Attorney I- Travis County Public Defender's Office

Published 12 days ago


The Travis County Public Defender's Office (PDO) is a comprehensive public defender office envisioned to be client-centered, independent, and innovative to the needs of Travis County residents. Consistent with nationally recognized best practices, the PDO provides high-quality holistic defense representation and other support to people accused of criminal offenses in Travis County.

The Attorney I is a key member of the PDO team with responsibilities in providing zealous representation and advocacy to indigent people in Travis County.

Attorney I: This is the first in a series of seven attorney-related job classifications within the Attorneys job family. This classification handles cases and matters that are the least complex and may result in the least serious consequences without supervision.


  • Provides client-centered criminal defense representation to indigent clients.
  • Works as a part of a multidisciplinary team to provide holistic representation.
  • Performs legal research. Searches resources and studies legal records and documents to obtain information applicable to case or issue under consideration.
  • Drafts briefs, motions, orders, subpoenas, contracts and other legal documents, as well as correspondence and reports.
  • Oversees the creation and issuance of legal documents, including subpoenas, motions, orders, writs and warrants.
  • Prepares cases for trial. Collects, organizes and prepares evidence, information and other legal materials.
  • Performs other job-related duties as assigned.



Education and Experience:

J.D./LL.B. from an accredited law school.

Licenses, Registrations, Certifications, or Special Requirements:

Licensed to practice law in the State of Texas. Will consider delayed start dates for highly qualified candidates who are 3Ls or recent law graduates with less than 18 months experience and who will take the Texas Bar by July 2022 (offer contingent on successful admission).

Please attach resume to application.


  • Applications with a cover letter detailing interest in the position, including why you want to work for the Travis County Public Defender’s Office.
  • Recent legal writing sample.
  • Hearing and trial experience consistent with years of practice.
  • Ability to fluently speak and write in Spanish.
  • Mission-aligned experience (work or lived) advocating on behalf of people/communities directly impacted by the criminal/immigration/indigent civil legal systems.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Knowledge of:

  • Enmeshed penalties and collateral consequences triggered by criminal-legal system contact.
  • Best practices in socially and culturally competent representation of marginalized people.
  • Jurisprudence, criminal and civil law and procedures, including constitutional and statutory law.
  • Federal, State, Local and County applicable laws, rules, regulations, and guidelines.
  • Effective techniques for presentation of cases in court or to effectively present facts and precedents verbally and in writing in law related matters.
  • Policies, practices, procedures, and legal terminology related to court system.
  • Computer equipment to include word processing, spreadsheets, databases, and a variety of software packages.
  • Business letter writing, grammar and punctuation, and report preparation.
  • May be required to develop knowledge of and adhere to federal and state laws requiring the confidential handling of certain health information.

Skill in:

  • Problem-solving and decision-making.
  •  Analyzing and appraising facts, policies, procedures, and legal precedents in area of specialty.
  • Both verbal and written communication, including presentations.

Ability to:

  • Exercise sound judgment.
  • Communicate effectively across lines of difference with others.
  • Conduct legal research and analysis, both manually and electronically.
  • Present facts, precedents and arguments verbally and in writing and apply negotiation skills.
  • Communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing.
  • Work independently and as part of a multidisciplinary team.
  • Manage time well and perform multiple tasks and organize diverse activities.
  • Work well under pressure and exercise tact in trying situations.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with departmental clientele, representatives of outside agencies, other County employees and officials, and the general public.



The PDO is committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff. The PDO strongly encourages candidates of all identities, experiences, abilities and communities to apply. All applicants should be dedicated to working in and sustaining an environment that enables staff and clients to feel empowered, valued, respected, and safe. In considering applicants, the PDO values an applicant's experience and/or thoughtfulness in working with people from communities that experience marginalization.

Physical requirements include the ability to lift/carry up to 25 pounds occasionally, visual acuity, speech and hearing, hand and eye coordination and manual dexterity necessary to operate a computer and office equipment. Subject to standing, walking, sitting, repetitive motion, reaching, climbing stairs, bending, stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling, pushing, pulling, balancing, client/customer contact, squatting to perform the essential functions.

This job description is intended to be generic in nature. It is not necessarily an exhaustive list of all duties and responsibilities. The essential duties, functions and responsibilities and overtime eligibility may vary based on the specific tasks assigned to the position.

This position is partially funded through a multi-year grant from the Texas Indigent Defense Commission. 

The position is anticipated to start no later than November 12, 2021.

Department: Public Defender’s Office

Location: 1010 Lavaca Street, 2nd floor, Austin, TX 78701

Post-Offer Criminal Background Check Required.


The Travis County Public Defender's Office (PDO) is a comprehensive public defender office envisioned to be client-centered, independent, and innovative to the needs of Travis County residents. Consistent with nationally…

Details at a Glance

  • Time Commitment
    Full Time Schedule
  • Start Date
    November 12, 2021
  • Application Deadline
    October 8, 2021
  • Education
    J.D. Required
  • Professional Level
    Entry level


USD 63,638 - USD 69,368



Employment at Travis County comes with a full array of benefits. We offer comprehensive health insurance, a no-cost, on-site Health and Wellness clinic, longevity pay, paid vacations, sick time and personal holidays, not to mention an industry competitive salary structure and a friendly, stable work environment.

FY2021 Travis County Benefit Guide

In this valuable Travis County Benefits Guide you will find benefit summaries, eligibility requirements, costs, contact numbers and addresses as well as other general information on the benefits available to Travis County Employees and Retirees.

Credit Union

Employees may join the Travis County Credit Union which offers low-interest loans, savings plans through payroll deduction, safe deposit boxes and other benefits.

Deferred Compensation

Employees may enroll in a tax- free sheltered investment plan through payroll deduction.

Direct Deposit

Employees may sign up for direct bank deposit.

Employee Assistance Program

Travis County provides a confidential counseling and referral service free of charge to county employees and their family.

Employee Organizations

Membership in the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Union is available through payroll deduction.

Employee Health & Wellness Clinic

Employees may access the clinic for a variety of wellness program and health care services with no co-pay, no deductible and no co-insurance costs.


An average of eleven paid holidays are designated by the Travis County Commissioners Court at the beginning of each fiscal year.


Longevity pay is paid for each year completed after three years of continuous service. Peace Officers in a law enforcement activity, whose job requires state peace officer certification, receive pay after one year of certification.


A limited number of assigned parking spaces are available to employees in the Courthouse Complex.

Personal Holidays

Full-time employees are eligible for up to three paid personal holidays each calendar year. Part-time employees shall be granted personal holidays on a prorated basis. New employees earn personal holidays for the calendar year in which he/she begins employment, based on the month in which employment begins:

January – March: 3 personal holidays

April - June: 2 personal holidays

July - September: 1 personal holiday

October - December: None

New employees are eligible to take personal holidays after 90 days of employment.


Travis County is a member of the Texas County & District Retirement System with mandatory participation by certain classes of employees. Seven percent (7%) of the gross salary is deducted each pay period. An employee is fully vested after eight years of service. Benefits are prorated for part-time employees.

Sick Leave

Employees earn sick leave at a rate of eight hours per month with unlimited accrual during employment. Part-time employees earn sick leave on a pro-rated basis.

Tuition Refund

Certain classes of full-time employees may receive reimbursement for fees associated with pre-approved, job related course work completed satisfactorily.


Based on years of county service, full-time employees earn vacation time at the following rates:

0 to 5 years: 4.0 hours per pay period

6 to 10 years: 4.5 hours per pay period

11 to 15 years: 5.0 hours per pay period

16 to 20 years: 5.5 hours per pay period

 21 plus years: 6.0 hours per pay period

Part-time employees earn vacation leave on a pro-rated basis.

Workers' Compensation

The county provides all employees workers' compensation coverage with benefits in accordance with state statute, if the employee sustains an injury out of, or in the course of work.


Employment at Travis County comes with a full array of benefits. We offer comprehensive health insurance, a no-cost, on-site Health and Wellness clinic, longevity pay…

Level of Language Proficiency

Ability to fluently speak and write in Spanish preferred.

Ability to fluently speak and write in Spanish preferred.


1010 Lavaca St, Austin, TX 78701, USA
2nd floor

How to Apply

Please attach resume to online application.

Please attach resume to online application.

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