Paul A. Hefley Jr., Esq.

I enlisted in the U.S. Army immediately following high school where I served as a combat medic at Ft. Riley, Kansas, Camp Hovey, Korea, and Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. After leaving the service and while living in Seattle, Washington, I worked in a number of different industries – but found none of them particularly satisfying.

I then decided to dust off my childhood dream of becoming a trial attorney. I attended the University of Louisville where I earned an undergraduate degree in philosophy. Before making the leap to law school, however, I wanted to give a legal career a test drive. I moved to Houston, Texas where I earned a post-baccalaureate certificate in paralegal studies and worked as a paralegal for a number of years in a high-volume, civil litigation firm before finally moving to San Diego to study law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law (“TJSL”).

While attending TJSL as a Criminal Law Fellow, I immersed myself in the study of criminal law and criminal procedure. I also devoted considerable time to learning and perfecting the skills required of a successful trial attorney through specialized coursework and internships. In addition, I was selected as a member (and later elected as Chair) of TJSL’s Moot Court Honor Society, where members, under the supervision of law professors and practicing attorneys, work toward improving their advocacy skills by researching and writing fictional (“moot”) appellate briefs and then competing in oral arguments against other law students from around the country. During my time with the Moot Court Honor Society, I competed as an oral advocate in three national competitions and coached in a fourth.

Additionally, I devoted two years of law school to interning with local government agencies and private criminal defense attorneys. I first had the honor of being selected as a judicial extern with the San Diego County Superior Court at El Cajon. There, I assisted the staff attorney and researched and analyzed legal issues, prepared bench memoranda, and submitted my analyses to judges regarding misdemeanor and felony matters. The experience was invaluable because it provided me with insight into how certain judges approach the disposition of criminal cases. Very few attorneys have had the opportunity to see this side of the criminal justice system.

From there, I spent a summer with a private criminal defense firm where I shifted gears from writing objective, non-partial memoranda for judges to researching and writing persuasive defense motions advocating for my supervising attorney’s many clients. During my time there I had the opportunity to work on many important and interesting cases – not the least of which was a case where the client was charged with Gross Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated.

Finally, I spent my last year of law school interning with the San Diego County Public Defender. There, I assisted with misdemeanor and felony arraignments, researched and wrote a variety of defense motions, conducted preliminary hearings, and advocated for clients in court on misdemeanor and felony matters. My experience with the Public Defenders office only served to cement my passion for the practice of criminal defense – a passion that I continue to pursue in my capacity as a private criminal defense attorney.


  • Criminal Law (100%)


  • State Bar of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California


  • Juris Doctor | Thomas Jefferson School of Law I San Diego, California
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Paralegal Studies | Center for Advanced Legal Studies | Houston, Texas
  • B.A. in Philosophy I University of Louisville | Louisville, Kentucky


  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)
  • San Diego Criminal Defense Bar Association

I am the criminal lawyer who will fight for your rights. Through disruptive defense, record expungement, and early termination of probation, I am prepared to be your strongest ally. Contact my office today!