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) in positions across the state of Maryland.  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.

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 (so unfortunately, most current 3Ls are not eligible for these positions). 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 anticipate that we will begin taking applications for the Spring Class of 2018 this fall.  We also anticipate making a limited number of offers for our Fall Class of 2018 this winter--we plan to begin taking applications for those positions this fall. 

We also anticipate taking applications from third year law students this fall.  Candidates who are successful in that process will start with OPD in January, 2019 and join the Spring Class of 2019.  Check back here for more information this fall.

RECRUITMENTS FOR OUR SPECIALIZED DIVISIONS  

Chief Attorney: Juvenile Division (Baltimore City): OPD seeks a demonstrated leader and zealous litigator to serve as the Chief Attorney of the Juvenile Division for District One (Baltimore City). The Chief Attorney in the Juvenile 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 of the Juvenile Division is involved in the day-to-day operations and supervision of the supervising attorneys, attorneys, and core staff assigned to the Juvenile Division in Baltimore City. The Chief Attorney reports directly to the District Public Defender and the Deputy District Public Defender for Baltimore City. This position will be located at 300 N. Gay Street, 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 curriculum vitae, (2) cover letter addressing the above qualifications, (3) list of references, (4) applicant essay, and (5) completed state application. Items (1)-(4) must be submitted electronically. Please email all materials in one email to attorneyjobs@opd.state.md.us. In the subject line of the email please indicate “Chief Attorney, Juvenile Division, District I.” Incomplete applications will not be considered. CLOSING DATE: June 25, 2017.


Forensic Science Litigation Support Attorney: OPD seeks a zealous, client-centered attorney to serve as a Forensic Science Litigation Support Attorney. The Litigation Support Group is a state-wide specialized division that provides support services and training to OPD and panel attorneys in the areas of forensic sciences, mental health, social work, investigations and related ancillary services that are necessary for an effective defense. The primary objective of the Forensic Science arm of the Litigation Support Group is to support excellent, client-centered representation for OPD clients confronted with forensic evidence and expert testimony. Some of the more common areas of forensic science that the Litigation Support Group handles include: DNA, digital evidence (cell phone location data, forensic extractions of digital media storage devices, surveillance video/audio), medical (cause and manner of death/child abuse), toxicology (human specimen/CDS testing), pattern impression (latent fingerprint, firearm/toolmark, handwriting), accident reconstruction, forensic interviews of children, and crime scene reconstruction.  The projected start date for this position is in the early Fall of 2017. The position will be located at 6 St. Paul Street, 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 resume, (2) cover letter addressing the above qualifications, (3) list of references, (4) completed Applicant Essay, (5) law school transcript (unofficial or official), and (6) writing sample. Please email all items in one email to attorneyjobs@opd.state.md.us. In the subject line of the email please indicate “APD: Forensic Science.” Incomplete applications will not be considered. CLOSING DATE: July 1, 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.

  • To apply 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.

Juvenile Defender: Baltimore County: OPD seeks a zealous, and dedicated litigator to represent juveniles in delinquency matters in Baltimore County, Maryland.  The attorney in this position is expected to work independently in managing an active juvenile caseload while simultaneously working in a team-oriented environment focused on a client-centered approach to representation.  The position will commence on August 21, 2017 and will be located in Towson, Maryland.  Click here to learn more about this position.

  • To apply for this position please submit a: (1) current resume, (2) cover letter addressing the above qualifications, (3) list of references, and (4) completed Applicant Essay.  Please email all items in one email to attorneyjobs@opd.state.md.us.  In the subject line of the email please indicate “APD Juvenile Division District VIII.”  Incomplete applications will not be considered.  CLOSING DATE: July 1, 2017.  


 

 

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.