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Attorney at State of California


State of California Sacramento, CA (Onsite) Full-Time
Job Description and Duties

If you are looking to join a collaborative team of attorney's who are passionate about providing high quality post-conviction appellate representation in death penalty cases and improving indigent defense in California, consider taking on a new role as Associate Deputy State Public Defender (Assoc. DSPD) with the Office of the State Public Defender (OSPD)!

As Assoc. DSPD, you will perform a wide variety of difficult legal work and excellent quality and effective assistance of counsel to indigent persons who are appealing their criminal convictions in the California Court of Appeals. Our work is often at the cutting edge of criminal law. This is a terrific opportunity for a developing attorney interested in a career in post conviction criminal defense. Apply today!

You will find additional information about the job in the Duty Statement.

Working Conditions

OSPD has two regional offices located in Oakland and Sacramento. The Oakland office is located downtown in a modern high rise building near the 12th Street BART station, not to mention a variety of delicious restaurants. The Sacramento office is located downtown in a modern high-rise building near SacRT Light Rail stations, Downtown Commons, and plenty of shopping.

* OSPD permits full-time telework in accordance with government code 14200 for eligible applicants residing in California.
* Travel may be required up to 5%.

Minimum Requirements

You will find the Minimum Requirements in the Class Specification.


Additional Documents

* Job Application Package Checklist
* Duty Statement

Position Details

Job Code #:


Position #(s):



Working Title:

Associate Deputy State Public Defender



$7,153.00 - $10,836.00

# of Positions:


Work Location:

United States

Job Type:

Permanent, Full Time

Department Information

The Office of the State Public Defender is legislatively mandated to focus its resources on post-conviction appellate representation in death penalty cases and on improving indigent defense in California by providing assistance and training to county public defender offices, appointed private counsel and counsel appointed to represent juveniles, and engaging in related efforts for the purpose of improving indigent defense.

Diversity Statement

OSPD is proud of its diverse staff. Our inclusive culture improves the quality of our work lives and makes us better advocates for our clients. We are committed to recruiting, hiring, training, promoting, and supporting our employees regardless of age, ancestry, color, disability, exercise of the right to family care and medical leave, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, military or veteran status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religious creed, sex, and/or sexual orientation.

Department Website: [ Link removed ] - Click here to apply to Attorney />
Special Requirements

* The position(s) require(s) a(n) California State Bar License License. You will be required to provide a copy of your license prior to being hired.

Writing Sample- The writing sample should demonstrate the most legally complex brief or pleading the applicant has filed. The applicant must be the principal author of any writing sample submitted. Other legal writing samples (i.e., academic or expository) will also be accepted. Writing samples will be evaluated on the complexity of the legal issues, the adequacy and clarity of the factual recitation, the extent and soundness of the legal analysis, the persuasiveness of the argument, and the overall writing quality (including organization, structure, clarity, grammar, punctuation, syntax, and use of citations).

Application Instructions

Completed applications and all required documents must be received or postmarked by the Final Filing Date in order to be considered. Dates printed on Mobile Bar Codes, such as the Quick Response (QR) Codes available at the USPS, are not considered Postmark dates for the purpose of determining timely filing of an application.

Final Filing Date: 3/29/2023

Who May Apply

Individuals who are currently in the classification, eligible for lateral transfer, eligible for reinstatement, have list eligibility, are in the process of obtaining list eligibility, or have SROA and/or Surplus eligibility (please attach your letter, if available). SROA and Surplus candidates are given priority; therefore, individuals with other eligibility may be considered in the event no SROA or Surplus candidates apply.

Applications will be screened and only the most qualified applicants will be selected to move forward in the selection process. Applicants must meet the Minimum Qualifications stated in the Classification Specification(s).

How To Apply

Complete Application Packages (including your Examination/Employment Application (STD 678) and applicable or required documents) must be submitted to apply for this Job Posting. Application Packages may be submitted electronically through your CalCareer Account at When submitting your application in hard copy, a completed copy of the Application Package listing must be included. If you choose to not apply electronically, a hard copy application package may be submitted through an alternative method listed below:

Address for Mailing Application Packages

You may submit your application and any applicable or required documents to:

Office of the State Public Defender

Attn: Human Resources

770 L Street, Suite 1000

Sacramento, CA 95814

Address for Drop-Off Application Packages

You may drop off your application and any applicable or required documents at:

Office of the State Public Defender

Human Resources

770 L Street, Suite 1000

Sacramento, CA 95814

08:00 AM - 05:00 PM

Required Application Package Documents

The following items are required to be submitted with your application. Applicants who do not submit the required items timely may not be considered for this job:

* Current version of the State Examination/Employment Application STD Form 678 (when not applying electronically), or the Electronic State Employment Application through your Applicant Account at All Experience and Education relating to the Minimum Qualifications listed on the Classification Specification should be included to demonstrate how you meet the Minimum Qualifications for the position.
* Resume is required and must be included.
* Degree and/or School Transcripts
* Statement of Qualifications - An SOQ must be submitted along with your application in order to be considered for this position. Please see section Statement of Qualifications Instructions.
* Other - A writing sample, see Special Requirements section for instructions.

Applicants requiring reasonable accommodations for the hiring interview process must request the necessary accommodations if scheduled for a hiring interview. The request should be made at the time of contact to schedule the interview. Questions regarding reasonable accommodations may be directed to the EEO contact listed on this job posting.

Desirable Qualifications

In addition to evaluating each candidate's relative ability, as demonstrated by quality and breadth of experience, the following factors will provide the basis for competitively evaluating each candidate:

* Experience working as an attorney on California state criminal law appeals
* Experience working in a team environment
* Knowledge of legal research methods and performing research
* Knowledge of legal principles and their application
* Knowledge of scope and character of California statutory law and of the provisions of the California Constitution principles of administrative and constitutional law
* Knowledge of trial and hearing procedure
* Knowledge of rules of evidence; court procedures
* Knowledge of administrative law and the conduct of proceedings before administrative bodies
* Knowledge of legal terms and forms in common use
* Knowledge of statutory and case law literature and authorities
* Knowledge of provisions of laws and Government Code sections administered or enforced
* Ability to research, analyze, appraise, and apply legal principles, facts, and precedents to legal problems
* Ability to analyze situations accurately and adopt an effective course of action
* Ability to prepare and present statements of fact, law, and argument clearly and logically in written and oral form
* Ability to prepare correspondence involving the explanation of legal matters
* Ability to draft opinions, pleadings, rulings, regulations, and legislation
* Ability to negotiate effectively and conduct crucial litigation
* Ability to work cooperatively with a variety of individuals, organizations and maintain the confidence and respect of others
* Ability to work effectively under pressure


The State of California offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes Health, Vision, Dental, and Retirement benefits. For more information on what is offered by the State of California, please visit the California Department of Human Resources CalHR website and the California Public Employees' Retirement System CalPERS website.

Contact Information

The Human Resources Contact is available to answer questions regarding the position or application process.

Department Website: [ Link removed ] - Click here to apply to Attorney />
Human Resources Contact:

Lady Diana Gutierrez

(916) 322-2676

[ Email address blocked ] - Click here to apply to Attorney

Please direct requests for Reasonable Accommodations to the interview scheduler at the time the interview is being scheduled. You may direct any additional questions regarding Reasonable Accommodations or Equal Employment Opportunity for this position(s) to the Department's EEO Office.

EEO Contact:

Denise Armendariz

(916) 322-2676

[ Email address blocked ] - Click here to apply to Attorney

California Relay Service:
(Voice) TTY is a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf, and is reachable only from phones equipped with a TTY Device.

Attorney Exams and Assessments

Please Note: You will need to take and pass the Attorney examination to establish list eligibility prior to a job offer. Please visit:

[ Link removed ] - Click here to apply to Attorney />
Statement of Qualifications Instructions

The Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) must be single-spaced, written in narrative form, using 10 pt. or 12 pt. Times New Roman font, and no longer than 1500 words total for all three responses combined. A successful SOQ will address the following:

* Why do you want to pursue a career in indigent defense?
* Tell us why you want to work at OSPD as an appellate attorney?
* Describe a challenging issue you briefed on appeal. Please describe why the issue was challenging and describe your process in addressing those challenges.

Equal Opportunity Employer

The State of California is an equal opportunity employer to all, regardless of age, ancestry, color, disability (mental and physical), exercising the right to family care and medical leave, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, military or veteran status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religious creed, sex (includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and related medical conditions), and sexual orientation.

It is an objective of the State of California to achieve a drug-free work place. Any applicant for state employment will be expected to behave in accordance with this objective because the use of illegal drugs is inconsistent with the law of the State, the rules governing Civil Service, and the special trust placed in public servants.

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