County of Alameda

Chief Assistant Public Defender (#3130)

Bargaining Unit: Unrep - Executive Mgmt (051)
$134.75-$174.92 Hourly / $10,780.00-$13,993.60 BiWeekly /
$23,356.67-$30,319.47 Monthly / $280,280.00-$363,833.60 Yearly

Under general direction, to act as administrative and technical assistant to the Public Defender; to conduct or supervise the training, job assignments, and evaluations of all the professional personnel of the office and to directly review their work as needed; to do special management tasks and other special projects which require the highest level of administrative and management authority and special expertise; and to do related work as required.


The Chief Assistant Public Defender, directly and through Senior Assistant Public Defenders and the Chief Investigator, assigns, reviews and evaluates the work of the professional staff of the Public Defender's office, including that of senior manager and supervisors. She/he assists the Public Defender in administering the department, in providing overall direction and content standards to an ongoing training program for professional staff, and in forming and applying the department's budget requests and internal policies. She/he has authority to direct the day-to-day activities of the professional, investigative, and clerical staff members through their immediate supervisors, and is the attorney in charge of the department in the absence of the Public Defender. She/he may act for and represent the Public Defender in meetings with the Board of Supervisors, Judges, and other County agencies.

 NOTE: The following are the duties performed by employees in this classification. However, employees may perform other related duties at an equivalent level. Each individual in the classification does not necessarily perform all duties listed.

1. Interprets the policies and directives of the County and the Public Defender's office to staff members and ensures that they are complied with.

2. May represent the department in budget matters, including preparing and presenting the annual budget.

3. Assists the Public Defender in all phases of administration, including organizational development, staffing and work processing in order to provide effective, efficient and economical administration of the department.

4. May be directly responsible for supervision of any section or part of the legal division.

5. Advises, guides and evaluates supervising attorneys on policy and administrative matters.

6. Advises, guides and evaluates staff attorneys on such matters as opinions of law, procedures, tactics and policies, coordinates investigations with trial preparations; reviews transcripts of preliminary hearings, trials and other legal proceedings as necessary; reviews and advises legal research and writing.

7. Advises the Public Defender on all matters affecting professional ethics and responsibility, departmental policy and assists in the development and implementation of policies and procedures designed to maintain the highest possible professional and ethical standards.

8. Evaluates professional employees' performance during and after the applicable probationary period and makes recommendations on retention, promotion and discipline of such personnel; provides advice and guidance to other department supervisors in disciplinary matters and all other personnel related activity; at the request of the Public Defender, serves as hearing officer when an internal hearing is required in any departmental disciplinary matter.

9. Appears before various elected officials, public and private groups as a representative of the Public Defender.

10. Conducts or directs the ongoing training of all professional staff.

11. Represents the Public Defender in matters involving the State Bar of California and before the Court in habeas corpus proceedings relating to prior Public Defender representation; handles inquiries from successor and appellate counsel; handles document requests and other inquiries from former clients.
12. Oversees the Department’s space planning and utilization; oversees maintenance of, and upgrades to, technology.


Either I
The equivalent of five years full-time experience in the class of Senior Assistant or Assistant Public Defender in the Alameda County classified service, to include the defense of high penalty and sensitive cases; and at least the equivalent of three years in a supervisory or administrative capacity in the Public Defender’s office, at least one year of which included managing a branch office and/or supervising a major division.


The equivalent of ten years of increasingly responsible experience as a trial attorney in the field of criminal defense, with a caseload and duties comparable to those of attorneys working in a metropolitan public defender agency; the equivalent of at least six years in a supervisory or administrative capacity in a Public Defender office or law firm with similar cases and responsibilities, at least two years of which included managing an office and/or supervising a division.


Current membership in the State Bar of California.
Valid California Motor Vehicle Operator's license.

NOTE: The Civil Service Commission may modify the above Minimum Qualifications in the announcement of an examination.

NOTE: The level and scope of the following knowledge and abilities are related to duties listed under the “Examples of Duties” section of this specification.

Knowledge of:

• The philosophy and practice of public defense in the United States.
• Law, ethics and policies governing a Public Defender's Office.
• Legal principles and procedures followed in the processing of criminal cases.
• Scope and character of California statutory and constitutional law.
• Principles of supervision, administration, and management.
• Principles of Court Administration and organization.

Ability to:

• Present legal arguments effectively in oral and written form.
• Assist in the formulation and execution of department budget and policies.
• Analyze situations accurately and adopt an effective course of action.
• Communicate effectively with attorneys, judges, other agency representatives, the public and others contacted during the course of business.
• As necessary, undertake independent, timely action consistent with Public Defender ethical and legal mandates, policies and procedures, to direct Branch and Division operations.
• Perform in a stressful environment.
• Demonstrate interpersonal competencies.
• Use appropriate decision-making modalities.
• Represent the department in matters affecting the County and in meetings with the County Board of Supervisors, other County departments and agencies and outside agencies.
• Assume management of the department on behalf of the Public Defender in his/her absence.

DF:lm-Revised: 1/96
Old doc: 0373H.WPF
New doc: Jobspecs/3130
CSC Date: 1/24/96
CH:po revised 11/24/09
CSC Date: 12/16/09
CH:cs Revised 2/11/10
CSC Date: 6/30/10


Alameda County offers a comprehensive and competitive benefits package that affords wide-ranging health care options to meet the different needs of a diverse workforce and their families. We also sponsor many different employee discount, fitness and health screening programs focused on overall well being.  These benefits include but are not limited to*:

For your Health & Well-Being

  • Medical – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Dental – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Vision or Vision Reimbursement
  • Share the Savings
  • Basic Life Insurance 
  • Supplemental Life Insurance (with optional dependent coverage for eligible employees)
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance 
  • County Allowance Credit
  • Flexible Spending Accounts - Health FSA, Dependent Care and Adoption Assistance
  • Short-Term Disability Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Voluntary Benefits - Accident Insurance, Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity and Legal Services
  • Employee Assistance Program

For your Financial Future

  • Retirement Plan - (Defined Benefit Pension Plan)
  • Deferred Compensation Plan (457 Plan or Roth Plan)

For your Work/Life Balance

  • 12 paid holidays
  • Floating Holidays
  • Vacation and sick leave accrual
  • Vacation purchase program
  • Management Paid Leave**
  • Catastrophic Sick Leave
  • Group Auto/Home Insurance
  • Pet Insurance
  • Commuter Benefits Program
  • Guaranteed Ride Home
  • Employee Wellness Program (e.g. At Work Fitness, Incentive Based Programs, Gym Membership Discounts)
  • Employee Discount Program (e.g. theme parks, cell phone, etc.)
  • Child Care Resources
  • 1st United Services Credit Union 

*Eligibility is determined by Alameda County and offerings may vary by collective bargaining agreement.  This provides a brief summary of the benefits offered and can be subject to change.

** Non-exempt management employees are entitled to up to three days of management paid leave. Exempt management employees are entitled to up to seven days of management paid leave.

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