The Maryland Office of the Public Defender (MOPD) seeks an experienced, zealous, and dedicated attorney to serve as Assistant Public Defender in the MOPD’s Post Conviction Defenders Division. MOPD is committed to building a culturally diverse staff and strongly encourages people historically underrepresented in the practice of law to apply.

The Post Conviction Defenders Division is dedicated to ensuring fairness in criminal convictions and protecting the integrity of our criminal justice system. This division represents indigent inmates at post-conviction proceedings throughout the state of Maryland. MOPD strives to achieve Justice, Fairness, and Dignity for All. Our employees are committed to the core values of a culture of excellence, client-centered representation, and 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 Position:

The attorney in this position is responsible for ensuring zealous representation of indigent defendants in collateral attacks on convictions. The successful candidate will combine their demonstrated dedication to the representation of indigent clients with their strong litigation skills to provide exceptional representation in post conviction and other related proceedings. Post Conviction Defenders are expected to work independently in managing active caseloads while simultaneously working in a team-oriented environment focused on a client-centered approach to representation. This position requires travel throughout the state of Maryland. However, the office is located in Baltimore, Maryland. We will consider candidates at all experience levels.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Passionate and zealous representation of clients in post-conviction proceedings including, but not limited to conducting extensive legal research, writing persuasive legal briefs, interviewing potential witnesses, preparing for hearings, conducting effective direct and cross-examinations, and negotiating alternative resolutions.
  • Ability to manage an active hearing schedule and heavy caseload competently and resourcefully.
  • Represent clients in hearings for motions for modification, requests for drug treatment, and other similar motions.
  • Effectively and compassionately communicate with incarcerated clients, their families, colleagues, and service providers to ensure optimal outcomes for clients.
  • Ensure clients are consistently heard and respected.
  • Continuously seek professional and personal development through training, continuing legal education, trial skills courses, and keeping apprised of new and relevant case law.
  • Other duties as assigned by the State Public Defender.

Salary and Benefits:

Salary is dependent on experience and salary rules will apply to State of Maryland employees.

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

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

Assistant Public Defender III– $103,514.00-$135,450.00 (Grade 22: Step 10-Step 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 submit the following items in one PDF attachment through the Resume Tab: (1) a current resume, (2) a cover letter addressing the above qualifications, (3) a list of four professional references, (4) a persuasive writing sample, not a judicial opinion, and (5) law school transcript (if within 3 years of graduation). 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    

Training and Qualifications
  • Demonstrated commitment to serving communities who have been pushed to the margins.
  • Clear dedication to upending systemic racism, prejudice, and unfairness in the criminal justice system.
  • Compassion.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to communicate effectively with people from different backgrounds and experiences.
  • Excellent research, written and oral advocacy.
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, diverse, team-oriented environment.
  • Exceptional organizational, legal, and administrative skills necessary to manage an active heavy caseload.
  • Judicial law clerk experience and/or post-conviction exposure/litigation experience preferred.
  • Active membership in good standing with the State of Maryland Bar or Bar of another state. OPD will consider individuals who have sat for the February 2024 bar examination. If selected, offers will be extended contingent on membership to the bar in advance of the start date. Preference in the selection process will be given to candidates who are already a member of the bar. Attorneys barred in another state must become members of the Maryland bar within 18 months of the start date.
Job Contact
Durriyyah Hollimon