The Maryland Office of the Public Defender (OPD) seeks dynamic, dedicated, and client-centered litigator to serve as Assistant Public Defenders in OPD’s Post Conviction Defenders Division. Assistant Public Defenders combine their demonstrated dedication to the representation of indigent clients with their strong litigation skills to provide exceptional representation in post conviction proceedings, and where applicable, in proceedings involving writs of actual innocence. 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 will be located in Baltimore, Maryland but will involve travel to circuit courts and institutions operated by the Department of Corrections across Maryland. The projected start date will be late fall, early winter. We will consider candidates at all experience levels.
OPD’s vision is for Justice, Fairness, and Dignity for All and we are committed to our core values of a culture of excellence, client-centered representation, tenacious advocacy, and remain united as a team in achieving our mission. At OPD 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. OPD seeks candidates that 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.
Core Competencies and Requirements
- Passionate and zealous representation of clients in post conviction proceedings or in writs of actual innocence including, but not limited to: conducting extensive legal research, interviewing potential witnesses, preparing for hearings, conducting effective direct and cross-examinations, and negotiating for alternative resolutions.
- Ability to competently and resourcefully manage an active hearing schedule and heavy caseload.
- 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 trainings, continuing legal education, trial skills courses, and keeping apprised of new and relevant case law.
- 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.
- Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively with people with different backgrounds and lived experiences.
- 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 in the Maryland Bar or Bar of another state. OPD will consider recent law school graduates who are sat for the July 2021 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 that are already a member of the bar. Attorneys barred in another state must become a member of the Maryland Bar within 18 months of the start date.