Job Opening: Trial Attorney

Job Summary

The Defender Association of Philadelphia is seeking an experienced trial attorney to join our organization’s criminal trial practice divisions. The Defender Association of Philadelphia is a non-profit law firm serving the clients in the city of Philadelphia. Defender attorneys are part of a dynamic team that includes social workers, paralegals, mitigation specialists, investigators, and administrative professionals who play critical roles serving our clients and communities. Complementing our trial practice, the Defender Association focuses on meeting the needs of clients pre-trial and following incarceration. 

Our office represents 70% of people charged with crimes in Philadelphia. We are comprised of various practice units wherein we provide representation beginning at the preliminary arraignment through the appellate process.  We employ a client centered representation model which includes providing clients with zealous advocacy in the courtroom and partnering with our community through Participatory Defense, expungement clinics and other community-based events.


  • Handle all aspects of client representation in the Philadelphia Criminal Courts, including but not limited to preliminary hearings, motions, waiver trials, jury trials, and violations of probation
  • Maintain and manage an adult criminal caseload within the assigned trial unit. This involves specially-assigned, complex cases of all types, including cases where clients are charged with violent and sexual offenses
  • Draft, file, and argue all necessary motions and memoranda of law
  • Interview clients over the telephone, in-person, and at county and state correctional institutions
  • Engage in holistic representation practices that assist the client in collateral matters that may impact the direct legal representation of the client
  • Maintain a professional team-oriented work atmosphere with other attorneys, social workers, investigators and administrative staff within the unit, and all other units at the Defender Association.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Juris Doctor degree and admission to the PA Bar 
  • Minimum of three years’ experience providing direct legal representation to individuals involved in the criminal justice system, including litigating complex felony cases
  • Jury trial experience preferred
  • A demonstrated interest in and commitment to the representation of individuals within the criminal justice system
  • Ability to adapt to changing needs of the Defender Association and to work collaboratively with all Defender staff



To see more job openings, visit the Defender’s Careers Page

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