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.

 

RECRUITMENTS FOR OUR SPECIALIZED DIVISIONS  

Chief Attorney, Felony Division: Baltimore City: The Maryland Office of the Public Defender (OPD) seeks a demonstrated leader and zealous litigator to serve as the Chief Attorney of the Felony Division for Baltimore City.  OPD’s Baltimore City District Office is a busy, urban public defender office.  The Chief Attorney in the Felony Division combines his/her demonstrated dedication to the representation of indigent clients with his/her strong leadership and litigation skills to ensure the highest standard of client representation in a team-oriented environment focused on a client-centered approach to representation. The Chief Attorney in the Felony Division is involved in all aspects of the day-to-day operations of the Division, including the supervision of attorneys and support staff.  This position is located at 201 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, Maryland 21202.  Click here to learn 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.  Please email items (1)-(4) in one email to attorneyjobs@opd.state.md.us.  In the subject line of the email please indicate “Felony Chief, Baltimore City.”  Incomplete applications will not be considered.   CLOSING DATE: March 2, 2017.

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.

Deputy Chief Attorney: Post Conviction Defenders: The Maryland Office of the Public Defender seeks a dynamic leader and experienced litigator to help lead its Post Conviction Defenders Division in providing high quality advocacy on behalf of clients in post conviction matters.  With the Chief Attorney of the Post Conviction Defenders, the Deputy Chief Attorney is responsible for ensuring zealous representation of indigent defendants in collateral attacks on convictions, supervision of personnel and operations of the Post Conviction Defenders Division, and participating in the Office of the Public Defender’s management team.  The Deputy Chief Attorney of the Post Conviction Defenders Division will assist the Division in the implementation of OPD’s strategic plan.  The Deputy Chief Attorney reports to the Chief Attorney of the Post Conviction Defenders Division.  This position will be located in Baltimore, Maryland but will involve travel throughout the state. Click here to learn 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, and (5) writing sample.  Please email items (1)-(5) in one email to attorneyjobs@opd.state.md.us.  In the subject line of the email please indicate “Deputy Chief Attorney: Post Conviction Defenders.”  Incomplete applications will not be considered. CLOSING DATE: March 2, 2017. 

Supervising Attorney: Cecil County (District III): The Maryland Office of the Public Defender (OPD) seeks a demonstrated leader and zealous litigator to serve as a Supervising Attorney in our Cecil County office.  OPD’s Cecil County office is a busy, public defender office with approximately 10+ attorneys and staff.  A Supervising Attorney combines his/her demonstrated dedication to the representation of indigent clients with their strong leadership and litigation skills to ensure the highest standard of client representation in a team-oriented environment focused on a client-centered approach to representation. A Supervising Attorney is involved in the day-to-day operations and supervision of attorneys and support staff.  This position is located in the Elkton District Court/Multi-Service Center at 170 E. Main Street Elkton, Maryland 21921 and would require minimal travel to the other counties within District III as well as to other OPD statewide trainings and events.  Click here to learn more information about this position. 

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

Assistant Public Defender: Post Conviction Defenders Division:  The Maryland Office of the Public Defender (OPD) seeks a dedicated attorney for the Post Conviction Defenders Division.  An Assistant Public Defender combines his/her demonstrated dedication to the representation of indigent clients with his/her strong research, writing, and litigations skills to provide exceptional representation. 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. This position is located in Baltimore City, but involves travel throughout the state.  The projected start date is the Fall of 2017. Click here to learn 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) writing sample, (5) law transcript, and (6) completed Applicant Essay. Please email items (1)-(5) in one email to attorneyjobs@opd.state.md.us.  In the subject line of the email please indicate “APDI, Post Conviction.”  Incomplete applications will not be considered. CLOSING DATE: February 22, 2017. 

Experienced Trial Attorney: Youthful Defendant Unit (Baltimore City): The Maryland Office of the Public Defender (OPD) seeks a zealous, and dedicated litigator to represent juvenile clients charged as adults in circuit court proceedings in Baltimore City, Maryland.   The Youthful Defendant Unit (YDU) represents juvenile clients charged with the most serious offenses during high stakes transfer hearings and then provides consistent representation through the completion of the trial.  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.  Click here to learn more about this position.

  • If you wish to be considered for this position please submit a: (1) resume, (2) cover letter addressing the above qualifications, (3) list of references, (4) completed Applicant Essay, and (5) writing sample.  Please email the listed items in one email to attorneyjobs@opd.state.md.us.  In the subject line of the email please indicate “YDU, Baltimore City.”  Incomplete applications will not be considered.  CLOSING DATE: March 17, 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.