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.  

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.



Assistant Public Defender I: Lower Eastern Shore (Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester Counties): OPD seeks a dynamic, dedicated, and client-centered litigator to serve as an Assistant Public Defender in Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester Counties located in the Eastern Shore of Maryland.  The attorney in this position is expected to work independently in managing an active caseload while simultaneously working in a team-oriented environment focused on a client-centered approach to representation.  Although District Two attorneys are primarily assigned to one of the four counties, all attorneys in the district must remain flexible to placement in any of the counties within District Two.  This position will commence in early March, 2017.

  • If you wish to be considered for this position please submit a: (1) current resume, (2) cover letter, (3) law school transcript (required if applicant is five or less years out of law school); (4) list of references; and (5) completed Applicant Essay.  Please email items (1)-(5) in one email to  In the subject line of the email please indicate “APDI, Eastern Shore.”  Incomplete applications will not be considered. CLOSING DATE: January 22, 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 the 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  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.