Legal Assistant
Office of the Federal Public Defender
Southern District of Texas (Houston)

THE FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER for the Southern District of Texas is accepting applications for the position of legal assistant, to be stationed in the Houston, TX office. The Federal Public Defender operates under authority of the Criminal Justice Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3006A, to provide defense services in federal criminal cases and related matters by appointment from the court to individuals unable to afford counsel.


Requirements. To qualify for entry level, a person must be a high school graduate or equivalent and have at least two years of general experience and one year of specialized experience; some higher education may be substituted for experience. Personal-computer skills, advanced word-processing skills; law office experience is preferred. Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or Eligible to Work in the U.S. Appointment is subject to a satisfactory background investigation including an FBI fingerprint check.


Duties. Provide legal secretarial and clerical support to three or more attorneys; maintain attorneys’ calendars of court settings and filing deadlines; answer general telephone inquiries regarding attorneys' activities; maintain attorneys' case files; type legal documents, briefs and general correspondence using Word and WordPerfect(including formatting, proofreading, and editing as directed); review outgoing documents for accuracy; compose routine general correspondence; perform conflicts checks; filing, photocopying, routing mail, and other duties as assigned. This position will also have some case management duties, to be defined at a later date. The full Position Qualifications Statements and Position Description is available for inspection in this office.


Selection Criteria. Candidates must possess good communication skills, initiative and capability of working in a high volume, fast paced office. The successful candidate will also have a demonstrated work history of dependability, responsibility and the ability to be a team player.


Salary and Benefits. Starting salary will be commensurate with experience and qualifications of the applicant, within a range from JSP-6, Step 1 to JSP-8, Step 1, currently yielding $45,199 to $55,625 per annum. The position is in the excepted service and does not carry the tenure rights of the competitive Civil Service. The position does include the same benefits as other federal government employees including participation in health and life insurance, retirement, and the Thrift Savings Plan. Salary is payable only by Electronic Funds Transfer (direct deposit).


How to Apply. Qualified persons may apply by sending a letter of interest (mentioning announcement number 21-08H) and a résumé to: Federal Public Defender, Southern District of Texas, 440 Louisiana Street, Suite 1350, Houston, Texas 77002-1634, Attn: Administrative Officer or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For applicants with disabilities, this organization provides reasonable accommodations, determined on a case by case basis. To request a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or interview process, contact Laura Dusthimer, Administrative Officer. Position announced August 25, 2021; deadline September 17, 2021.  More than one position may be available. No phone calls, please.


Subject to availability of funds.
The Federal Public Defender is an equal-opportunity employer.