The Office of the Public Defender (OPD) offers various volunteer opportunities.  We offer general volunteer opportunities as well as opportunities for current students, law school graduates, paralegals, and attorneys.    Volunteers are fully incorporated into OPD’s innovative, team-based, strategic approach to aggressive litigation and comprehensive advocacy. 

The Office of the Public Defender law clerk and internship programs provide unparalleled exposure to the criminal justice system and hands on experience in a smart and dynamic atmosphere.  Law students and recent law school graduates join our trial teams as law clerks.  Undergraduate students join our teams as interns. Law clerks and interns are fully integrated into the team representation model and work closely with attorneys, investigators, paralegals, social workers and other support staff to ensure our clients receive the best representation possible. 

The State of Maryland, Office of the Public Defender (OPD) maintains twelve District offices throughout the State of Maryland.  Assistant Public Defenders in each of our District offices represent adult and juvenile indigent clients in felony and misdemeanor matters in Circuit and District Courts.

OPD also has several statewide divisions that engage in direct representation, including the: Appellate, Collateral Review, and Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) Divisions.  Additionally, OPD maintains several statewide litigation support divisions and specialty units including: Forensics, Mental Health, Aggravated Homicide, Immigration, Legislative and Juvenile Protection.

Law Clerk Opportunities

Law Clerk opportunities exist in each of our twelve District offices.   Please note that the vast majority of our trial court litigation is conducted by our attorneys in our District offices.  Further, OPD offers law clerk opportunities with the statewide divisions and specialty units listed below.  Please note the location of those positions in parenthesis.

  • Appellate (Baltimore City)
  • Children in Need of Assistance (Rockville, Upper Marlboro, Baltimore City, Towson)
  • Collateral Review Division (Baltimore City)
  • Forensics (Baltimore City)
  • Immigration (Rockville)
  • Juvenile Protection Division (Baltimore City)
  • Legislative Division (Baltimore City)
  • Mental Health Division (Baltimore City) 

Application Procedure for current law school students or recent law school graduates seeking law clerk positions:  OPD accepts law clerk and intern applications for the fall semester, spring semester, and the summer. To apply please submit a (1) cover letter, (2) current resume, (3) list of references, (4) writing sample, and (5) completed Law Clerk Application.  All materials should be submitted electronically by emailing them, in a single email, to lawclerkJobs@opd.state.md.us.  

Incomplete or improperly submitted applications will not be considered.  Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.  Applications are considered as received.  Accordingly, it is recommended that you submit your materials as soon as possible.  Applications received after the deadlines outlined below are not guaranteed consideration. 

Internship Opportunities

Many, but not all, of our District offices and statewide divisions also accept undergradute, graduate, and paralegal students to join our litigation teams as interns.  In addition to our internship program, our Montgomery and Prince George's County offices offer investigative internship opportunities and our Forsensics Division offers a Forensic Specialist internship.

Application Procedure for current paralegal students, college students, or graduate students seeking internship positions: Please submit a (1) cover letter, (2) current resume, (3) list of references, and (4) completed Internship Application.  All materials should be submitted electronically by emailing them, in a single email, to recruit1@opd.state.md.us.  Incomplete or improperly submitted applications will not be considered.

Incomplete or improperly submitted applications will not be considered.  Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.  Applications are considered as received.  Accordingly, it is recommended that you submit your materials as soon as possible.  Applications received after the deadlines outlined below are not guaranteed consideration. 

Volunteer Attorney Positions

The Maryland Office of the Public Defender has limited opportunities for dedicated and client-centered Maryland barred attorneys to work alongside Assistant Public Defenders.  Please contact the Recruitment Division directly for more information before applying.

Application Procedure for Maryland barred attorneys seeking volunteer attorney positions:  Please submit a (1) cover letter, (2) current resume, (3) list of references, (4) completed Volunteer Attorney Application, and (5) certificate of good standing.  All materials should be submitted electronically by emailing them, in a single email, to recruit1@opd.state.md.us.  Incomplete or improperly submitted applications will not be considered.

Other Volunteer Positions

Application Procedure for all other volunteers: Please submit a (1) cover letter, (2) current resume, (3) list of references, and (5) completed Volunteer Application.  All materials should be submitted electronically by emailing them, in a single email, to recruit1@opd.state.md.us.  Incomplete or improperly submitted applications will not be considered.