The Maryland Office of the Public Defender (MOPD) seeks zealous litigators at all levels to serve as Assistant Public Defenders for our District XI office, Frederick and Washington County. MOPD is committed to building a culturally diverse staff and strongly encourages people historically underrepresented in the practice of law to apply.

The Frederick and Washington County offices are busy, rural public defender offices with a combined total of approximately 50 employees providing client-centered representation to individuals charged with misdemeanor and felony offenses. 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:

The position of Assistant Public Defender requires exceptional trial skills, innovative thinking, investigative skills, and the ability to work independently in managing an active caseload in District and Circuit Court. 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.

Duties and Responsibilities:

●       Represent clients in legal matters, including but not limited to bail hearings, motions hearings, trials in District Court and Circuit Court, violation of probation hearings, and other hearings that relate to the client’s criminal case.

●       Ensure 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, correspondence, and appeals 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 and other parties to establish agreements to resolve cases favorably for the client.

●       Provides post-representation follow-up with the client regarding matters such as client release, and other appropriate collateral issues.

●       Competently, independently, and resourcefully manage a full caseload.

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

●       Other duties as assigned by the Public Defender.

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 justice 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.

●       Active membership in good standing with 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 and Benefits:

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

Assistant Public Defender I- $84,225.00-$107,833.00 (Grade 20: Step 06-Step 19)

Assistant Public Defender II- $93,424.00-$115,048.00 (Grade 21: Step 08- Step 19)

Assistant Public Defender III- $103,514.00-$122,774.00 (Grade 22: Step 10- Step 19)

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 Maryland State Government Job Openings Resume Page: (1) a current resume, (2) a cover letter, (3) a list of four references, and (4) writing sample (required only for attorneys with 3+ years of experience pursuing a felony position). 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 tawandal.jackson@maryland.gov.

Requirements
Assistant Public Defender I Education: A Juris Doctorate degree or equivalent degree from an accredited school of law. Experience: None Notes: 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. Assistant Public Defender II & III Education: A Juris Doctorate degree or equivalent degree from an accredited school of law. Experience: Experience as a practicing Attorney. Notes: 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.