Clinical Instructor/Chief Public Defender

  • Texas Tech University School of Law
  • Mar 26, 2024
Full time Education Legal

Job Description

Texas Tech University School of Law, Lubbock, Texas

Texas Tech University School of Law invites applications to serve as Clinical Instructor/Chief Public Defender, responsible for managing all operations and administration of the Caprock Regional Public Defender Office (Office); manages all daily activities involving personnel, case handling and resources; develops and implements policies and procedures for the operations of the office and plans for future development; provides legal representation for, or ensures defendants are represented in, criminal proceedings and ensures their constitutional rights are upheld; serves as lead counsel in some cases; oversees and participates in preparation, presentation and disposition of cases; and cooperates with the Director and any authorized researchers. Contributes to the university's mission through teaching and service.

About the University and School of Law:

Texas Tech University, located in Lubbock, Texas, is a state-supported National Research University with an enrollment that exceeds 40,000 students. In addition, Texas Tech University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI). The law school has approximately 431 students and 38 full-time faculty members. The law school is an integral part of the University and offers 10 dual-degree programs with other Texas Tech schools and colleges. The Lubbock metropolitan area is home to over 300,000 people, enjoys affordable housing, abundant sunshine, friendly people, and offers easy access to other parts of the country. For more information, visit our website at

Major/Essential Functions:

Directs, plans, manages and supervises the daily work activities of all professional, support staff and qualified law students (students) including the maintenance of required reports and invoices;

Maintains a regular caseload and provides backup on caseloads of students who are on vacation, are unable to complete specific assignments or who graduate;

Supervises students following the educational requirements and techniques established by the Director toward the student’s full development of the advanced skills necessary to practice law in accordance with all rules and operating policies and procedures of Texas Tech University as a member of the law faculty while agreeing to acquiesce to the supervision and direction of the Director in the proper clinical, educational techniques and best practices to provide the students a full, rich educational environment and experience in the implementation of the clinical programs as designed;

Makes temporary adjustments to caseload policies depending on the overall complexity of certain cases, the type of cases, student experience, support staff experience, or other factors affecting the delivery of services;

Assists the Director in developing organizational and personnel practices and procedures and in writing and maintaining a standard operating policies and procedures manual;

Communicates with the Law School Dean and Clinic Director as directed;

Trains, monitors and evaluates staff in a manner consistent with the standard personnel policies and procedures of Texas Tech University;

Operates in a manner that meets the requirements of the Texas Fair Defense Act;

Monitors receipt of and make all case assignments to students;

Screens all cases for conflicts of interest;

Serves as departmental head in all communications with other entities;

Prepares and administers the annual operating and capital budget for the Office;

Pursues and administers grant funding functions required by the Texas Indigent Defense Commission;
Develops and establishes creative approaches to case management or other unique problems confronting the Office;

Teach the weekly classroom component of the clinical section he supervises;

Perform the duties of a criminal defense lawyer, including, without limitation, providing legal advice to clients; Interviewing clients and witnesses for preparing a defense;

Participating in plea negotiation with prosecutors; Advising clients on plea offers, options, collateral consequence, and potential for success at trial or other dispositions of cases; Directing the work of staff and students;

Seeking from the court any necessary funding for outside experts and investigation in the preparation of a defense; Performing legal research; Searching resources and studying legal records and documents to obtain information applicable to case issues and preparing appropriate documents; Obtaining documents by subpoena and other discovery methods; Drafting briefs, motions, orders, subpoenas and other legal documents, as well as correspondence and reports; Identifying defenses and tactical procedural choices for clients; Preparing cases for court and conducting hearings and trials related to pending cases;

Providing narrative, descriptive entries in client files of opinions, impressions, and facts collected;

Preserving any potential error for appellate points; Advising clients of the constitutional rights waived by pleading guilty and the potential direct and collateral consequences of a guilty plea; Advising non-citizen clients of the specific immigration consequences of criminal convictions; Selecting juries, examining and cross-examining witnesses, drafting and arguing jury instructions and arguing cases to the jury and on appeal; Responding to telephone calls promptly; Maintaining the highest ethical standards of the profession; and agreeing to abide by any contractual agreements or grant award terms, conditions and/or reports approved by Texas Tech University and the School of Law.

Faculty Required Qualifications:

J.D./LL.B. from an accredited law school and meet the requirements of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 26.04 for appointment to all felonies, misdemeanors and juvenile cases in the 7th and 9th Administrative Judicial Regions as published by the individual counties in accordance with Art. 26, C.C.P., and as approved by the Texas Task Force on Indigent Defense. Those qualifications, without limitation, include:

1. Be a member in good standing of the State Bar of Texas;
2. Exhibit proficiency and commitment to providing quality representation to defendants in criminal cases;
3. Have trial experience in the use of and challenge to mental health or forensic expert witnesses and investigating and presenting evidence at the penalty phase of a criminal trial;
4. Have substantial experience in the practice of criminal law with at least five years experience practicing criminal law and during that time demonstrated that he or she has the required legal knowledge and skill necessary to provide representation in felonies, misdemeanors and juvenile cases and will apply that knowledge and skill with appropriate thoroughness and preparation;
5. Have tried to verdict as lead counsel a significant number of felony trials, including at least one homicide trial and other trials for offenses punishable as first or second degree felonies or capital felonies, showing substantial experience in the practice of criminal law;
6. Have participated and maintained compliance with the requirements of the State Bar of Texas in continuing legal education courses or other training relating to defense in criminal cases.

Preferred Qualifications:

Substantial knowledge and understanding of the relevant state, federal and international law, both procedural and substantive, governing criminal cases; considerable knowledge of the organizational, procedural and human aspects in managing an organization. Skill in interviewing a variety of individuals and soliciting needed information to determine facts and circumstances, in developing effective defense strategies, in analyzing cases and applying legal principles, in presenting statements of law clearly and logically in written and verbal form, in presenting an effective defense in court, and in preparing clear, concise, accurate and effective legal, policy and procedural guidelines; skill in the management and conduct of complex negotiations and litigation; skill in legal research, analysis, and the drafting of litigation documents; skill in oral advocacy; skill in the use of expert witnesses and familiarity with common areas of forensic investigation, including fingerprints, ballistics, forensic pathology, and DNA evidence; skill in the investigation, preparation, and presentation of punishment evidence; skill in the elements of trial advocacy, such as jury selection, cross- examination of witnesses, and opening and closing statements; skill in supervising professional, administrative and clerical employees; skill in managing multiple projects simultaneously; skill in communicating effectively with diverse groups of individuals utilizing tact and diplomacy; skill in preparing and administering budgets; ability to handle highly stressful criminal cases; ability to develop strategic plans; ability to adjust to rapidly fluctuating situations; ability to operate a personal computer and basic office equipment; ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with subordinates, co-workers, employees, governmental department heads, elected/appointed officials, outside organizations, attorneys, the news media and the general public.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, disability, genetic information or status as a protected veteran.


To apply for this position, please include a curriculum vitae, cover letter and list of references in your application at the Texas Tech Jobs website:

Questions about this position should be directed to Jarod Gonzalez, J. Hadley and Helen Edgar Professor of Law and Chair, Faculty Appointments Committee at For your application to be considered, you must submit it at the Texas Tech Jobs website at  If you need assistance with the application process, contact Human Resources, Talent Acquisition at or 806-742-3851. The preferred submission deadline is May 1, 2024.