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!  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

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. 

RECRUITMENTS FOR OUR SPECIALIZED DIVISIONS  

Experienced Felony Attorney: Anne Arundel County: OPD seeks an experienced, zealous, and dedicated litigator to serve as a circuit court attorney in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. The attorney in this position is expected to work independently in managing an active serious felony caseload while simultaneously working in a team-oriented environment focused on a client-centered approach to representation.  The position commences in early 2017 and is located in Annapolis, Maryland.   Click here for 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) writing sample, and (5) 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 “APDIII, District VII.”  Incomplete applications will not be considered. This position closes on November 22, 2016.

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 one of these 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 Defender: Mental Health Division (Western Maryland): OPD seeks a dedicated and zealous litigator to serve as an Assistant Public Defender in the Mental Health Division (MHD) in Western Maryland. MHD protects and advances the rights of indigent persons with mental illness in civil involuntary commitment proceedings. MHD represents criminal defendants committed to state hospitals pursuant to a finding of not criminally responsible (NCR) at subsequent release hearings. MHD also represent clients before administrative law judges, and in in court trials, jury trials and appellate hearings throughout the state. Representation of MHD clients includes: representation at involuntary commitment and release hearings before administrative law judges; appeals of administrative decisions; and representation at release hearings before judges and juries across the state. The attorney in this position will have an office located in Cumberland, Maryland but will be advocating primarily in Carroll, Frederick, Washington and Allegany Counties (with possible emergency coverage in other counties). Click here for more information about the position.

  • 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, and (5) if out of law school less than 3 years, law school transcript.  Items (1) – (5) must be submitted electronically in one email to attorneyjobs@opd.state.md.us. In the subject line of the email please indicate "APDI, MHD Western Maryland."  Incomplete applications will not be considered. 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.