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Research and Writing Specialist 22-20 San Antonio, Texas

Research and Writing Specialist
Job Location: 
San Antonio, Texas
Date Posted: 
Tuesday, May 31, 2022

The Federal Public Defenderfor the Western District of Texas is accepting applications for a research and writing specialist to be stationed in the San Antonio 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.


The research and writing specialist position is an attorney position. Applicants must be: (1) a graduate of an accredited law school; (2) licensed to practice law in Texas or by the highest court of another state; and (3) licensed to practice in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.  At least three years of specialized experience is preferred. Appointment is subject to a satisfactory background investigation, including but not limited to an FBI name and fingerprint check.  Employment also requires a person be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide proof of such before entrance on duty.


The primary duties of a research and writing specialist include: (1) drafting motions, memoranda, briefs, and petitions to be filed in the U.S. District Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of the United States; and (2) consulting with attorneys on legal issues arising in discovery, motion practice, trial, sentencing, and appeal. A research and writing specialist may have to perform general paralegal duties, and other duties as assigned.  The research and writing specialist is not an assistant federal public defender and does not sign pleadings or make court appearances.  The position requires occasional travel. 

Selection Criteria: 
The successful applicant for research and writing specialist will have an established capacity or clearly demonstrated aptitude for excellence in criminal defense practice, a commitment to the representation of indigent accused persons, and a reputation for integrity. Applicants must also possess the ability to communicate effectively with clients, witnesses, colleagues, and court and agency personnel. The successful applicant will have strong legal research and word processing skills, can analyze legal issues from complex records, and will write clearly and concisely. Appellate writing experience or experience in handling federal criminal cases is preferred. Fluency in Spanish is also preferred.
Salary and Benefits: 
The starting salary for a research and writing specialist falls within a range of $66,892 (JSP-11, Step 1) to $132,522 (JSP-15, Step 1) per annum. The salary of the successful applicant will be commensurate with the person’s qualifications and experience. The position is in the excepted service and does not carry the tenure rights of the competitive Civil Service. The 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: 

Qualified persons may apply by forwarding a letter of interest (mentioning announcement 22-20), résumé, references, and representative writing sample.  Litigation experience should be described in detail. Send completed application to Maureen Scott Franco, Federal Public Defender, Western District of Texas, 727 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd., Suite B-207, San Antonio, Texas 78206-1278, or you may submit the required documents in a single PDF document named with applicant’s “last name, first name-Announcement 22-20 RAWS” by email to  Electronic submissions sent directly to the Defender will not be considered.  For applicants with disabilities, this organization provides reasonable accommodations, which are decided case-by-case.  To request a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or interview process, contact personnel administrator Victoria B. Longoria at (210) 981-2081.  More than one position may be filled from this announcement.  Position announced May 31, 2022, subject to the availability of funds; open until filled.

 The Federal Public Defender is an equal-opportunity employer.