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18 Jan 2023

Full-Time Greater Colorado Fellowship

Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel – Posted by Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel Anywhere

Job Description

Are you interested in living and working in a small town in Colorado? Are you interested in starting your own law firm to improve access to justice for people outside of the major metropolitan areas? Are you passionate about helping indigent people accused of criminal or delinquent acts? Do you believe that holistic, team-oriented representation is essential for all people accused of criminal or delinquent acts?  If so, then this is a great opportunity to make a difference!  The Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel is offering a unique opportunity for one person to develop a private practice in an underserved area of Colorado through the Greater Colorado Fellowship Program.  


About Us: 


The Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel (OADC) is the legislatively created state agency responsible for providing client services and legal representation for indigent individuals (adults and youth) when the state has charged them with a criminal or delinquent act and the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender has a conflict of interest.  The OADC accomplishes this by contracting with over 400 private attorneys and another 500 legal service providers (forensic social workers/clinical advocates, paralegals, investigators, legal researchers, case assistants, legal interns, etc.) to provide client services on an hourly basis. Our fundamental belief is that interdisciplinary legal defense teams that practice holistic defense produce good results for our clients.  


Mission Statement:   


The mission of the Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel (OADC), through the practice of holistic public defense, is to help adults and children who the government has charged with criminal and delinquent offenses. The OADC’s holistic practice model fosters ethical, informed, and standard-driven best practices in public defense. The OADC allocates resources in a manner intentionally designed to rebalance the disparate power wielded by the government in the criminal legal system. OADC advocates for every client’s inherent worth and dignity by centering the client’s lived experiences and voice to achieve the best legal outcome.   


The OADC is dedicated to zealous, client-centered advocacy rooted in social justice, integrity, and humility. We recognize that we are working within a broken and racist criminal legal system. Public defense advocates play an essential role in challenging bias and disparity within the courtroom, within our offices, and within ourselves. Statistical data and experiences support that there is a disparate presence of violent policing, over-charging, and harsher sentencing outcomes for Colorado’s people of color and other vulnerable populations. The OADC is unwavering in its support of decarceration, the decriminalization of youth, and equity within the criminal legal system.   


About the Greater Colorado Fellowship: 


The rural attorney shortage is a nationwide problem. Despite about 14 percent of Americans living in rural communities, only about 2 percent of law firms are located in small towns or rural areas. Further, the number of attorneys in rural communities has only continued to decline as many existing rural lawyers are approaching retirement age, with too few law school graduates moving in to replace them.  Colorado is not immune to this problem. 


The OADC has struggled with a chronic shortage of qualified attorneys (and other legal service providers) in rural Colorado.  We are attempting to fix this problem through the Greater Colorado Fellowship program.  This Fellowship will provide a lawyer or recent graduate with an opportunity to develop a successful law office in an area that the OADC considers to be an underserved area of legal representation.  We are focusing on the areas surrounding 5 cities – Alamosa, Sterling, Canon City, Grand Junction, and La Junta – but are open to other possibilities if a candidate has ties to a different Greater Colorado community.  


While there are challenges to starting a legal practice in a rural community, these communities also have many unique strengths and opportunities.  For example, underserved areas, by definition, have less competition and upward mobility is easier.  Plus, substantially smaller legal communities can provide opportunities for collaboration and reduce bureaucratic barriers allowing for innovation.  For general examples of rural communities using their strengths for innovations, see the Rural Justice Collaborative’s Innovation Sites.  


This Fellowship Program is the ultimate public-private partnership as the state employee position will provide salary and benefits while the fellow develops their emerging business in a rural community. This employee position will begin as early as March of 2023 and terminate no later than two years from the date of hire.  The exact duration of the fellowship will be tailored to meet the needs of the fellow and their surrounding Colorado community.    During that time, the OADC will provide “wrap-around” mentorship from experienced criminal defense practitioners to assist with developing appropriate legal skills, case management, and professional development.  In addition, the OADC has a robust training program to further aid in professional development.  


Although the project is geared toward developing an attorney who is proficient in criminal defense, we understand that the fellow will need to develop a “small-town” practice that involves representing people in more than just criminal matters.  It is anticipated that the fellow will work to build relationships so that at the conclusion of their fellowship, they can develop other sources of income including private representation, court-appointed work in dependency and neglect cases through other state agencies (e.g., the Office of Respondent Parent Counsel or the Office of the Child’s Representative), and partnerships with civil litigation associations such as Legal Aid (Colorado Legal Services).  As such, the OADC has partnered with other entities to provide further mentorship assistance in areas of law other than criminal defense to meet the needs of the individual fellow.   


Other duties deemed necessary to help fulfil our Mission. 


The OADC is a collaborative workspace designed for people who thrive in a team environment.  This position reports to the Attorney Development Coordinator and will engage with all members of the OADC team.  


About You: 


The ideal candidate is passionate about team-oriented, holistic public defense and zealous in their commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and empathy. You will be an integral part of our mission, committed to living and serving in a rural community that the OADC recognizes as an underserved area in need of legal representation. Your role will be one of joining the community, not as a commuter to the community, but as a stakeholder who resides there and is dedicated to serving and building community in this rural area.   


You are someone that passionately wants to create your own small business rather than be a government employee; you live for entrepreneurship and the support and seeding of a community that needs your vision and expertise. Therefore, this two-year funded fellowship is perfect for you to launch your business at the completion of your fellowship. This innovative fellowship and the support of the OADC team will assist you in optimally creating your legal practice in what is now your community.  


You are a team member who is collaborative, possesses excellent verbal and written communication skills, and is innately creative and self-motivated.  


If you are offered employment, the following are the conditions of employment:  


  • Be a current resident of the state of Colorado or become a resident of the state of Colorado within 30 days of the hire date.  
  • Be currently licensed to practice law in the State of Colorado or will be licensed to practice law in the State of Colorado within 90 days of the hire date. For graduating law students, this fellowship is contingent upon passing the Colorado Bar Exam.  
  • Have a valid driver’s license and a vehicle to meet travel requirements.  
  • Be willing to submit a routine background investigation, including a criminal history check.   
  • If hired, the Immigration Reform and Control Act requires you to provide proof of your eligibility to work in the United States within three workdays. 

The ideal candidate must want to create their own business and cannot desire to be a long-term government employee.  The state legislature has only allotted us a two-year fellowship to provide this person with government employee benefits prior to launching their own business.      


You will be required to provide three references in addition to the following documents:   


  • Resume – Required  
  • Cover letter – Highly preferred 
  • Letters of Reference – Highly preferred 


The State of Colorado is committed to providing employees with a comprehensive and competitive benefits package that supports you, your health, and your family.  Click here for further information about State of Colorado Employee Benefits.   

How to Apply

Complete the online application at the link below by 11:59PM on February 28, 2022. Please add as a safe sender. Once you submit your application, you will receive an automatic email from Formsite. If you cannot find this email, please look in your spam/junk folder.    Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. Faxed, mailed, or emailed applications will not be accepted. Please direct any additional inquiries or questions to      Monthly Salary Range: $5,516-$8,108   Annual Salary Range: $66,192-$97,296   FLSA Status: Exempt   Location: Colorado     The Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel is an equal-opportunity employer that is committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, age, religion, social class, national origin, marital or parental status, pregnancy, disability status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, veteran status, or political affiliation.  We are committed to fostering a culture of inclusion and an environment of representation diversity and we encourage individuals of many identities, backgrounds, and experiences to apply.    To request accommodation, please contact Daniel Nunez at or (303) 515-6924 as soon as possible. Any person with a disability, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), may be provided a reasonable accommodation upon request to enable the person to participate in the hiring process.  The person making the request may be asked to provide additional information regarding functional limitations and the type of accommodation needed, which will be kept confidential.  Preparation may be required, so timely requests for accommodation are appreciated.    

Job Categories: Equal Opportunities. Job Types: Full-Time. Salaries: 60,000 - 80,000.

Job expires in 21 days.

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