Maryland Office of the Public Defender: Justice, Fairness and Dignity For All 

For questions regarding volunteer opportunities with OPD please contact the Recruitment Division.

Law Clerk Opportunities with OPD

OPD offers a hands-on experience for current law students to assist in the client-centered and team-based representation of OPD clients. This unparalleled experience allows law clerks to be fully incorporated into OPD’s innovative and strategic approach to aggressive litigation and comprehensive advocacy.  Law clerks are fully integrated into our trial teams and work closely with attorneys, investigators, paralegals, social workers and other support staff to ensure our clients receive the best representation possible.  Law clerks typically engage in significant research and writing, witness preparation, investigations, and/or trial preparation.

OPD is a large organization that provides an array of opportunities for law students.  The vast majority of law clerks work in our District offices assisting our trial attorneys in the representation of adult and juvenile clients in criminal cases.  OPD has 12 District offices spread across the State of Maryland. If you are a law student interested in trial work you want to request placement with one of our District offices (the specific office would depend on your geographical preferences and transportation).

OPD's more specialized division also provide law clerk opportunities.  Law students interested in a non-criminal trial experience should consider a placement with one of our statewide divisions.  These smaller divisions offer a unique opportunity to work closely with a smaller group of attorneys in a more highly specialized area of the law.  The following statewide divisions host law clerk (please note the location of these offices in parentheses):

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

Application Procedure for current law school students or recent law school graduates seeking law clerk positions:  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  

*Incomplete or improperly submitted applications will not be considered.  We accept applications on a rolling basis.  Offers are extended for spring semester (roughly January-May), fall semester (roughly September-December), or the summer (May-August).  These are unpaid volunteer positions; however, where appropriate and applicable OPD is willing to provide supervision for law school credit as well as sponsor grant or other outside funding applications.