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Career Opportunity

8173-Legal Assistant

Recruitment: RTF0125741-01151446

Published: September 26, 2022

Accepting applications until: October 07, 2022


Mariflo Marcaida -
Stephanie Aquino -

Apply using SmartRecruiters, the City and County of San Francisco's application portal Learn More

Department: Public Defender
Job class: 8173-Legal Assistant
Role type: Temporary Exempt What does this mean?
Hours: Full-time


Specific Information Regarding this Recruitment Process

Department: Public Defender's Office- Freedom Project
Job class: 8173- Legal Assistant
Role type: Temporary Exempt What does this mean?
Hours: Full-time

This is a full-time grant position, which has been funded for two years, and is subject to approval extension for a third year (through 3/1/25). 

The Public Defender’s office provides legal representation to persons charged with a crime in San Francisco who do not have the financial means to retain their own counsel. Each year, the office serves approximately 20,000 people. Over 70% of our clients are Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color (BIPOC).

The Freedom Project (TFP) within the Office of the Public Defender is dedicated to decarceration, successful reentry, and post-conviction systemic change. In under two years, TFP has helped free 65 people from California prisons, mostly representing folks at resentencing in the trial court. TFP also handles murder resentencing cases (PC 1172.6), parole hearings when resentencing applications do not go as hoped, and petitions to document youth factors for future parole hearings. Last year, TFP helped draft and pass legislation that significantly strengthened “second look” resentencing law (PC 1172.1).

Role description

The Freedom Project paralegal will gather, organize, and summarize necessary records and track data to assist the paired attorney handling habeas petitions under Penal Code section 1473.7, addressing immigration consequences, innocence claims, and Racial Justice Act violations. The paralegal will organize and manage a high volume of incoming record-clearance applications (hundreds per week), requesting confidential criminal background summaries for all applicants from law enforcement, processing applications for attorney review, drafting petitions based on judicial expungement forms, research and writing a diverse and complex range of legal relief, and disseminating court orders following granted relief. The paralegal will frequently be required to travel to jail facilities and conduct client interviews, specifically requiring a stellar ability to communicate and interact with challenging clients who may sometimes be psychiatrically impaired. This position will maintain multiple databases to provide up-to-date information about the special programs of the Clean Slate Unit. The paralegal will also be required to have superior communication skills to interact with other agencies such as San Francisco Police Department, California Department of Corrections, Criminal Division of the Superior Court, Office of the City Attorney and Office of the District Attorney. This position, while often working independently, will be working with a small collaborative team and keep the team members informed.


How to qualify


Completion of a certificated Paralegal Studies curriculum approved by the American Bar Association


The education as described above may be substituted by one of the following:

Possession of an associate (AA) degree from an accredited college or university AND six (6) months of law-related work experience; OR

Completion of thirty (30) semester or forty-five (45) quarter units of law-related courses from a postsecondary institution that has been accredited by the American Bar Association or by a national/regional accrediting organization or approved by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education; OR

Two (2) years of paralegal or law-related work experience under the direct supervision of an attorney


·       Bilingual proficiency in Spanish or Cantonese

·       Experience in conducting legal interviews

·       Experience in using EXCEL and setting up a database

·       Experience in reviewing, sorting, and summarizing voluminous court records, police reports and rehabilitation materials submitted by Clean Slate petitioners.

·       Familiarity with reviewing criminal background “rap” sheets that range from local San Francisco rap sheets, Statewide “CII” rap sheets, and FBI or federal rap sheets.

·       Knowledge of statutes dealing with expungement under Penal Code section 1203.4, factual innocence under Penal Code section 851.8, and Certificate of Rehabilitation.

·       Comprehensive knowledge of prosecutorial statute of limitations on felony and misdemeanor arrests

·       Works Independently but a team player

What else should I know?


In addition to the application process, please provide all the following materials by 11:59pm on October 7, 2022 via email to

Subject: 8173- Legal Assistant - Interested in the Position

a.     A contact list (emails & phone numbers) of 4 professional references (3 supervisors and 1 colleague).

b.     An updated resume

CONDITION OF EMPLOYMENT:  All City and County of San Francisco employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. Someone is fully vaccinated when 14 days have passed since they received the final dose of a two-shot vaccine or a dose of a one-shot vaccine. Any new hire must present proof of full vaccination status to be appointed. Any new hire who will be routinely assigned or occasionally enter High-Risk Settings, must provide proof of having received a COVID-19 booster vaccine by March 1, 2022, or once eligible.

The City and County of San Francisco encourages women, minorities and persons with disabilities to apply. Applicants will be considered regardless of their sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition (associated with cancer, a history of cancer, or genetic characteristics), HIV/AIDS status, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, military and veteran status, or other protected category under the law.