Capital Habeas Staff Attorney

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Job Specifications
Classification Level: 
JSP 12/01 – JSP 14/10
Salary Range: 
$83,043 - $151,698
Los Angeles
Opening Date: 
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Closing Date: 
Open until filled, with preference given to applications received by April 18, 2018
Number of Positions: 
Vacancy Number: 
Job Type: 
Full Time
Position Overview: 

The United States District Court, Central District of California, invites applications for the position of Capital Habeas Staff Attorney to work in the Legal Services Unit of the Clerk’s Office.  The Capital Habeas Staff Attorney will work under the supervision of the United States District Judges and the Managing Attorney of the Legal Services Unit.

Representative Responsibilities: 
  • Assist District Judges and court staff with substantive law and procedural issues that arise in federal capital habeas cases.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Because the matters on which the Capital Habeas Staff Attorney will be working often involve complex constitutional issues including significant questions of first impression, candidates must have strong academic credentials from an ABA-accredited law school, excellent research and writing skills, superior analytical ability, exceptional organizational and time management skills, the ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously, and strong oral and written communication skills.  California Bar Membership and a minimum of five years of post-JD legal work experience are required.  Federal court clerkship experience is preferred.  Experience in death penalty, habeas corpus, or criminal law matters is also preferred.


Compensation will be set based on the experience and qualifications of the successful candidate subject to the policies and guidelines of the federal judiciary.

  • United States District Court employees are entitled to federal benefits such as:  a defined benefit pension plan; a retirement savings plan including generous matching contributions; paid vacation and sick leave; ten paid holidays per year; and choosing from an array of insurance plans including health, life, dental, vision, long term disability, long term care, and flexible spending programs.
  • Commuter subsidies are available to employees who use public transportation to and from work.
  • Extensive on-line training options. Travel for in-person training and professional conferences is available, funds permitting.
Information for Applicants: 
  • As a condition of employment, the successful candidate is required to undergo an FBI background check.
  • The successful candidate must be a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the United States currently seeking citizenship or intending to become a citizen immediately after meeting the eligibility requirements.
  • This position is subject to mandatory electronic fund transfer (direct deposit) participation for payment of net pay.
  • Expenses associated with interviews or relocation will not be reimbursed.
  • The United States District Court requires employees to adhere to the Code of Conduct for Federal Judicial Employees, which is available on the Court’s website:

Application packet should be submitted to  Documents must be in Word, WordPerfect, or PDF format, and the email should reference Vacancy No. 18-10.  Complete application packet must include the following:

  1. a cover letter
  2. a resume
  3. two recent writing samples
  4. law school transcript
  5. the names of at least three references
  6. an application for Federal Branch Employment (please visit the Court’s website at to download the application form)

Due to the volume of applications received, the Court will communicate only with those individuals who will be interviewed.  Applicants scheduled to interview should advise the Human Resources staff if any accommodation will be necessary to interview.

The Court reserves the right to modify the conditions of this announcement, commence interviews immediately, withdraw the announcement, or fill the position at any time, any of which actions may occur without notice.

The Federal Judiciary is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.