Open Positions

Kent County Office of the Defender - Director

Job Description

The Office of the Defender has a 44-year tradition of excellence in providing legal representation to the indigent criminal defendants of Kent County. It operates under a contract with the county, which is renegotiated each year by the director with the chief judge of the Circuit Court. Historically, it has called for the office to provide representation on 1,900 felony cases and ten murder cases with a budget of approximately $1.5 million dollars. The office also contracts with 63rd District Court to handle 320 misdemeanors yearly.

The director must be a member in good standing with the Michigan Bar and have at least ten years of experience in criminal law, including extensive trial work. The successful candidate will hire, train and inspire new staff attorneys. This person will also supervise and advise the more senior staff attorneys. The director will also maintain a caseload of their own consisting of the more difficult cases. It is the expectation that the director will be responsible for seeing that the professional staff of the Defender’s Office will zealously and skillfully represent their clients, both in court and out of court, and that they conduct themselves with the highest ethical standards when dealing with their clients, judges, court staff, prosecutors, police and witnesses. The director is considered the public face of the office.

The director will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the office along with the office manager. This will include managing the budget and supervising twelve attorneys and five support staff members. Most importantly, the director must fairly and efficiently assign new cases to attorneys, and each day schedule their time to ensure that all required court appearances are covered by the office.

The Office of the Defender has a Board of Directors with six members who meet every two months. The director will attend these meetings to present the office’s current financial condition, yearly caseload progress and any issue that would requires the attention of the board. The director will also consult with the board on proposed changes to general office policies, particularly those affecting staff and finances.

The director will receive a salary of at least $80,000. In addition, medical insurance and an employer-match 401(k) plan are provided. In the past, the office has regularly paid year-end bonuses to all staff. This includes the director, in an amount decided by the Board of Directors.

**Application deadline June 15, 2018. Mail resume and questions to Kent County Office of the Defender, 2153 Wealthy St SE, Suite 304, Grand Rapids MI 49506

Print Version


146 Monroe Center Street NW Suite 920, McKay Tower Grand Rapids MI 49503 p: 616-774-8181 f: 616-774-9577