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  • Employment with the Office of the Legal Defender

    The Pima County Legal Defender's Office offers the opportunity for individuals to:

    - practice law or assist the practice of law in a professional environment with the opportunity for autonomy yet under the guidance of well-respected and experienced attorneys.

    - focus on ensuring that justice is balanced by protecting the constitutional rights of our clients.

    - work in an environment that includes attorneys, legal assistants, legal secretaries, criminal investigators, clerical, administrative, and computer support personnel.

    - participate in relevant and tailored in-house, State, County, and National training opportunities which meet continuing legal education (CLE) requirements as established by the Arizona State Bar.

    - work in comfortable environments in close proximity to the Courts.

    - use computerized research such as Westlaw and Motion Banks.

    - take advantage of an excellent benefit package (Pima County Human Resources).

    If you are interested in a position with the Pima County Legal Defender's Office, please make sure that you have a current application provided to Pima County's Human Resources Department.

    Brief Description of Positions:


    Coordinates and conducts professional legal work in and out of the courtroom. An attorney may specialize in one or more areas of law, such as appellate practice, and may supervise assigned personnel.

    Training & Experience:
    Graduation from an accredited law school; admission to the Arizona State Bar at time of hire; a commitment to working with indigent clients.

    For a full list of duties/responsibilities as well as other requirements, please see the full job description.

    Note: In addition to the Pima County Employment Application, applicants for the Attorney position must also fill out the Supplemental Application for Attorneys.

    Salary: Salary depends on experience with a minimum salary of $58,718. 

    Legal Office Support Specialist (Legal Secretary):

    Under general supervision, performs work of moderate difficulty involving a variety of legal secretarial or specialized legal clerical tasks in direct support of a legal function and performs related work as required.

    Training & Experience:
    Successful completion of course work in legal terminology and two years of clerical experience involving the preparation and processing of legal documents or providing legal clerical support to an attorney. (Additional relevant experience may substitute for course work and experience) OR one year of experience as a Processing Clerk or Legal Transcriber with Pima County in a law enforcement, criminal justice or court system. Typing and transcribing proficiency testing required.

    For a full list of duties/responsibilities and requirements please see the full job description.

    Salary depends on experience with a minimum salary of $29,931.

    Legal Assistant:

    Under general supervision, performs legal work of moderate difficulty assisting lawyers in case preparation, and performs related work as required.

    Training & Experience:
    An Associate's degree or a certificate of completion from an accredited college or technical school as a legal assistant or paralegal. (Relevant experience in a legal setting under direction of an attorney may substitute for the aforementioned education.)

    For a full list of duties/responsibilities and requirements please see the full job description.

    Salary depends on experience with a minimum salary of $34,840.

    Criminal Investigator Specialist:

    Under direction, performs work of unusual difficulty conducting highly complex and specialized investigations and preparing documentation for presentation in court, and performs related work as required.

    Training & Experience:
    A Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a major in law enforcement, law, criminal justice, or any other investigative area related to area of assignment such as accounting, finance, or computer science, and two years of investigative experience in a specialized area. Additional relevant experience or education may substitute for a portion of the aforementioned education OR five years of investigative experience, at least three years of which involved criminal investigation OR two years of experience as a criminal investigator with Pima County.

    For a full list of duties/responsibilities and requirements please see the full job description.


    Various office support clerical classifications:

    Includes Office Support II,III, and IV (Legal Transcribers). These are tested classifications; please contact Pima County Human Resources Department.

    Internship/Volunteer Opportunities:

    Field work as an investigative aide:

    Interns work under the supervision of a criminal investigator in the Criminal Investigation section. Interns are recruited from local colleges each semester and earn academic credit for hours spent in field work. Please call (520) 724-5775 for more information.

    Internship as a 38D Law Student:

    Second- or third-year law students at the University of Arizona College of Law are recruited as legal interns to earn academic credit. For more information contact the University of Arizona College of Law.  38D interns will have the opportunity to shadow trial attorneys and, with the client's permission, handle some types of court appearances (under the direct supervision of the assigned attorney). Alternatively, 38D interns can work with the appellate team researching legal issues and assisting in brief writing. 

    Other Student Internship opportunities:

    The Legal Defender's Office also seeks any University student who is interested in learning about the legal process and service to indigent defendants. Interns typically help with a variety of pre-trial and trial tasks. Interns may also help with post-trial work including help with mitigation and sometimes, interns have projects with appellate lawyers. Pre-trial work can involve file organization, research, helping with exhibits, delivering items to court, and other work. The Legal Defender's Office is also interested in any Master's or Doctoral degree candidates who are preparing papers based on original research involving criminal justice metrics.

    Please contact the following sources to learn more and how to apply.

    One Courts Are Us intern, Daniette, described her experience:  I worked for the Legal Defender's Office Summer 2013. My tasks ranged from answering phones and preparing trial folders to sitting in on a strategy meeting regarding a specific case, participating in jail visits, and observing court proceedings. I also worked under one of the appellate attorneys to develop case summary statistics that helped her case tremendously in court. Through the hands-on internship opportunities, I gained a better understanding of how our court system functions. Spending time at the Legal Defender's Office has furthered my aspirations to someday work for the criminal justice system. The best part of interning with the Legal Defender's Office was that I felt like I was contributing everyday to something important and worthwhile.     


    If interested in other volunteer opportunities, please send a letter of interest to the attention of Isabel Garcia, the Legal Defender, at 32 N. Stone Ave., 8th Floor, Tucson, Arizona 85701.

    Interested applicants may obtain for review the official job description for the various positions, Pima County benefits information, and download the application from the Pima County Human Resources Department. All job applications and resumes must be completed and submitted to: Pima County Human Resources Department. All job openings in Pima County Government are open and competitive unless otherwise noted.


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    Legal Defender

    33 N. Stone Ave., 9th Flr
    Tucson, AZ 85701

    Phone: (520) 724-5775
    Fax: (520) 770-4169

    Monday - Friday
    8 a.m. - 5 p.m., except on holidays

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