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The Office of the State Public Defender is responsible for coordinating Iowa's Indigent Defense System. Our mission is to ensure that all indigent persons in Iowa are provided high quality legal resprentation in criminal, juvenile, and other eligible proceedings in the most efficient and fiscally responsible manner. Positions may be located in the seventeen local public defender offices throughout the state, the Appellate Defender's Office, or the Administrative Office. The local public defender offices provide representation for indigent persons primarily in criminal and juvenile cases at the trial level in all of Iowa's 99 counties. The Appellate Defender's Office represents indigent persons in appeals of criminal and post-conviction relief cases arising statewide. The Administrative Office assists in management of the State Public Defender system and administration of the Indigent Defense Fund, including review of indigent defense fee claims.
Most public defender offices employ individuals in the following types of positions:
Applicants must apply through the Department of Administrative Services, which will qualify applicants for the vacancies. Detailed instructions and an online application system are available on the Department of Administrative Services website.
The Office of the State Public Defender provides competitive compensation and benefits. The pay range for a position is included in the job posting. Typically, a new employee will start at the minimum of the posted pay range.
More information is available from the Department of Administrative Services Employee and Retiree Benefits Site, including the 2019 Benefits at a Glance guide for AFSCME-covered employees.
Applicants with student loan debt may be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which can provide further substantial financial benefit to a position with the Office of the State Public Defender. The Office of the State Public Defender is qualified public service employment under the program. Thus, eligible employees with the appropriate type of student loans and sufficient financial hardship who make ten years of qualifying monthly payments in the appropriate repayment plan may have all their remaining student loan forgiven. More information is available from the U.S. Department of Education and Equal Justice Works.
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