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Experienced Attorney

Western Maryland Region

Recruitment #24-005799-0018


The Maryland Office of the Public Defender (MOPD) has multiple openings for experienced and zealous litigators to serve as Assistant Public Defenders in our Western area offices. The Western region includes Frederick County, Washington County, Allegany County, and Garrett County. The attorney in this position will combine their demonstrated commitment with their strong and zealous litigation skills to provide exceptional representation on behalf of their clients. We are committed to building a culturally diverse staff and strongly encourage people historically underrepresented in the practice of law to apply.

At MOPD 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.  MOPD seeks candidates who will join us in providing compassionate, competent, zealous, and client-centered representation to all of our clients. Learn more about our mission and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.




District XI: Frederick and Washington County
District XII: Allegany and Garrett County

Main Purpose of Job

The positions require 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, investigators, experts, 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. Office placements will be determined by the needs of MOPD at the time of offer. Attorneys should be available to start within one month after receiving an offer.


Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Represent clients in all stages of their criminal case including bail hearings, motions hearings, and trial, and post-trial hearings.
  • Ensures 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, and correspondence 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 establish agreements to resolve cases favorably for the client.
  • Competently, independently, and resourcefully manage a full caseload.
  • Continuously seek professional development by attending various training sessions.
  • 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 legal 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 jury trial experience required. Felony (cases involving complex issues and/or where clients are facing the possibility of a life sentence) jury trial experience 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 their start date with MOPD.



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

Assistant Public Defender II- $96,227.00-$136,003.00 (Grade 21: Step 08- Step 26)

Assistant Public Defender III- $106,620.00-$145,151.00 (Grade 22: Step 10- Step 26)


The Maryland Office of the Public Defender offers a generous benefits package that includes excellent medical, dental, and vision insurance. Benefits also include retirement savings, life insurance, and the option to participate in supplemental retirement options. MOPD Employees receive 6 days of personal leave, 15 days of sick leave, and at least 10 days of annual leave each calendar year in addition to paid holidays, and parental leave.

For more details and a full list of benefits as an employee with the Maryland Office of the Public Defender click here.


How to Apply: 

If you wish to be considered, please click below to fill out the application and upload the following documents in one PDF attachment through the Resume Tab of the Maryland State Government Job Openings: (1) a current resume, (2) a cover letter, (3) a list of four professional references, and (4) a writing sample no longer than fifteen (15) pages.

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, office environments, and detention facilities 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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