Job Postings

Job Posting: Deputy State Public Defender

We’re Hiring
We currently have vacancies for Deputy State Public Defenders (DSPD) in our Sacramento and Oakland Offices.
About Us
The Office of the State Public Defender (OSPD) provides legal services to people without the financial means to employ private counsel. By legislative mandate, we focus our resources on post-conviction appellate proceedings in death penalty cases. We are responsible for major developments in the areas of capital litigation, due process, right to counsel, confessions, jury selection, search and seizure, sentencing and many other issues.
The work of OSPD is complex and challenging, and presents a unique personal and professional opportunity for those who choose a career in postconviction criminal defense.
OSPD is proud of its diverse staff. Our inclusive culture improves the quality of our work lives and makes us better advocates for our clients. We are committed to recruiting, hiring, training, promoting, and supporting our employees regardless of age, ancestry, color, disability, exercising the right to family care and medical leave, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, military or veteran status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religious creed, sex, and sexual orientation.

Health, Dental, and Vision Insurance
FlexElect Reimbursement Account
Disability Insurance
Retirement & Savings

The state offers a variety of savings options and retirement plans:

CalPERS Retirement PlanSavings Bonds
Savings Plus Program (401k and 457b)
Supplemental Contributions Plan

Most employees are entitled to a wide range of paid leave such as:

Annual Leave, Catastrophic LeaveJury Duty,Leave of Absence, Bereavement Leave, Mentoring Leave, Military Leave, Personal Holiday, State Holidays, Sick Leave, Vacation, Professional Development Days

Additional Attorney Benefits
Payment of Bar Dues
Telecommute Program

The Hiring Process
Attorneys are hired in compliance with state civil service hiring procedures which ensures individuals are selected based on job-related qualifications. The selection process consists of two steps.
Step 1: THE EXAM
Candidates must submit a state application (STD 678) and a writing sample that meets the requirements specified on the exam bulletin (see A candidate’s qualifications will be reviewed to verify that the candidate meets the minimum qualifications of the position. Once the minimum qualifications are established, the candidate’s knowledge, skills and abilities, as described in the application and demonstrated in the writing sample, are scored.
The candidate will then be scheduled for a qualifications appraisal interview, the second part of our exam. Upon completion of the exam, candidates will receive written notification of the results. Successful candidates are ranked and put on an employment eligibility list.
Candidates on the employment eligibility list who wish to be considered for an open Deputy State Public Defender position must apply for the position by submitting a state application (STD 678) according to the procedures specified on a job bulletin that is posted after the exam process is complete at
Qualified applicants will be scheduled for an interview with a panel of attorneys and caseworkers, who will ask the candidate job-related questions specific to the position. There may be a written portion of the hiring interview.
The panel will recommend the highest scoring candidates to the State Public Defender, who selects the best candidate for the position.
To submit your exam application online, register for your CalCareer account today at

Applications for the exam are due by:

April 5, 2019

Have questions? Contact Twanna Moore at (916) 322-2676 or [email protected]

Header photo of Lake Merritt, Oakland, by Daniel Ramirez, courtesy of Creative Commons License