Capital Area Private Defender Service

We are currently seeking a Holistic Defense Supervisor

Part of the mission of the Capital Area Private Defender Service (CAPDS) is to enhance the resources available to defense counsel to help them provide a quality defense. We are seeking an attorney with experience utilizing investigators, social workers, and immigration attorneys to assist in the implementation of the holistic defense grant. The attorney will assist in the training and supervision of our A Felony Panel Training program and assist panel attorneys in the use of a team defense.

The attorney’s primary responsibility will be assisting in elevating the quality of representation through holistic defense. The attorney will be responsible for ensuring that investigative services are used appropriately and that the investigators are kept to the highest legal and ethical standards. The forensic social work program will include training attorneys on the effective use of pre-pleading reports, mitigation, and jail diversion as a way of positively affecting the outcome of a criminal case. The attorney will also work in partnership with the immigration attorney to ensure assigned counsel utilize this resource effectively, including prompt referrals, gathering of client information for the immigration attorney, and ensuring that Padilla assistance is delivered effectively. 


  • Licensed attorney in the State of Texas, or the ability to waive into the Texas Bar;
  • Minimum five years criminal defense experience preferred;
  • Lead counsel for cases that utilized a team based defense including the use of an investigator and/or social worker (5 trials preferred);
  • Experience working with investigators on complex cases, including investigators who do not necessarily have a law-enforcement background;
  • Experience working with social workers on criminal defense cases;
  • Experience working with immigration attorneys advising on criminal cases;
  • Experience training and/or supervising criminal defense attorneys;
  • Demonstrated commitment to indigent defense required;
  • Knowledge, understanding, and experience with client-centered representation;
  • Familiar with national indigent defense best practice standards.


  • Participation in formal training programs for institutional defender office or managed assigned counsel program that is based on client-centered representation;
  • Experience training and supervising investigators, or working with investigators trained in national best practices;
  • Experience working with forensic social workers to prepare pre-pleading memorandums, jail diversion programs, or to identify mitigation in felony cases;
  • Familiarity with Padilla and using immigration attorney as resource;
  • Experience screening attorney referrals for investigation, social worker, or immigration assistance to evaluate the legal necessity for the use of the resources:
  • Fluency in legal Spanish written and oral communication.

Job Duties:

  • Primary function will be to assist with training attorneys on use and value of holistic representation, with focus on A Panel Training Attorneys;
  • Provide on-site individual training to investigators, social workers, and immigration attorney;
  • Assist in group trainings for investigators, social workers, and attorneys;
  • Assist in training attorneys in proper use of social workers, investigators, and immigration resources both individually and in formal trainings;
  • Evaluate and oversee the work of investigators, social workers, and immigration attorney;
  • Review request for investigations, social workers, and immigration service to determine when service are reasonable and necessary for the effective representation of clients;
  • Manage referral process for investigations, social workers, and immigration attorney;
  • Establish guidelines for quality defense services and review the delivery of defense service to ensure services meet established quality guidelines, best practices, and needs of panel attorneys;
  • Review invoices of contract investigators to ensure policies of Travis County and CAPDS are followed;
  • Provide legal guidance to providers of defense services and panel attorneys on applicable legal and ethical standards of defense services;
  • Study, monitor, and report on the effectiveness of holistic defense services;
  • Periodically review samples of completed cases to ensure the consistent and correct application of policy.


  • Salary commensurate with experience.
  • Position is dependent on approval of grant funding. This position is grant funded through September 30, 2018, with the expectation of continued permanent funding.
  • Position is at-will.
  • Desired start date is as soon as possible.  Candidate must commence work by March 1, 2018 or if that is not possible candidate must be present in Austin during week of March 5th for training.  

To apply: Please email cover letter, resume, and writing sample (sentencing letter preferably) to as one document with Holistic Defense Supervisor in the subject line. Please demonstrate in your cover letter that you meet the minimum qualifications. Only applicants who meet the minimum requirements will be considered. Only electronic submissions will be accepted.  

Applications will be taken until position is filled, but the priority deadline is January 19th.