The Maryland Office of the Public Defender (OPD) seeks a demonstrated leader and tenacious litigator to serve as the Chief Attorney of the Juvenile Division for District I (Baltimore City).  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. 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.

Overview of the Position The Chief Attorney in the Juvenile Division combines their demonstrated dedication to the representation of indigent youth clients with their strong leadership and litigation skills to ensure the highest standard of client representation in a team-oriented environment focused on a client-centered approach to representation. The Chief Attorney of the Juvenile Division is involved in the day-to-day operations and supervision of the supervising attorneys, attorneys, and core staff assigned to the Juvenile Division in Baltimore City.  The Chief Attorney reports directly to the District Public Defender and the Deputy District Public Defender for Baltimore City.  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 Duties and Responsibilities

  • Supervises and manages the supervising attorneys, attorneys, and other professional and core staff in the Juvenile Division.
  • Collaborates with all members of the Baltimore City (District I) leadership team to maintain the highest standards of representation by ensuring accountability, fostering mentorship, and developing District-wide strategy.
  • Actively consults with attorneys on case preparation and trial strategy.
  • Monitors the distribution of juvenile cases and attorney caseloads to ensure optimal client outcomes.
  • Cultivates excellence and professional development amongst attorneys, including providing regular in-house training programs, and working with the Training Division and other Statewide Divisions to develop training programs.
  • Maintains an active caseload and participates in exemplary juvenile public defense litigation.
  • Communicates with other stakeholders, including but not limited to, the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, the Baltimore City Police Department, and the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services.
  • Works to identify and advocate for solutions to systemic issues – including but not limited to reducing the use of incarceration, increasing the use of evidence-based community programming, enhancing the input of impacted youth, addressing discriminatory disproportionate contact with the criminal legal system, unconstitutional police practices, the school-to-prison pipeline, and the immigration consequences of a juvenile arrest.
  • Develops collaborative strategies 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.
  • Investigates, develops and litigates novel and cutting-edge Constitutional arguments to advance and expand the rights of young people in contact with the juvenile legal system.
  • Responds to media requests related to Baltimore City youth justice issues.
  • Assists with MOPD’s legislative advocacy efforts related to youth justice issues.
  • Accepts other duties as assigned by the State Public Defender.
Training and Qualifications
  • Demonstrated leadership, mentorship, client advocacy, management abilities, and commitment to tenacious and comprehensive juvenile public defense.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the principles of attorney supervision, training, professional development, and State personnel policies and procedures.
  • Knowledge, training, and experience related to adolescent development, neuroscience, education, mental health treatment, and best practices for juvenile rehabilitation.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including possessing the cultural competence necessary to collaborate with diverse stakeholder groups.
  • Proven expertise in communicating with children and adolescents is strongly preferred.
  • Comfort working within prisons and jails.
  • Seven (7) years of criminal litigation experience and strong trial skills (Jury trial experience is preferred, but not required)
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Prior experience managing attorneys and support staff.
  • Ability to make decisions, and interact with requests from press and media outlets in a client-centered manner.
  • Active membership in good standing in the Maryland Bar or 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 the start date.
Job Contact
Durriyyah Hollimon