The Maryland Office of the Public Defender (MOPD) seeks zealous and dedicated litigators to represent young people in both delinquency and criminal matters in our Baltimore City office.  We are committed to building a culturally diverse staff and strongly encourage people historically underrepresented in the practice of law to apply.


The Baltimore City office is a large urban public defender’s office with 200+ employees providing client-centered representation to individuals charged with misdemeanors and felonies in Baltimore City. MOPD’s vision is for Justice, Fairness, and Dignity for All. We are committed to our core values of a culture of excellence, client-centered representation, and tenacious advocacy, and remain united as a team in achieving our mission. 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. Learn more about our mission and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. 


Overview of the Position

MOPD Juvenile Defenders provide consistent client-centered representation to their clients from their first court appearance through their entire case. This vertical representation model leads to deep and lasting client relationships and continuity of representation across years and cases. 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. This position will be located at 300 N Gay Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21202. The position requires travel throughout the city of Baltimore as well as familiarity with the challenges and joys of working with young people in a major American city.


Primary Responsibilities

  • Represent youth at arraignment, adjudication, disposition, and post-disposition hearings.
  • Represent clients in administrative matters related to conditions of confinement and access to treatment.
  • Work to identify and advocate for solutions to systemic issues.
  • Work collaboratively with social workers and core staff to assist clients and their families in matters related to housing, education, school discipline, mental health, and other collateral matters that contribute to deepening system involvement.
  • Investigate, develop, and litigate novel and cutting-edge Constitutional arguments in order to advance and expand the rights of young people in contact with the juvenile justice system.
  • Competently and resourcefully prepare for and manage an active caseload.
  • 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.
  • Continuously seek professional and personal development through trainings, CLEs, and trial skills courses.
  • Other duties as assigned by the State Public Defender.



Salary is dependent on experience and the State of Maryland salary rules will apply to any offer made. This would be a lateral transfer for MOPD attorneys.


Assistant Public Defender I: $86,762.00-$127,473.00 (Grade 20: Step 6-Step 26) 

Assistant Public Defender II: $96,227.00-$136,003.00 (Grade 21: Step 8-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 here to fill out the application and submit the following items in one PDF attachment through the Resume tab of the Maryland State Government Job Openings Page: (1) current resume, (2) cover letter, (3) list of four professional references, (4) writing sample, and (5) transcript (if graduated from law school within the past 3 years). 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

Core Competencies and Requirements
  • Demonstrated commitment to zealous and comprehensive defense practice, including the ability to represent clients in juvenile, criminal, and administrative hearings.
  • Excellent research, writing, and oral advocacy skills.
  • Knowledge, training, and experience related to adolescent development, neuroscience, education, mental health treatment, and best practices for juvenile rehabilitation.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with people of different backgrounds and lived experiences. Proven expertise in communicating with children and adolescents is preferred.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, diverse, team-oriented environment.
  • Exceptional organizational, legal, and administrative skills necessary to handle a high caseload.
  • Criminal trial and/or experience representing juveniles preferred.
  • Active membership in good standing in the Maryland Bar or Bar of another State by start date. Attorneys barred in another state must become members of the Maryland Bar within 18 months of the start date.
Job Contact
Durriyyah Hollimon