Washington State Paralegal Association

Paralegal - Federal Public Defender Office - Seattle, WA

08/04/2022 7:42 PM | Anonymous


Western District of Washington


Paralegal – Seattle, Washington

Position No. 22-04
Announced: July 15, 2022

Closes:  Priority given to applications received by August 14, 2022

The Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Washington (FPD) is accepting applications for a full-time criminal defense paralegal for our Seattle office. The FPD operates under the authority of the Criminal Justice Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3006A, to provide legal representation to people charged with committing federal crimes who cannot afford to hire an attorney. The Court appoints our attorneys to represent accused persons before charges are filed, upon arrest, for the appeals process, and through federal habeas corpus review. We hope to find a paralegal who has criminal defense experience, advocating for people accused of committing a crime even when the evidence against them may appear to be strong. The paralegal should have initiative, resourcefulness, creativity, compassion, and a desire to stand up for those with few resources. We provide a vigorous defense at trial and, if our client is convicted, at sentencing and on appeal. We advocate for humane sentences by developing mitigation evidence to present judges with fully developed views of our clients and their lives, not merely their charges.

Responsibilities: The paralegal will provide litigation support under the direction of the case attorney, the Chief Paralegal, and the Federal Defender for our clients charged with criminal offenses or involved in post-conviction proceedings in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The paralegal will collaborate with attorneys, investigators, social workers, and other staff to uphold every person’s right to be presumed innocent and to receive a fair sentence if convicted.

The paralegal will provide case support at all stages of litigation; organize and maintain voluminous discovery and electronically stored information using a range of formats and platforms; review and analyze discovery and case documents; gather and maintain records; prepare pleadings efficiently and with attention to detail; identify subject-matter experts; assist with hiring and working with experts; maintain regular communication with clients and assist them with ancillary matters; prepare demonstrative evidence and exhibits for pleadings, hearings, and trials; coordinate witnesses for hearings; assist attorneys at hearings, trials, and sentencings; use presentation software such as Trial Director and PowerPoint; assist attorneys in preparing voir dire, jury instructions, and trial pleadings; prepare appellate briefs and excerpts of record; and contribute to sentencing mitigation packages including written submissions, letters of support, and videos. Paralegals in the Seattle office may be assigned to cases filed in the Tacoma courthouse.

Selection Criteria: The candidate selected will have a demonstrated commitment to quality representation and will have recent, substantial paralegal experience. Spanish fluency is a plus. The paralegal must be able to manage a full caseload, organize case materials, determine priorities, and work flexible hours. A reputation for integrity, excellent communication skills, and proficiency with litigation support technology are important considerations.

1601 Fifth Avenue, Suite 700, Seattle, Washington 98101 – Phone (206) 553-1100 – Fax (206) 553-0120

Requirements: The successful candidate must have a college degree including coursework in paralegal studies (or the equivalent of three years of general experience) and a minimum of three years of paralegal experience. Partial telework is available for this position. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, or meet the requirements of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, and must be available to start no later than September 30, 2022. Offers are contingent upon applicants being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of hire date. As a condition of employment, candidates must be fingerprinted and complete a background check. A prior criminal conviction is not necessarily disqualifying.

Salary and Benefits: This position has a starting salary range of $73,098 to $123,114 (Grade 11, Step 1 to Grade 14, Step 1) and full performance salary range of $95,022 to $160,047 (Grade 11, Step 10 to Grade 14, Step 10) based on the Judicial Salary Plan effective January 3, 2022. Salary will be based on professional experience. Benefits include health, long-term care, and life insurance, plus 11 paid federal holidays, 13 days of paid sick leave, and 13 days of paid vacation leave annually. (The rate of vacation accrual increases with years of service.) The position is eligible for the Federal Employees Retirement System and the Thrift Savings Plan, which matches up to 5% of employee contributions. Salary is paid biweekly and only by direct deposit.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion: Our office values diversity, is committed to equity and inclusion, and aspires to create a culture of mutual respect, collaboration, openness, and humility that honors the people we represent. We believe representation is better when members of the defense team have diverse backgrounds and experiences. We seek a paralegal who shares this belief and commitment. We embrace the unique contributions our employees can bring to the FPD because of their backgrounds, social identities, and lived experiences. We are interested in applicants’ talent, intelligence, dedication, persistence, and desire to see that all people are treated fairly and respectfully—no matter the allegation or circumstance. The FPD seeks applications from a diverse group of qualified individuals in terms of race, ethnicity, nation of origin, culture, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual identity, education, opinions, age, languages spoken, veteran status, disability, religion, and socio-economic circumstance. We especially encourage applications from members of the BIPOC community, people who have been affected by the criminal legal system, and people from other underrepresented and historically marginalized groups.

How to Apply: Qualified persons may apply by emailing a letter of interest, résumé, and two professional references (including names, email addresses, and telephone numbers) to:

Colin Fieman
Federal Public Defender Attn. Human Resources

Please submit application materials as PDFs via email to wawpersonnel@fd.org. Preference will be given to applications received by August 14, 2022. Only applicants granted interviews will be contacted. Initial interviews may be conducted in person or via video conference.


Washington State Paralegal Association
19540 International Blvd., Ste. 105
SeaTac, WA 98188



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