Public Defender Job Description Template

The Public Defender job description template outlines the key responsibilities and requirements of this critical legal position. Public Defenders serve to provide legal defense for individuals who are unable to afford an attorney in criminal cases. They work to ensure that clients receive fair trials, access to justice, and protection of their constitutional rights. The template provides guidance for organizations looking to hire a Public Defender and helps job seekers understand the expectations and qualifications of the role.

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Job Description

A Public Defender is a legal professional who provides counsel and representation to individuals who cannot afford an attorney. They work in the criminal justice system to ensure that the rights of their clients are protected and that they receive a fair trial.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provide legal representation to clients who cannot afford an attorney
  • Defend clients in criminal cases, including arraignments, hearings, and trials
  • Interview clients to gather information and evidence
  • Conduct legal research and prepare briefs and motions
  • Negotiate plea deals with prosecutors
  • Advocate for the needs and rights of clients
  • Collaborate with other defense attorneys, investigators, and experts
  • Keep accurate and detailed records of case activity and progress
  • Attend professional development seminars and trainings to stay current in the field


  • Law degree from an accredited law school
  • Licensure to practice law in the jurisdiction where the job is based
  • Experience working in criminal defense preferred
  • Strong knowledge of criminal law, court procedures, and legal ethics
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Willingness to work long hours, including evenings and weekends as needed

Salary for a Public Defender can vary depending on experience and location, but averages around $60,000-$80,000 per year.


Public Defender job postings are a great way to attract qualified candidates to your organization. These individuals are responsible for representing low-income clients in criminal cases, so it is essential to create a job posting that accurately reflects the requirements, benefits, and responsibilities of this position. This guide will outline the steps involved in creating an effective Public Defender job posting.

Step 1: Define Your Needs

The first step in creating a Public Defender job posting is to define your organization's needs. Consider the caseload, budget, and staffing requirements of your organization. Determine the experience, education, and skills that you require in a candidate for this position. Crafting a clear and concise job description that outlines your organization's needs will help attract the right candidates.

Step 2: Choose a Job Title

The job title you choose can make a significant impact on attracting the right candidates. Choose one that is reflective of the duties and responsibilities of the position. Keep it simple and avoid using overly complex terms that may deter qualified candidates.

Step 3: Write an Engaging Job Description

When writing a job description, use keywords that will attract the right candidates. Be clear about the qualifications required for the job and highlight the duties, responsibilities, and expectations of the role. Explain what your organization can offer the candidate, including benefits, work environment, training, and career growth opportunities.

Step 4: State the Requirements

Clear requirements will attract only qualified individuals. It is important to be specific about the education, experience, and skills required for the position. You can list necessary hard and soft skills, such as experience in criminal law, strategic thinking, or problem-solving. This will help you filter out candidates who are not a good fit for the job.

Step 5: Include the Benefits

Include details about the benefits that come with the job posting. This could include health insurance, retirement benefits, and paid time off. This information will attract qualified candidates who are looking for a competitive compensation package and help them weigh their options before applying.

Step 6: Add Contact Information

Always include contact information for applicants to reach out to your organization to learn more about the position or the application process. Include a phone number, email address, or other way to contact your organization.


Creating a Public Defender job posting is a powerful tool for attracting the right candidates to your organization. By following these six steps, you can write a job post that will catch the eye of qualified candidates, highlight the benefits of joining your organization, and ensure that you get the right person for the job.

What should I include in a Public Defender job posting?

When creating a job posting for a Public Defender position, it's important to include information on job responsibilities, required qualifications, education and experience requirements, salary range, and any other pertinent details about the position. It's also important to explain the purpose and impact of the Public Defender role, and why it's a critical position in our justice system.

What are some best practices for creating a Public Defender job posting?

  • Use clear and concise language to describe the job responsibilities and qualifications
  • Highlight the importance of the role in providing fair and equal representation to indigent clients
  • Be transparent about salary range and the expectations for the role
  • Consider using inclusive language to encourage a diverse pool of applicants

Who can apply for a Public Defender position?

Usually, public defender positions require a J.D. degree and admission to the state bar. However, some entry-level positions may only require a Bachelor's degree and relevant experience. Read the job description carefully to make sure you meet the qualifications before applying.

What are some common job responsibilities for a Public Defender?

  • Represent indigent clients in criminal cases
  • Investigate cases and gather evidence
  • Advocate for clients during court proceedings
  • Collaborate with other legal professionals and experts to build a strong defense
  • Manage a high volume of cases and meet deadlines
  • Provide legal advice and guidance to clients

What are the benefits of working as a Public Defender?

The benefits of working as a Public Defender can vary depending on the agency or organization you work for, but many offer competitive salaries, comprehensive benefit packages, and opportunities for professional development. Additionally, many Public Defenders find the work to be incredibly rewarding, as they are advocating for and providing access to justice to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it.

What qualities make a good Public Defender?

Strong written and oral communication skills, critical thinking abilities, and the ability to manage a high volume of cases are valuable skills for a Public Defender. Additionally, a passion for social justice and a commitment to providing the best possible representation for clients are essential qualities for anyone working in this field.

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