Deputy Director Public Defender Service – DC

January 4, 2012

Deputy Director of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia

Opening Date: December 16, 2011

Closing Date: February 6, 2012

Salary: The salary for this position is $155,400 and is commensurate with the

salary paid for positions with similar responsibilities at the Office of the

United States Attorney for the District of Columbia.

Deputy Director Duties: The PDS director, deputy director and general counsel serve as the core executive managers of the office. They are tasked with performing a wide range of functions to ensure that PDS is adequately staffed and equipped with the resources needed to fulfill its mission. Specifically, they engage in strategic planning, develop and implement management policies, perform a full range of duties in connection with the federal appropriations process, and produce the PDS annual report. In addition, the director and the deputy director supervise the division chiefs in each of the legal divisions–Trial, Appellate, Parole, Special Litigation, Mental Health, and Civil Legal Services. The deputy director and the director also manage the work of each of PDS’s direct services support units, as well as the work of the senior administrators who oversee administrative support, human resources, information technology and finance. As needed, the deputy director is tasked with providing training and direct supervision of staff attorneys, representing PDS on various inter-agency committees within the District of Columbia criminal justice system and performing other duties as assigned.

Qualifications: Qualified applicants will have a strong, solid background in indigent defense representation or public interest law; a law degree from an accredited law school; a license to practice law in the District of Columbia (or eligibility for admission); substantial relevant legal experience, preferably criminal defense experience; substantial management, supervisory or administrative experience; excellent writing and oral communication skills; and a demonstrated commitment to indigent defense representation. While very little travel is required, the deputy director is required to work flexible night and weekend hours when needed and must be able to handle the myriad of emergencies that occur in a busy, urban criminal justice system.

Quality Ranking Factors: To better determine the qualifications of each applicant to perform the tasks required of the deputy director, the PDS Board has identified a set of five critical skills, or “quality ranking factors,” for the position. Each applicant must write a short essay for each of the five quality ranking factors. Each essay should be very specific and very concise (2 pages or less) and should discuss any and all training, skills and professional experiences relevant to the quality ranking factors. These essays are an essential component of the application process and will be used by the PDS Board to distinguish the best-qualified candidates for the position.

While one or more essays may require applicants to repeat information, applicants must provide a complete answer in each essay for each quality ranking factor. The five quality ranking factors are: 1. Management and Supervisory Skills: discuss any and all management, administrative and/or supervisory experience, particularly in a large organization or criminal justice agency, and include any training or experience regarding the laws, policies and regulations pertaining to government employees and the federal budgetary/appropriations process

2. Litigation Experience: discuss any criminal defense litigation experience (including juvenile, trial, appellate, and post-conviction work), especially in the District of Columbia criminal justice system

3. Lawyering Skills: beyond handling individual cases, discuss the extent to which you have engaged in oral advocacy and professional writing (including settlement negotiations, policy reform, drafting professional practice standards, administrative advocacy, legislative testimony, written publications, legal scholarship, or other professional writing)

4. Subject Matter Expertise: discuss specific work experience or training related to immigration, post-conviction litigation, forensic science, criminal investigation, mental health treatment, and legal ethics

5. Indigent Defense Commitment: discuss your professional commitment to quality, zealous legal representation to indigent people facing a loss of liberty.

Application Procedures

Applicants must submit: (1) a cover letter addressed to Cynthia E. Jones, Chair, Board of Trustees for the District of Columbia Public Defender Service; (2) a current resume or CV, including an email address and daytime and evening telephone numbers; (3) the essay responses to the five quality ranking factors; (4) a certificate of good standing from the District of Columbia bar or comparable written documentation from the bar in the jurisdiction where you are admitted to practice; and (5) a list of five professional references, including the name, address, telephone number and email address of each reference and a very short (1-2 sentence) statement of how each reference is familiar with your skills and qualifications.

All applications must be submitted electronically by close of business (5:00 PM EST) on  February 6, 2012, addressed to Prof. Cynthia E. Jones at To ensure proper receipt and timely processing of applications, applicants should put “PDS Deputy Director” in the subject line of the email, and each of the required application documents (i.e., cover letter, resume/CV, essays on quality ranking factors, bar certification letter and list of references) must be converted to PDF format and submitted as attachments to the email. Receipt of each application will be acknowledged by email. No application materials received by mail or via hand-delivery will be considered, and applicants should not submit any additional materials with their applications. Please note that no letters of recommendation should be sent as part of the initial application process.

The PDS Board will review all completed applications and select the most qualified candidates for interviews. Final selection will be made following an in-person interview in the District of Columbia with the full PDS Board.

If you have questions about the applications process or the responsibilities of the deputy director, you should write to Prof. Cynthia E. Jones at


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