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Career Opportunity

8177-Attorney (Civil/Criminal)

Recruitment: RTF0137778-01116177

Published: September 18, 2023

Accepting applications until: September 29, 2023


Monica Salazar -
Stephanie Aquino -

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

Department: Public Defender
Job class: 8177-Attorney (Civil/Criminal)
Salary range: $145,366.00 - $254,696.00
Role type: Permanent Exempt What does this mean?
Hours: Full-time


Department: Public Defender’s Office

Job Class: 8177 Attorney

Salary Range: $142,168.00-$249,080.00

Appointment Type: Permanent Exempt

Hours: Full Time

Appointment Type: Permanent Exempt (PEX) position. individuals who are appointed to Exempt Positions are appointed at the pleasure of their appointing officer and are considered to be "at-will."

  • Application Opening: August 11, 2023
  • Application Deadline: Continuous, by 11:59pm on Friday, September 29,2023.
    • Note: The deadline to apply for this job announcement has been extended to Friday, September 29,2023 by 11:59pm

The San Francisco Public Defender’s Office invites candidates to apply for trial attorney positions in its Misdemeanor and Felony Units!

What started as an office of only one attorney over 100 years ago, our Office now proudly employs 112 dedicated and dynamic attorneys and 114 integral non-attorney staff members, and provides zealous, compassionate, and client-centered legal representation to over 20,000 people per year who do not have the financial means to retain their own counsel. We aspire to provide the highest level of legal advocacy.  Our Office has been recognized state and nationwide as a model of public defense, winning awards from the American Bar Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the National Legal Aid and Defenders Association, and the California Public Defenders Association. 

We are seeking candidates with an ardent passion for and commitment to our mission of fiercely defending individuals in criminal cases with love, compassion, courage, and excellence.  Successful candidates will have a keen interest in aggressive and skilled courtroom litigation and taking cases to trial, strong interpersonal and communication skills, and a deep empathy for our clients and their loved ones.  Our clients are uniformly low-income and are disproportionately Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), and therefore, a firm dedication to racial justice and using the law to fight for marginalized individuals and communities is required.

Role description

The 8177 duties specified below are representative of the range of duties assigned to this job, 8177- Attorney, in our Office and are not intended to be an inclusive list:

  • Fiercely and creatively represents individuals accused of crimes at all stages of criminal proceedings, including but not limited to, arraignments, pretrial motions and preliminary hearings, court and jury trials, sentencing hearings, and/or various post-conviction proceedings. 
  • Meets with clients and advises them on their rights and legal proceedings, identifies and understands complex legal concepts and issues, conducts legal research, and keeps up with rapidly-evolving decisional and statutory law.
  • Reviews and analyzes case discovery and other evidence and applies critical thinking skills to develop defense strategies and investigation plans and to formulate client-centered arguments and solutions.
  • Prepares for and conducts trials, hearings and other legal proceedings in misdemeanor, juvenile and felony cases.
  • Utilizes outstanding organizational skills to independently prioritize and manage multiple ongoing cases, communicates effectively with and inspires confidence in clients and their loved ones, and maintains an ability to work effectively under pressure, challenge, or adversity.
  • Maintains effective client relationships to ensure that clients’ needs are thoroughly identified and handled in a manner consistent with the principles and practices of the Public Defender’s Office.
  • Demonstrates excellent written and oral communication and advocacy skills, and connects with and works effectively on behalf of a diverse client population.
  • Directs and works successfully with Public Defender staff, including investigators, paralegals, social workers, and administrative teams as required.
  • Performs other related duties as required.

How to qualify

License and Certification:

Active membership in good standing with the State Bar of California.

What else should I know?

All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.

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.