Attorney Positions with OPD

The Maryland Office of the Public Defender (OPD) recruits both entry-level and experienced trial attorneys.  For trial attorney positions newly admitted attorneys or attorneys with one to two years of experience start with OPD handling primarily District Court caseloads.  Attorneys in these positions start with OPD twice a year in classes (Fall and Spring) in positions across the state of Maryland.  We recruit separately for attorney positions with our specialized divisions (e.g. Post Conviction Defenders, Appellate, Juvenile), for experienced trial attorney positions, and for supervisory positions.   Please scroll down for more information regarding current recruitments for specialized divisions.

What we are looking for in members of our classes:  An Assistant Public Defender combines his/her demonstrated dedication to the representation of indigent clients with his/her strong and zealous litigation skills to provide exceptional representation on behalf of all his/her clients. The attorneys in these positions are expected to work independently in managing active caseloads while simultaneously working in team-oriented environments focused on a client-centered approach to representation. 

  • Demonstrated commitment to zealous and comprehensive public defense.
  • Exposure to the proceedings and pace of the District Court (litigation experience or judicial clerkship helpful).
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, team-oriented environment. 
  • Ability to work independently and effectively manage an active caseload.
  • Active membership in good standing in the Maryland Bar or Bar of another state one month prior to start date (so unfortunately, most current 3Ls are not eligible for these positions). Individuals who are members of the Bar of another State must be admitted to the Maryland Bar within 18 months of start date. OPD will also consider applicants for these position who are awaiting bar results. Should those applicants not successfully become members of the Bar at the time hiring decisions are made, they will no longer be considered qualified for this position.

We anticipate that we will begin taking applications for the Spring Class of 2018 this fall.  We also anticipate making a limited number of offers for our Fall Class of 2018 this winter--we plan to begin taking applications for those positions this fall. 

We also anticipate taking applications from third year law students this fall.  Candidates who are successful in that process will start with OPD in January, 2019 and join the Spring Class of 2019.  Check back here for more information this fall.

RECRUITMENTS FOR OUR SPECIALIZED DIVISIONS  

Director of the Assigned Counsel and Investigator Panels: The Maryland Office of the Public Defender (OPD) seeks a Director of the Assigned Counsel & Investigator Panels to design, implement, and oversee statewide assigned counsel and investigator programs.  OPD assigns Assistant Public Defenders to represent eligible indigent clients except when there is an ethical conflict.  In those cases, the Public Defender, District Public Defender, or Chief Attorney appoints a panel attorney: a private attorney approved to represent public defender clients.  Much of the investigative work performed on behalf of OPD clients is done on a case-by-case contractual basis by private investigators, and not by staff investigators.  The Director of the Assigned Counsel and Investigator Panels will be responsible for designing and overseeing a system for the assignment of qualified and effective panel attorneys and investigators throughout the state.  He/she will then work closely with Administration, District Public Defenders, and Division Chiefs to supervise the administration and implementation of those systems, including but not limited to: creating standards for qualifications, supervision, recruitment, and quality control; creating and implementing a curriculum for training; and ensuring the availability of training and other resources.  This is a new position and will be primarily located in Baltimore, Maryland.  Click here to learn more information about this position.

  • If you wish to be considered for this position please submit a: (1) current curriculum vitae, (2) cover letter addressing the above qualifications, and (3) list of references.  Cover letters should be addressed to: Johanna Cohen Leshner, Director of Recruitment 6 St. Paul Street, 14th Floor, Baltimore, Maryland 21202.  All materials must be submitted electronically in one email to attorneyjobs@opd.state.md.us. In the subject line of the email please indicate “Director of the Assigned Counsel and Investigator Panels.” Incomplete applications will not be considered. POSITION OPEN UNTIL FILLED.

Assistant Public Defender: Appellate Division: OPD seeks a zealous and dedicated appellate litigator to serve as an attorney in the Appellate Division.  As the appellate division of Maryland’s largest legal services provider, the Appellate Division is in a position to influence the development of criminal and constitutional law in Maryland and to lead in advancing systemic criminal justice and constitutional reforms. An attorney in the Appellate Division provides representation for indigent clients during the appellate process before both the Maryland Court of Appeals and the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.  An Assistant Public Defender combines his/her demonstrated dedication to the representation of indigent clients with his/her strong research, writing, and litigation skills to provide exceptional representation.  The projected start date for this position is late August, 2017. The position will be located at 6 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, Maryland.  Click here for more information about this position.

  • If you wish to be considered for this position please submit a: (1) current resume, (2) cover letter addressing the above qualifications, (3) list of references, (4) completed Applicant Essay, (5) recent writing sample, and (6) law school transcript (unofficial or official).  Please email items (1)-(6) in one email to attorneyjobs@opd.state.md.us.  In the subject line of the email please indicate “APDI: Appellate Division.”  Incomplete applications will not be considered.  CLOSING DATE: June 8, 2017.

 

Supervising Attorney: District Court Division (Anne Arundel County): OPD seeks a dynamic leader and litigator to serve as a Supervising Attorney in the District Court Division of the Anne Arundel County office. The Supervising Attorney will work in conjunction with other members of the leadership team in Anne Arundel County (including the other Supervising Attorney for the District Court) and will be involved in all aspects of the day-to-day operations of the District Court Division and its staff.  Both Supervising Attorneys will be splitting their time between the Annapolis District Court location and the Glen Burnie District Court location of the Maryland Office of the Public Defender.  Click here to learn more about this position.

  • If you wish to be considered for this position please submit a: (1) current resume, (2) cover letter addressing the above qualifications, (3) list of references, (4) completed Applicant Essay.  Items (1)-(4) outlined above must be submitted electronically.  Please email items (1)-(4) in one email to attorneyjobs@opd.state.md.us.  In the subject line of the email please indicate “Supervising Attorney, Anne Arundel County.”  Incomplete applications will not be considered. POSITION OPEN UNTIL FILLED.  


 

 

Assistant Public Defenders are full time employees who serve at the pleasure of the Public Defender.  Criminal Procedure Article, Section 16-203(d).  Assistant Public Defender cannot simultaneously engage in the private practice of law.  The Maryland Office of the Public Defender is an equal opportunity employer.