The Office of the Federal Public Defender in the Central District of California is currently offering Post-Bar Fellowships. We represent the vast majority of people charged with federal crimes in the Central District. Our representation starts from the day of arrest through the resolution of the case by trial or plea and in the event of sentencing. After sentencing, we continue to represent our clients on appeal before the Ninth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court, and again should there be alleged probation or supervised release violations. Our capital habeas unit represents people who have been sentenced to death by state court juries from within the Central District, and whose convictions have proceeded through the state court appellate process and are now before the federal court on claims involving federal constitutional violations. Our Non-Capital Habeas Unit represents petitioners in non-capital habeas proceedings who allege that their state convictions are invalid due to federal constitutional violations.

Job Duties: Post-bar fellows will have an opportunity to work on cases in our trial, appellate, capital habeas, or non-capital habeas units. The fellows will work in their assigned unit under the supervision of an attorney. The fellows will be able to work directly with and on behalf of federal criminal defendants. The fellows will have the opportunity to assist with court hearings and, if applicable, trials.

Requirements: All applicants must be a recent law school graduate who is awaiting the bar exam and/ or bar results.

Selection Criteria: Applicants must have a demonstrated commitment to indigent criminal defense and/or public interest law; must have superior oral and written communication skills; possess excellent research skills; and work well in teams.

Compensation: The Post-Bar Fellowship is an unpaid position. The Office accepts applicants who are able to secure funding through their law school or another source, or who wish to work on a volunteer basis.

How to Apply: If you are interested in applying, please submit a cover letter, resume, and writing sample by email to

The Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All applicants, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or age, are encouraged to apply.