Assistant Federal Defender - Capital Habeas Unit - Federal Defender Services of Eastern TN, Inc.

  • Federal Defender Services of Eastern TN, Inc.
  • Knoxville, TN, USA
  • Apr 07, 2021
Full time Legal

Job Description

Position Announcement – Assistant Federal Defender – Capital Habeas Unit

Who We Are

We work to keep people out of prison and to stop state executions by adhering to our office’s mission and core values—compassion, courage, competency, creativity, and collaboration—when representing clients. Our clients are indigent defendants charged with federal crimes ranging from petty offenses to drug offenses to white‐collar conspiracies and clients who have been sentenced to death. We practice holistic defense lawyering to protect our clients’ rights and champion their humanity at every stage of the criminal case and beyond. Federal Defender Services of Eastern Tennessee seeks to attract and retain a high performing and diverse workforce to serve our clients. We foster an inclusive work environment that promotes commitment, flexibility, and fairness.

The Job

We need a full-time Assistant Federal Defender to fill a position in the Capital Habeas Unit located in the Knoxville Federal Defender Services office. The Capital Habeas Unit represents clients who have been sentenced to death by state or federal courts. We represent clients in Tennessee and five other states.


Responsibilities include managing a caseload which consists of cases at various stages of post-conviction review; writing briefs, motions, and other pleadings; reviewing voluminous trial and appellate records; developing claims and litigation strategy; advocating at evidentiary hearings and oral arguments; leading and working as a member of a case team; directing and conducting case-related investigation; and meeting with clients, experts, witnesses, and family members.


Applicants must have excellent written and oral advocacy skills, ability to work as a member of a defense team, good organizational skills, proficiency in computer-based research, and the ability to task-prioritize. Prior capital habeas experience is preferred. At least 2 years of attorney experience or a federal clerkship is required. Some overnight travel on investigative trips is required. Applicants must be a member in good standing of a State Bar and have a driver’s license and appropriate motor vehicle insurance. Attorneys in this office may not engage in private law practice. An affinity for teamwork is essential.

Salary and Benefits

Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications.

SUBMIT APPLICATION which must include a resume, cover letter, and THREE REFERENCES by April 28, 2021, to FDSET, 800 S. Gay Street, Suite 2400, Knoxville, Tennessee 37929 or by emailing your information to  NO telephone calls, please. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.