Looking to make a difference! Become a Defender!
The Defender Association of Philadelphia ( is looking for an experienced trial attorney to join our organization's criminal trial practice divisions. The Defender Association of Philadelphia is a non-profit law firm serving the clients in the city of Philadelphia. Defender attorneys are part of a dynamic team that includes social workers, paralegals, mitigation specialists, investigators, and administrative professionals who play critical roles serving our clients and communities. Complementing our trial practice, the Defender Association focuses on meeting the needs of clients pre-trial and following incarceration. Our office represents 70% of people charged with crimes in Philadelphia. We are comprised of various practice units wherein we provide representation beginning at the preliminary arraignment through the appellate process. We employ a client centered representation model which includes providing clients with zealous advocacy in the courtroom and partnering with our community through Participatory Defense, expungement clinics and other community-based events.

What You'll Do:
  • Handle all aspects of client representation in the Philadelphia Criminal Courts, including but not limited to preliminary hearings, motions, waiver trials, jury trials, and violations of probation
  • Maintain and manage an adult criminal caseload within the assigned trial unit. This involves specially-assigned, complex cases of all types, including cases where clients are charged with violent and sexual offenses
  • Draft, file, and argue all necessary motions and memoranda of law
  • Interview clients over the telephone, in-person, and at county and state correctional institutions
  • Engage in holistic representation practices that assist the client in collateral matters that may impact the direct legal representation of the client
  • Maintain a professional team-oriented work atmosphere with other attorneys, social workers, investigators and administrative staff within the unit, and all other units at the Defender Association

What You'll Need:
  • Juris Doctor required, must be Pennsylvania bar member (active and in good standing)
  • Minimum of three years' experience providing direct legal representation to individuals involved in the criminal justice system, including litigating complex felony cases
  • Jury trial experience preferred
  • A demonstrated interest in and commitment to the representation of individuals who are indigent within the criminal justice system
  • Ability to adapt to changing needs of the Defender Association and to work collaboratively with all Defender staff
  • Must be able to travel to courtrooms, local and statewide prisons/facilities if needed

How to Apply:
Please include cover letter, resume and writing sample (maximum 20 pages) in your application.

Benefits & Perks:
  • Very generous and rich benefits plan with many employer paid benefit
  • Substantial paid time off including 35 PTO days plus all federal holidays off
  • 401(b) with Employer Match
  • PSLF eligible employer
  • Meaningful & Impactful Work
  • Growth Opportunities
  • Ongoing Training and Development of You

Who is the Defender Association?
The Defender Association of Philadelphia ( is more than just a law firm. We're the community's lawyers. The Defender team – more than 500 attorneys, social workers, investigators, administrators, and other staff – make sure that everyone, regardless of income, has access to high-quality defense when facing criminal charges. Our mission-driven, client-centered model focuses on outcomes that support a system that is fundamentally fair and creates safer, stronger communities. Follow us @PhilllyDefenders (Twitter, Instagram & TikTok) and on LinkedIn.

The Defender Association provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, The Defender Association complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.