (210) 472-6700. More than one position may be filled from this announcement. Position announced February 8, 2018, subject to the availability of funds; open until filled.

Federal Public Defender is an equal-opportunity employer.