Public Defender Fellow

State of Iowa

Job Description

Advocates for indigent clients in assigned cases at every stage of the criminal justice system where the local Public Defender Office has been appointed as counsel, while receiving on-the-job training as a Public Defender Fellow. Appeals and advocates in court at pre-trial hearings, bench or jury trials, sentencings, and other court hearings. Negotiates plea bargains, dismissals, or other disposition of assigned cases with prosecuting attorneys. Investigates facts and prepares defense for assigned cases to determine the merits of cases and appropriate course of action. Interviews, confers and advises clients on merits of appropriate court of actions, including seeking a dismissal, plea, or trial. Locates and interviews witnesses. Conducts discovery, including depositions. Plans case strategy and prepares for trial. Maintains appropriate communication with client about status of the case and answers client questions. May direct work of investigators consistent with internal office policies. Identifies potential legal issues to advance client’s case, research applicable law, and draft appropriate motions and briefs. Prepares by typing and printing various legal documents, including written arraignments, guardian ad litem reports, waivers, written guilty pleas, motions, briefs, letters, and other documents. Maintains client case files, prepares public defender time reports to the court, and closes files consistent with office policies. The fellow will be hired pursuant to Iowa Code section 13B.12 for a term up to 2 years.

This is a non-merit position with Department of Inspections, Appeals & Licensing – Public Defender. 
Positions in this class are exempt from the screening and referral requirements of the Iowa Department of Administrative Services – Human Resources Enterprise.

Minimum Qualification Requirements

Applicants must have graduated from an accredited law school and possess a current license to practice law in the State of Iowa prior to commencing employment in positions in this job classification.

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