The Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California is accepting applications for full-time investigator positions in its Non-Capital Habeas Unit (NCHU), stationed in Los Angeles, California. We provide the highest quality representation in post-conviction proceedings through a diversity of experience, collaborative and thorough case development, focused litigation strategies, and skilled courtroom advocacy.

Job Duties: NCHU investigators are primarily responsible for gathering facts about our clients and their cases. General areas of responsibility include: reviewing and analyzing discovery to help support claims and defense theories; developing investigation plans; locating and interviewing witnesses; writing reports; drafting declarations; serving subpoenas; coordinating witnesses for evidentiary hearings; testifying in court (when necessary); and building and maintaining relationships with clients, witnesses, and community and government agencies. Occasionally, NCHU investigators will be asked to help develop and present in-house trainings.

Requirements: All applicants must have graduated from an accredited school with a bachelor’s degree. Extensive relevant experience may substitute a bachelor’s degree. A background in law, social work, or mental health is a plus. A high level of computer literacy is required, and applicants must be able to organize work and set priorities to meet critical deadlines. Applicants must be proficient in conducting online and social media investigations. They must also demonstrate an ability to use open sources creatively to develop fact evidence. Adaptation to dynamic cyber environments by keeping skill sets current is a requirement of the position. Familiarity with forensic discovery applications is a plus. The ability to speak, read, and write in Spanish is preferred, but not required. This position may call for extensive travel. Applicants must possess a valid driver’s license and a working vehicle with appropriate insurance. Varying hours including nights, weekends, and holidays may be required.

A background investigation is a condition of employment. Applicants must be United States citizens or permanent residents seeking citizenship as described here: Proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be requested of the candidate(s) selected for this position. Additional information regarding the office’s vaccine policy will be provided to the selected candidate(s).

Selection Criteria: Successful applicants demonstrate a commitment to indigent defense; must have excellent oral and written communication and interpersonal skills; must be able to develop a rapport with people of different backgrounds; can work independently and take initiative; are capable of analyzing and communicating complex information; have the drive to broaden the depths of their knowledge; and work well in teams.

Salary/Benefits: This is a full-time, at-will position. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience and is subject to direct deposit. Benefits include health and life insurance, retirement, and a Thrift Savings Plan. Click here for more information on benefits.

How to Apply: Apply by emailing a letter of interest, résumé, three writing samples, and three references in a single PDF document to Cuauhtémoc Ortega, Federal Public Defender, at with the subject line: NON-CAPITAL HABEAS INVESTIGATOR APPLICATION. We will accept applications until May 31, 2022, or until the position is filled. The Federal Public Defender’s Office may fill current and future positions from this vacancy announcement. Please, no phone calls.

The Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California is committed to equal opportunity in the workplace. All applicants, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or age, are encouraged to apply.