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Criminal Trial Law Clerk/Legal Intern


Recruitment #23-005302-0012


The Maryland Office of the Public Defender (OPD) seeks dedicated and client-centered law students and recent law school graduates to serve as Law Clerks/Legal Interns. OPD provides superior representation to indigent individuals. Law Clerks/Legal Interns will assist our trial attorneys in the representation of adult and youth individuals in criminal cases, which range in seriousness from misdemeanor theft to homicide. We are committed to building a culturally diverse staff and strongly encourage people historically underrepresented in the practice of law to apply.

Our vision is for Justice, Fairness, and Dignity for All and we are committed to our core values of a culture of excellence, client-centered representation, tenacious advocacy, and remain united as a team in achieving our mission. At OPD we use our legal education and experience to fight for justice and fairness, no matter what and we refuse to remain silent in the midst of human suffering. Our unique talents, identities, educational backgrounds, and perspectives guide us in representing our clients. We stand up against prejudice, systemic racism, and inequity in all of the spaces we occupy. Learn more about our mission and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Selected candidates will be assigned a location in our District III (Caroline, Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne’s, or Talbot Counties), District IV (Charles, Calvert, St. Mary’s Counties), District VI (Montgomery County) District VII (Anne Arundel County), District IX (Harford County), District X (Carroll or Howard Counties), District XI (Washington County and Frederick Counties) or with our Legislative Affairs team. The position is specially funded and expires June 30, 2024.

Main Purpose of Job

OPD offers a hands-on experience for current law students to assist in OPD clients' client-centered and team-based representation. This unparalleled experience allows law clerks to assist in providing comprehensive advocacy. Law clerks/Legal Interns 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, quality representation.


Primary Responsibilities

  • Effectively, proactively, and compassionately communicate with clients, family members, team members, colleagues, community resources, and service providers to ensure optimal outcomes and resolve challenges in an open, constructive, and professional manner.
  • Locate and interview witnesses, interview clients, and take detailed witness statements under Defense Team supervision and/or with Law Clerk/Legal Intern partner accompanying.
  • Conduct background checks and legal research.
  • Draft legal memos.
  • Write reports regarding investigations and tasks in assistance with case development.
  • Other duties as assigned.


Core Competencies and Requirements

  • Demonstrated commitment to zealous indigent defense and client representation.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Strong analytical, research, and writing skills.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with people of different backgrounds and lived experiences.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, diverse, team-oriented environment.
  • Exceptional organizational and administrative skills to manage and meet deadlines.
  • Current Law student preferred. 


Education: A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.

Experience: One year performing secretarial or clerical work involving typing duties.


1. Additional secretarial or clerical experience may be substituted on a year-for-year basis for the required education.

2. Thirty credit hours with a major in secretarial science, office technology or related skills from an accredited college or university may be substituted at the rate of thirty credits for one year of experience.

3. Candidates may substitute U.S. Armed Forces military service experience as a non-commissioned officer in Administration classifications or Administrative, Clerical, or Office Services Specialty codes in the Administrative Support field of work on a year-for-year basis for the required experience.


Salary is dependent on experience and salary rules will apply to State of Maryland employees. Please visit the State of Maryland Employee’s page to review benefit information. 

Student Technical Assistant: $19.38

Undergrad Students: $16.48-$18.72


If you wish to be considered, please click below to fill out the application and submit the following items in one PDF attachment under the Resume tab of the Maryland State Government Job Openings Page: (1) current resume, (2) cover letter, (3) a list of four professional references, and (4) a writing sample.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. 

As a State agency, the Maryland Office of the Public Defender (MOPD) is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. MOPD is committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, or genetic information.

All applicants must be able to communicate with clients and visitors and possess the ability to complete tasks in a fast-paced work environment.  Applicants must be able to work in various positions and travel to various courtrooms and office environments throughout the state. MOPD is further committed to providing equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, its services, programs, and activities by modifying or adjusting the job application process or the job or work environment to make reasonable accommodations to the known applicant or employee to enable the applicant or employee be considered for the position they desire; to perform the essential functions of the position in question; or to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as are enjoyed by other similarly situated employees without disabilities, unless the accommodation imposes an undue hardship.

Applicants must be able to operate a computer and other office equipment. Applicants must have access to a motor vehicle or be able to navigate public transportation. If a reasonable accommodation is needed, please contact Tawanda Jackson, Human Resources Supervisor, at 410-767-8503 or

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