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Experienced Attorney

Multiple Openings Across the State of Maryland

Recruitment #24-005799-0010


The Maryland Office of the Public Defender (MOPD) seeks an experienced and zealous litigator to serve as an Assistant Public Defender in locations throughout the State of Maryland. We are committed to building a culturally diverse staff and strongly encourage people historically underrepresented in the practice of law to apply.

The Maryland Office of the Public Defender is a statewide agency that provides superior representation to indigent clients at all stages of the criminal case including trial, appeal, and eligible post-conviction proceedings. Representation is provided through offices and services at 52 locations statewide with approximately 1000 employees. At MOPD, we use our legal education and expertise to fight for justice and fairness, as tenacious advocates we refuse to remain silent amid human suffering. Our unique talents, identities, educational backgrounds, and perspectives guide us in providing superior representation to our clients. We stand firm against prejudice, systemic racism, and inequity in all communities and spaces.

MOPD’s mission focuses on Justice, Fairness, and Dignity for All. Employees are committed to the core values of a culture of excellence, client-centered representation, and tenacious advocacy, and function as a team united in achieving MOPD’s mission. Learn more about the mission, public defense, and our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.


ASTD 21, ASTD 22


District 1 (Baltimore City)
District 2 (Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico, Worcester Counties)
District 3 (Caroline, Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne's, and Talbot Counties)
District 4 (Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary's Counties)
District 5 (Prince George's County)
District 6 (Montgomery County)
District 7 (Anne Arundel County)
District 8 (Baltimore County)
District 9 (Harford County)
District 10 (Carroll and Howard Counties)
District 11 (Frederick and Washington Counties)
District 12 (Allegany and Garrett Counties)

Main Purpose of Job

The position requires exceptional trial skills, innovative thinking, investigative skills, and the ability to work independently in managing an active felony caseload. Attorneys work in conjunction with social workers and core staff in a team-oriented environment. Attorneys must be able to balance a client-centered approach to representation with advocacy to address systemic inequity and the collateral consequences that lead to deeper system involvement.


Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Represent clients in all stages of their criminal case, including but not limited to bail hearings, motions hearings, trials, and appeals.
  • Ensure clients are consistently heard and respected.
  • Conducts legal research and analysis including changes in laws, legislation, procedural rules, court decisions, and case precedents in preparation for trial and to determine/ anticipate legal problems and propose resolutions.
  • Drafts and prepares reports, memoranda in opposition, briefs, motions, correspondence, and appeals for clients.
  • Effectively and compassionately communicate with clients, team members, colleagues, and service providers to ensure optimal outcomes for clients.
  • Counsels and advises clients on changes in law, court decisions, and legal issues.
  • Negotiates with prosecutors, judges, and other stakeholders to reach outcomes favorable for the client.
  • Provides post-representation follow-up with the client regarding matters such as client release and other appropriate collateral issues.
  • Competently, independently, and resourcefully manage a full caseload.
  • Continuously seek professional and personal development through training, CLEs, and trial skills courses.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Public Defender. 


Education: A Juris Doctorate degree or equivalent degree from an accredited school of law.

Experience: Experience as a practicing Attorney.


1. Candidates shall be an Attorney and admitted to practice law in the State by the Court of Appeals of Maryland, at the time of appointment.

2. The above requirements are set by the Office of the Public Defender in accordance with Criminal Procedure Article, Section 16-203 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

3. Candidates may substitute U.S. Armed Forces military service experience as a commissioned officer in general attorney classification or general attorney specialty codes in the legal and kindred group field of work on a year-for-year basis for the required experience and education.


Core Competencies and Requirements:

  • Demonstrated commitment to serving communities who have been pushed to the margins.
  • Excellent research, writing, and oral advocacy skills.
  • Clear dedication to upending systemic racism, prejudice, and unfairness in the criminal justice system.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively with people from different backgrounds and lived experiences.
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, diverse, team-oriented environment.
  • Exceptional organizational, legal, and administrative skills necessary to handle a high caseload.
  • Criminal trial experience required. Felony jury trial experience (experience handling complex criminal jury trials where clients are facing the possibility of a life sentence) is preferred.
  • Active membership in good standing in the Maryland Bar or Bar of another state. Attorneys barred in another state must become members of the Maryland Bar within 18 months of the start date.


Salary and Benefits:

Salary is dependent on experience and salary rules will apply to State of Maryland employees. This would be a lateral transfer for any internal candidates applying.

Assistant Public Defender II- $93,424.00-$126,912.00 (Grade 21, Step 8-24)

Assistant Public Defender III- $103,514.00-$135,450.00 (Grade 22, Step 10-24)

Please visit the State of Maryland Employee’s page to review benefit information.


How to Apply:  

If you wish to be considered, please click below to fill out the application and submit the following items in one PDF attachment through the Maryland State Government Job Openings Page Resume Tab: (1) a current resume, (2) a cover letter, (3) a list of four references, and (4) writing sample (required only for attorneys with 3+ years of experience pursuing a felony position). Incomplete applications will not be considered. 


Assistant Public Defenders are full-time employees and cannot engage in the private practice of law while in this position. MD Code, Criminal Procedure Art., Section 16-203(d)(2).


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

Click on a link below to apply for this position:

Fill out the Supplemental Questionnaire and Application NOW using the Internet. Apply Online
View and print the Supplemental Questionnaire. This recruitment requires completion of a supplemental questionnaire. You may view and print the supplemental questionnaire here.
Apply via Paper Application. You may also download and complete the Paper Application here.

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