Attorney (Civil/Criminal) Job at San Francisco, San Francisco County, California

Attorney (Civil/Criminal)

City and County of San Francisco , California

Job Information 


Public Defender

Mid Level


$10,251.00 - $17,955.00 Monthly

Application Deadline 


No Application Deadline

Recruitment Type 

Open Competitive


This is a continuous posting for the Public Defender’s Office for 8177 Attorney applications. When a vacancy occurs, candidates will be contacted by email.  

Appointment Type: Permanent-Exempt (PEX) Appointment.  Pursuant to the City & County of San Francisco Charter, Section 10.104.13. Any person occupying a position under exempt appointment shall not be subject to civil service selection, appointment and removal procedures. Exempt employees shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing officer.  

The Public Defender’s office provides legal representation to persons charged with a crime in San Francisco who do not have the financial means to retain their own counsel. Each year, the office serves approximately 20,000 people. The San Francisco Public Defender’s office is a nationally recognized model of public defense. The Public Defender provides legal staffing for each of the misdemeanor and felony preliminary hearing and trial courts, the mental health and juvenile divisions, the Community Justice Center, Domestic Violence Court, Behavioral Health Court, Veterans’ Justice Court, Drug Court, Intensive Supervision court, Parole Court, Young Adult Court, and Extradition.  

Position Description:

Deputy Public Defenders provide legal representation for indigent defendants charged with criminal offenses in the San Francisco Superior Court. The qualified candidate must have the ability to argue legal positions successfully and persuasively, master subject matter and prepare cases thoroughly. The qualified applicant should have the ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing as well as the ability to multi-task, prioritize assignments and remain organized. The position also requires: excellent writing skills; experience/knowledge of criminal law and procedure; and computer proficiency. Requires ability to: plan, organize and conduct court hearings and jury trials; interpret and apply legal principles and precedents to a wide variety of fact situations and make sound decisions and judgments; prepare written statements of law, fact and argument clearly and logically; issue decisions within legally mandated deadlines; compile monthly workload statistics; and establish and maintain effective communication with all clients, staff and the public.

Active membership in good standing with the State Bar of California.


The stated desirable qualifications may be used to identify job finalists at the end of the selection process when candidates are referred for hiring.

  • Previous experience working or interning in a public defender's office
  • Previous experience handling a misdemeanor caseload
  • Previous trial experience, either criminal or civil
  • Strong research, writing and communication skills
  • Verification:

Applicants may be required to submit verification of qualifying education and experience at any point in the application, hiring, and/or departmental selection process.  Note: Falsifying one’s education, training, or work experience or attempted deception on the application may result in disqualification for this and future job opportunities with the City and County of San Francisco.  


Interested individuals must complete and submit the following:

  • An online Application form; AND
  • A resume and cover letter (must be uploaded to the application form at the time of filing); AND
  • A list of three professional references (supervisors and a colleague) with names, organization, titles, email address and phone numbers (must be uploaded to the application form at the time of filing); AND
  • A legal motion writing sample not exceeding 10 pages (must be uploaded to the application form at the time of filing).

Applicants are required to submit all the documents listed above by the filing deadline.  All required documents should be attached to the online application.  Please use the “Upload Resume” link to attach all the documents to your application. If you are having issues with uploading, please check your browser.  If you have any questions regarding this recruitment or application process, please contact us via email at PUBDEF.HR@SFGOV.ORG  

Applications for City and County of San Francisco jobs are only accepted through an online process. Visit to register an account (if you have not already done so) and begin the application process.

Click on Apply Link for more information regarding Application Process.



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