Office of the Public Defender

Job Specifications

Class Code:




Date Originated:


Date Revised:




Under general direction plans, organizes, directs, and evaluates the activities of the Holistic Defense Division of the Santa Cruz County Office of the Public Defender. The Holistic Defense Division is a core component of the agency’s whole-person defense model, which combines aggressive courtroom advocacy with holistic defense practices to help clients meet their legal and social needs. This position will implement and lead the division in the four pillars of holistic defense, which are 1.  Seamless access to services that meet clients’ legal and social support needs; 2.  Dynamic, interdisciplinary communication; 3.  Advocates with an interdisciplinary skill set; 4.  A robust understanding of, and connection to, the community served.  The Managing Director of Holistic Defense leads a staff of advocates that may include social workers and other client advocates and has primary management responsibility for developing and implementing holistic policies and procedures in keeping with the agency’s mission, vision, and values, sustaining an innovate holistic advocacy program that provides interdisciplinary services to clients, developing staff, building networks, developing the division’s budget, managing contracts, procuring and managing grants, effectively and efficiently allocating the divisions’ resources, and performing other work as required. 


This class is distinguished from subordinate supervisory classes in that the Managing Director of Holistic Defense leads a division within the department, reports directly to the Public Defender, and is responsible for developing policies, procedures, and training in the area of expertise that will apply to all employees in the agency and advance a core component of the agency’s public defense model. This class is distinguished from Public Defender, in that the Public Defender leads, and is responsible for, the entire department.


The Managing Director of Holistic Defense leads a division that works with attorneys, investigators, administrative professionals, and County, court, and community partners to provide clients with interdisciplinary services designed to meet clients’ legal and social goals.

Typical tasks include:



Thorough knowledge of:

Working knowledge of:

Ability to:

Training and Experience:

Any combination of education and experience that would provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:


Training and experience equivalent to a Master’s Degree in Social Work, Public Policy, Public Administration, Government, or a related discipline, and four years of social casework, holistic defense, or client advocacy experience with a human services department, public defense agency, or community-based organization that includes at least one year at a supervisory level.




License Requirements:


·         Possession of a valid California Class C Driver's license or the employee must be able to provide suitable transportation which is approved by the appointing authority.


Background Investigation: Ability to pass a full background investigation.


Other Special Requirements: Availability to respond to emergencies as needed on a 24-hour basis, which may include evenings, weekends and/or holidays.


Special Working Conditions: May be exposed to infections which might cause chronic disease or death; physically and/or verbally abusive client behavior.



Bargaining Unit: 08

EEOC Job Category: 01

Occupational Grouping: 66

Workers Comp Code: 0053