Careers & Internships
Handling more than 35,000 cases each year requires a diverse team that brings together attorneys, investigators, and legal assistants. Our office recruits nationally and locally with one goal in mind: providing high-quality representation to our clients.
Equal Opportunity Employer
The Seventh Circuit Office of the Public Defender provides equal employment opportunities to all applicants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, age, national origin or ancestry, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, membership in the uniformed services, genetic information, or any other basis protected by applicable law.
If you are a qualified individual with a disability or a disabled veteran, you have the right to request a reasonable accommodation in the application process. You can request reasonable accommodations by calling 386-239-7730.
The Office of the Public Defender 7th Judicial Circuit is a non-tobacco and drug free workplace.
Assistant Public Defender
Position Type: Full Time
Are you looking for a rewarding role within an organization where you can earn competitive compensation and have access to a comprehensive benefits package? If you are, then the Law Offices of the Public Defender, 7th Judicial Circuit, may be the place for you. We are seeking qualified Assistant Public Defender applicants. The Law Offices of the Public Defender, 7th Judicial Circuit, interviews candidates for open and anticipated future Assistant Public Defender positions throughout the year.
The work that public defenders do is vitally important. Becoming an Assistant Public Defender would allow you to be involved with the defense of indigent individuals accused of a crime, and would allow you endless opportunities to make a real difference within the 7th Judicial Circuit of Florida. Attorneys at the agency are offered extensive entry-level training, as well as professional development opportunities.
A Florida Bar license is required to be placed in the Assistant Public Defender role. In addition to current Florida Bar members, we will interview applicants who are awaiting admission to the Florida Bar, as well as applicants who are registered to take the next available Florida Bar examination.
Applicants should attach an updated resume that indicates whether or not they are a current member of the Florida Bar. If not currently a member of the Florida Bar, applicants should detail the anticipated date that they will take, or have taken, the Florida Bar examination and indicate if they are a current Certified Legal Intern.
Applicants are encouraged to submit a cover letter outlining relevant experience, and detailing their interest in the office of the Public Defender and submit it, along with a resume and application to Administrative Director Robert Ryan.
An employee in a position allocated to this class is responsible for performing a variety of secretarial duties for an attorney requiring independent judgement, knowledge of laws and regulations, including making decisions in accordance with policies and procedures. Duties cover all facets of the Criminal Justice System.
Minimum Training and Experience
A standard high school diploma or equivalency and two (2) years of legal assistant experience or an equivalent combination of both can be substituted for required experience.
Applicants are encouraged to submit a resume and cover letter along with the employment application to Administrative Director Robert Ryan.
Through internship, aspiring Assistant Public Defenders can sharpen their skills and advance their professional development while working cases in one of the nation’s most challenging criminal justice systems.
Internships – Generally
The Public Defender’s Office offers select internship opportunities for law students. As either Certified Legal Interns (CLIs) or as Volunteers (i.e., non-certified interns). Law students are afforded invaluable experience working alongside skilled and dedicated Assistant Public Defenders in one of the nation’s most challenging criminal justice systems. The intern selection process is highly competitive. Regrettably, due to high demand for internships from law students, lack of adequate supervisory resources and space, we do not offer internships to high school students, nor do we provide “shadowing” opportunities.
Certified Legal Interns
The certified legal internship is limited to students who have completed at least two years of law school and meet certification requirements set by the Supreme Court of Florida. Interns are certified by Florida’s Supreme Court to represent our clients under the direct supervision of an attorney (Assistant Public Defender) approved to perform that important function.
Law students interested in pursuing a career in public defense after graduation should get certified as soon as they can. It would be ideal to complete a certified internship with our office in the summer after your 2L year of law school or the fall semester of your 3L year.
Certified legal interns are assigned to our felony, misdemeanor or juvenile divisions. These interns each work closely with an experienced Assistant Public Defender who acts as their mentor. They do everything Assistant Public Defenders do, such as conduct client interviews, take depositions, engage in motion practice, handle daily court calendars and try cases. The program is designed to be litigation intensive. Our certified legal interns are not assigned to endless memorandum writing in the library.
Students interested in participating in our legal internship or volunteer program can email their resume and statement of interest to Chief Assistant Public Defender Larry Avallone.
“If you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up. You have a moral obilgation to do something about it.”