The Public Defender is an elected official who has a constitutional duty to provide legal representation to persons in jeopardy of losing their life or liberty who cannot afford to hire a private attorney. Our office employs nearly 230 lawyers plus investigators, mitigation specialists, secretaries, and paralegals to assist with the more than 65,000 cases we handle each year. We recruit locally and nationally with just one goal in mind: To put together a diverse team of outstanding men and women from all racial and ethnic backgrounds who are able to provide high-quality representation to our clients. Extensive entry-level training provided.
Salary & Benefits
- $68,000 upon admission to the Florida bar following the July 2023 bar exam
- Health insurance
- Annual leave – 20 days per year
- Sick leave - 13 days per year
- Paid holidays – 13 days per year
- $25,000 life insurance policy - paid by the State of Florida
- Short-term disability insurance - paid by the State of Florida
- Optional employee-paid supplement insurance plans available (additional life insurance, vision, dental, cancer, hospitalization, and disability)
- State retirement benefits - vesting after 8 years in a pension plan or after 1 year for the investment plan
- Deferred compensation – option of saving a portion of monthly salary in a tax-sheltered account
- Extensive training and CLE credits
- Florida Bar dues paid by the office
Assistant Public Defenders are accountable for providing high quality representation to our clients. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Preparing each case efficiently and expeditiously
- Advising and counseling each client
- Establishing and maintaining a professional relationship with each client
- Effective and efficient use of investigators, mitigation and placement specialists and other support staff
- Seeking assistance from experts appropriate to the case
- Demonstrating professional demeanor
- Exercising sound judgment to achieve desired results
- Assisting the Public Defender in carrying out his responsibilities.
- It is preferred that 3L applicants have successfully completed prior to graduation a law school clinic or externship in which the applicant was authorized to provide direct representation in litigation to individuals or entities for academic credit
- Law school graduates can apply but must be licensed to practice law in the State of Florida
- Excellent verbal, computer, and communication skills
- Demonstrated ability to write clearly and concisely
- Bilingual skills: English/Spanish and/or English/Creole helpful but not required
- Participation in a law school trial advocacy course or litigation skills program preferred
- Willingness to interview clients in jails and in juvenile detention facilities
- Valid Florida Driver’s License, proof of automobile insurance, and reliable vehicle, or alternative means of transportation, as travel is required.
How to Apply
Complete an Application for Employment and submit your resume, cover letter and writing sample, all in PDF format, to email@example.com. Please include information in your cover letter to support your qualifications for this position. Veterans are encouraged to apply.
Due to the volume of applications, please do not call or make inquiries via email.
How You Will Be Evaluated
Your submitted application materials will be reviewed to determine compliance with application requirements, level of position-relevant work experience, education and training.
After your application materials have been reviewed, you may be required to participate in a selection interview. Candidates who do not reside in Miami-Dade County may be interviewed initially via Zoom or other electronic means.
The State of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Employer and does not tolerate discrimination or violence in the workplace. Applicants will be considered irrespective of race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status or political affiliation.
Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, must notify the agency hiring authority and/or the People First Service Center (1-877-562-7287). Notification to the hiring authority must be made in advance to allow sufficient time to provide the accommodation.
Veterans are encouraged to apply.