To be a member of the panel, you must be in good standing with the Bar and have demonstrated experience in and knowledge of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Federal Rules of Evidence, and the Guidelines promulgated by the United States Sentencing Commission. Attorneys on the CJA Panel also must have demonstrated an interest in providing criminal defense services and a reputation for competent and vigorous representation.
New appointees to the CJA Panel serve over a one-year probationary term. Attorneys readmitted to membership serve for a term of three years.
Each member of the panel is required to complete six hours of training in federal criminal practice per year. At least three of the six hours of training must be on the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. For those attorneys assigned to the appellate or habeas panels, at least three hours must be on appellate or habeas issues.
The office of the Federal Public Defender provides at least 12 hours of training every year, which includes training in appellate and habeas law. These trainings are free.
Upon sentencing in Federal District Court, the Bureau of Prisons has the sole responsibility in determining where an offender will be designated for service of his/her sentence in accordance with Program Statement 5100.08, Inmate Security and Custody Classification manual available here https://www.bop.gov/policy/progstat/5100_008.pdf.