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Office of State Public Defender
Assistant State Public Defender - Trial Attorney 
Job Announcement Code(s): 20-02350

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Classification Title: / JAC:
  Job Working Title:
    Assistant State Public Defender - Trial

Type of Employment:
Full Time (40 hrs/week)
The starting salary for these positions will be between $53,352 and $91,124 annually and will be determined based on experience and qualifications. Positions are unclassified and in pay schedule/range 21-75.
Special Qualifications:
Successful candidates must be admitted to practice law by the Wisconsin Supreme Court prior to their start date.
Tina Fisher - HR Specialist, 608-264-8578,
Bargaining Unit:
Area of Competition:
Deadline to Apply:
The deadline to apply is 11:59 pm on Monday, December 21, 2020.
Assessment Information:
Preview Assessment  

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The Office of the State Public Defender (SPD) is currently accepting Assistant State Public Defender (ASPD) attorney applications to fill current vacancies or upcoming vacancies for offices across the state of Wisconsin.

SPD’s mission is to enhance the quality of justice throughout Wisconsin by providing high-quality cost-effective representation to indigent clients, protecting the rights of accused individuals, and by serving as advocates for effective defense services and a rational criminal justice system.

The SPD is extremely proud that its system of indigent defense is considered a model for public defender programs around the world.

If you are a highly motivated, talented and dedicated attorney interested in working in one of our trial offices, please apply now. The SPD serves indigent clients in all 72 Wisconsin counties as authorized by the state legislature. Please visit our website at

Employees are offered a comprehensive benefits package including a top rated health plan, vacation leave, nine paid holidays, and the ability to participate in one of the best retirement plans offered.  For a complete list of benefits, click here and here.  Additionally, employees may be eligible for student loan forgiveness through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.  

Position Summary:   

The SPD Trial Division provides legal representation at the circuit court (trial court) level.  Click here for the trial attorney position description. The types of cases include criminal, civil commitment, protective placement (personal guardianship), revocation of conditional liberty (probation, parole, or extended supervision), sexually violent offender commitment, termination of parental rights, children in need of protection or services, juvenile delinquency proceedings, and others as specified by state law.

Special Notes:   Successful candidates must be admitted to practice law by the Wisconsin Supreme Court prior to their start date.  See the Wisconsin State Bar for admission requirements.

A criminal background check will be done prior to an offer of employment.

Qualifications:   This position requires experience representing criminal cases or an emphasis on criminal course work in law school.  An ASPD must possess a strong sense of commitment and dedication to indigent defense.  Requirements include the ability to manage a deadline driven caseload; strong litigation skills; strong writing skills; effective communication skills; and the ability to interact professionally with co-workers, justice officials, clients and others in the office and court system.  Fluency in a foreign language is a plus.

How To Apply:   

To be considered for these positions, please complete the application process as follows:

If you have a Wisc.Jobs account:

1. Click "Log In to Apply" near the top of the job announcement and log into your account. Find and view the  job announcement.

2. Click "Apply Now" at the top of the job announcement.

3. Review your Job Application, make any necessary updates and click "Continue."

4. Complete the Job Preferences screen and click "Continue."

5. A cover letter and resume are required to apply for this position. Follow the prompts to create or upload a cover letter and resume and click "Continue."

6. You will be taken to the first page of the exam. Follow the exam instructions and click "Save and Continue" at the bottom of every page. When you have answered all the questions, click "Finalize Exam" to submit your application for this job.

If you do not have a Wisc.Jobs account:

1. Click "Log In" at the top of the webpage.

2. Click the "Create New Account" button and follow the steps to create a new account.

3. Find and view the job announcement. Click "Apply Now" at the top of screen and complete steps 3 – 6 from above.

Application/exam materials that are not complete or are not finalized by the deadline date will not be considered. Following review of your materials after the deadline, you will be sent a notice by e-mail with results of the review. The most qualified candidates will be invited to participate further in the selection process.

The deadline to apply is 11:59 pm on Monday, December 21, 2020. 

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State of Wisconsin
Division of Personnel Management
101 East Wilson Street • PO Box 7855 • Madison, WI 53707
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