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 are currently recruiting for our Spring Class 2017, Fall Class 2017, and 3Ls to join OPD in 2018!  Scroll down for more information.

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.

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: we are currently recruiting third year law students for post-graduate attorney positions with Maryland OPD.  Selected candidates will join OPD as trial attorneys in January, 2018.  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.  Offers will be extended for a region (Suburban Washington D.C., Baltimore area...etc.) taking into account the candidate's preferences.  Finalized placement decisions will be made in advance of the start date.

  • To apply for these positions please submit a: (1) current resume, (2) cover letter, (3) law school transcript (official or unofficial); (4) list of references, (5) completed 3L Supplemental Information Sheet; and (6) completed Applicant Essay.  Email items (1)-(6) in one email to attorneyjobs@opd.state.md.us. In the subject line of the email please indicate "2016 3L Attorney Application." Incomplete applications will not be considered. CLOSING DATE: OCTOBER 24, 2016.  

Spring Class: we are currently recruiting for our Spring Class of 2017.  Offers will be extended for positions across the state.  Candidates must be members of the bar one month prior to the start date (early March), but do not need to be a member of the bar at the time of application. 

  • To apply for a position in our Spring Class please submit a: (1) current resume, (2) cover letter, (3) law school transcript (official or unofficial); (4) list of references, (5) completed Supplemental Information Sheet, and (6) completed Applicant Essay.  Items (1)-(6) must be submitted electronically in one email to attorneyjobs@opd.state.md.us.  In the subject line of the email please indicate “Spring Class of 2017.”  Incomplete applications will not be considered.  CLOSING DATE: NOVEMBER 16, 2016. 

Fall Class: we are currently recruiting for our Fall Class of 2017.  OPD recruits for the Fall Class in two waves.  We will be extending a limited amount of offers this winter to join OPD in the fall of 2017.  We will again accept applications 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 to apply for the Fall Class. 

  •  To apply for this position please submit a: (1) current resume, (2) cover letter, (3) law school transcript (official or unofficial); (4) list of references, (5) completed Supplemental Information Sheet, and (6) completed Applicant EssayItems (1)-(6) outlined above must be submitted electronically in one email to attorneyjobs@opd.state.md.us.  In the subject line of the email please indicate “Fall Class of 2017.”  Incomplete applications will not be considered. CLOSING DATE: OCTOBER 30, 2017.

RECRUITMENTS FOR OUR SPECIALIZED DIVISIONS  

Appellate Defender: The Maryland Office of the Public Defender 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. The position will be located at 6 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, Maryland. The projected start date would depend on the availability of the selected candidate, but in no circumstance would it be later than September, 2017.

  •  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. POSITION OPEN UNTIL FILLED.  

Assistant Public Defender: Frederick County:  OPD seeks a zealous and dedicated litigator to serve as an Assistant Public Defender in Frederick, Maryland.  The attorney in this position is expected to work independently in managing an active misdemeanor caseload while simultaneously working in a team-oriented environment focused on a client-centered approach to representation.  Although this position will be located at 100 West Patrick Street Frederick, Maryland 21701, the selected attorney may be asked to practice in our Hagerstown office based on the needs of the District as a whole.

  • 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 (available on our website under “Careers”), and (5) law school transcript.  Items (1)-(5) electronically in one email to attorneyjobs@opd.state.md.us.  In the subject line of the email please indicate “APDI, District XI.”  Incomplete applications will not be considered.  CLOSING DATE: OCTOBER 2, 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.