The Maryland Office of the Public Defender (MOPD) seeks an experienced, zealous, client-centered attorney to serve as an Assistant Public Defender in the Forensic Mental Health Division (FMHD). MOPD is committed to building a culturally diverse staff and strongly encourages people historically underrepresented in the practice of law to apply.

MOPD’s Forensic Mental Division is responsible for identifying standards and promoting best practices necessary to provide superior legal representation to clients with complex mental health needs. MOPD’s vision is for Justice, Fairness, and Dignity for All. Our employees are committed to the core values of a culture of excellence, client-centered representation, tenacious advocacy, and are united as a team in achieving the MOPD’s mission. Learn more about our mission and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Overview of the Position

The Forensic Mental Health Attorney works directly with MOPD attorneys and panel attorneys to provide specialized litigation support for the representation of clients with complex mental health issues. The FMHD attorney assists in clarifying relevant case strategies, developing contextual legal frameworks, and identifying appropriate psychologists, psychiatrists, or other mental/behavioral health experts to assist in the process. The FMHD attorney role includes advising and providing training to attorneys, direct litigation participation, developing institutional models for practice, and participating in relevant policy development. The position will be located at 6 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, Maryland.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

·       Collaborate with all litigation team members to promote comprehensive client-centered representation.

·       Communicate with the Chief of the Forensic Mental Health Division to establish best practices in the representation of clients with mental health needs.

·       Support MOPD attorney and panel attorneys in all aspects of forensic mental health evidence and expert testimony, including reviewing mental health records, identifying trial strategies and defenses, and identifying expert consultation needs.

·       Identify and retain behavioral health consultant experts necessary to provide individualized representation.

·       Directly participate in litigation as needed.

·       Represent MOPD in agency, local, and state committees and organizational activities.

·       In collaboration with the Training Division, develop and conduct training programs to enhance the representation of clients with complex health needs.

·       Continuously seek professional and personal development through trainings, CLEs, and trial skills courses.

·       Accepts other duties as assigned by the State Public Defender.

Salary and Benefits

Salary is dependent on experience. The State of Maryland salary rules will apply to all current State of Maryland employees.

This would be a lateral transfer for any internal MOPD candidates.

Assistant Public Defender I- $84,225.00-$118,953.00 (Grade 20, Step 6-24)

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 here to fill out the application and upload the following documents in one PDF attachment on the Resume Tab in the JobAps Application: (1) current resume, (2) cover letter addressing the above qualifications, (3) list of four references, and (4) a legal writing sample.

Assistant Public Defenders are full-time employees who serve at the pleasure of the Public Defender. Criminal Procedure Art., Section 16-203(d). Assistant Public Defenders cannot engage in the private practice of law while in this position.

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 tawandal.jackson@maryland.gov.

Requirements
 Training and Qualifications ·       Demonstrated commitment to zealous, client-centered representation of clients. ·       Strong legal research, writing, and oral advocacy skills. ·       Jury trial experience preferred. ·       Litigation experience in Criminal and/or parental defense litigation experience. (5 years preferred). ·       Experience finding, consulting, and utilizing forensic mental health experts during all phases of a criminal case, including but not limited to at trial and for mitigation. ·       Specialized training, education, and experience in any of the listed areas: psychology, psychiatry, civil commitment litigation, or other behavioral health-related occupations. ·       Ability to communicate clearly and concisely with MOPD clients, attorneys, consulting experts, and other stakeholders to achieve the best outcome on client’s cases. ·       Active membership in good standing in the Maryland Bar or the Bar of another State. Individuals who are members of the Bar of another State must be admitted to the Maryland Bar within 18 months of their start date with OPD.
Job Contact
Durriyyah Hollimon
410-691-1530 opd.jobs-law@maryland.gov