Maryland Office of the Public Defender: Justice, Fairness and Dignity For All 


For questions regarding volunteer opportunities with OPD please contact the Recruitment Division.

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).  During the application process you have the opportunity to let us know the offices you are interested in and which offices you are not.  Offers are typically made for a specific jurisdiction or a group of jurisdictions.  

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.

TRIAL ATTORNEY RECRUITMENT

3L Recruitment: OPD recruits law students for post-graduate attorney positions in the Fall of their 3L year.  Selected candidates join OPD as trial attorneys in the January following their graduation.  Offers are extended in the winter and are conditioned upon membership in the Maryland Bar prior to the start date.  Selected attorneys will attend training with the other members of the Spring Class.

Fall Class: OPD recruits for the Fall Class in two waves.  We begin accepting applications in September with a limited amount of offers extended in the winter.  We begin accepting applications again in March with offers being extended in the summer.  Candidates must be members of a bar one month prior to the start date (end of August, or early September), but need not be a member of the bar at the time of application.  Accordingly, most current 3L students are not eligible.  

Spring Class: OPD begins accepting applications for the Spring Class in September.  Offers are extended in the winter.  Candidates must be members of the bar one month prior to the start date (end of February, or early March), but need not be a member of the bar at the time of application.

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. 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.

RECRUITMENTS FOR OUR SPECIALIZED DIVISIONS

  • 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.  Click here to find out more information about the position.      

      

      • If you wish to be considered for the Appellate Division 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: MAY 3, 2016.

 

  • Juvenile Defender, Prince George's County: OPD seeks a zealous, and dedicated litigator to represent juveniles in delinquency matters in Prince George’s County, Maryland.  The attorney in this position is expected to work independently in managing an active juvenile caseload while simultaneously working in a team-oriented environment focused on a client-centered approach to representation.  The position will commence in September, 2016 and will be located at 14735 Main Street, Suite 272B, Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772.  Click here to learn more about this opportunity.

      • 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, and (4) completed Applicant Essay.  Please email items (1)-(4) in one email to attorneyjobs@opd.state.md.us.  In the subject line of the email please indicate “APD Juvenile Division District V.”  Incomplete applications will not be considered. CLOSING DATE: MAY 8, 2016.

 

  • Assistant Public Defender: Southern Maryland: The Maryland Office of the Public Defender (OPD) seeks a zealous and dedicated litigator to serve as an Assistant Public Defender in Southern Maryland. 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.  OPD will extend the selected candidate with an offer to work in one of the District’s three county offices. The determination of the location will be based on the candidate’s preferences as well as the needs of the District. Although the selected candidate will primarily be assigned to one office, members of the Southern Maryland team may, on occasion, transition to other offices within the District based on the needs of the District as a whole.  Click here to learn more about this opportunity.

 

      • If you wish to be considered for this position please submit: (1) current resume, (2) cover letter addressing the above qualifications, (3) list of references, (4) completed Applicant Essay, and (5) writing sample.  Please submit items (1)-(5) electronically in one email to attorneyjobs@opd.state.md.us. In the subject line of the email  indicate “APDI, District IV.” Incomplete applications will not be considered.  CLOSING DATE: MAY 15, 2016.
 
  • Supervising Attorney: Child in Need of Assistance Division (CINA), Baltimore City: The Maryland Office of the Public Defender (OPD) seeks a demonstrated leader to serve as a Supervising Attorney in the Children in Need of Assistance (CINA) Division for Baltimore City.  The CINA Division represents parents and legal guardians whose children have been removed or at risk of removal by the Department of Social Services. CINA cases begin with an Emergency Shelter Care Hearing to determine the safety of the child and may end with a Termination of Parental Rights Hearing that could lead to the adoption of the child.  Supervising Attorneys work to ensure that attorneys are client-centered and providing tenacious advocacy.   Click here to learn more about this opportunity.

 

      •  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 three references, and (4) writing sample.  All requested materials must be submitted electronically.  Please email all materials in one email to attorneyjobs@opd.state.md.us.  In the subject line of the email please indicate “Supervising Attorney, CINA Division.”  Incomplete applications will not be considered.  CLOSING DATE: MAY 8, 2016

 

  • Assistant Public Defender: Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) Division, Baltimore County: OPD seeks a zealous and dedicated litigator to serve as an Assistant Public Defender in the Children in Need of Assistance (CINA) Division for Baltimore County.  The CINA Division represents parents whose children are removed or at risk of being removed by the government.  This is a full time position with offices located in Towson, Maryland. The attorney will be assigned to represent parents in Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, and Howard Counties as needed. The selected candidate will begin with OPD in September of 2016.  Though the office is located in Towson, Maryland, this position requires travel to Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, and Howard Counties on a frequent basis. Click here to learn more about this opportunity.

      • To apply for this position please submit a: (1) current resume, (2) cover letter addressing the above qualifications, (3) list of references, (4) completed Applicant Essay (available on our website under “Careers”), and (5) law school transcript.  (1)-(5) outlined above must be submitted electronically in one email to attorneyjobs@opd.state.md.us.  In the subject line of the email please indicate “APDI, CINA Division Baltimore County.”  Incomplete applications will not be considered.  CLOSING DATE: MAY 8, 2016.

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.