Position Information

Position Information Message
Regional Deputy Public Defender-Billings, MT
Our Mission
We provide effective professional legal services with equal access to quality client-centered representation.
Our Vision
 As trained legal professionals we strive to represent our clients in an effective and efficient manner to ensure a more fair and balanced justice system. We are dedicated and committed to improving overall outcomes for our clients and addressing the conditions that led to their involvement with the justice system.
Reasons to work for the Office of the Public Defender: Our work changes lives! The work OPD does, makes a difference for the people in our communities.   Public Defenders work for their clients, protect constitutional rights and ensure the system remains fair.   We are proud of the work we do, to find out more about OPD visit our website HERE.
Benefits of working for OPD: The ability to work and play in the beautiful state of Montana is one of the benefits you will love about this opportunity!  Other fantastic benefits include:
  • Health Coverage
  • Retirement plans
  • Paid vacation, sick leave and Holidays
  • Work/life balance
  • Flexible schedules
  • Opportunities and room for professional growth
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness- Employment with the State of Montana may qualify you to receive loan forgiveness- click HERE to learn more!
About this Opportunity!
Job Overview:  The Regional Deputy Defender is instrumental in ensuring that effective and efficient legal services are rendered for clients represented by the Office of the Public Defender by providing operational oversight, leadership and personnel management within an assigned Region of the agency. This position’s responsibilities involve providing administrative management and guidance on all public defender services provided within the assigned region; conducting planning and establishing protocols, policy and procedures to ensure efficient operations.   The Regional Deputy Defender assists with carrying out the operating plan and ensures proper management of OPD offices to effectively and efficiently provide legal services to those that qualify for these services under Montana law.    Provides direct management and supervision of managing attorneys and resources and  may provide direct supervision to Public Defenders.  In addition to supervision and operational management duties this position also is required to carry a caseload that will require representing indigent clients in a variety of cases.
 Public Defenders must have a passion, commitment, and willingness to work collaboratively with underprivileged populations to, not only, ensure that needed services are provided, they continually advocate and strive to improve the level of services OPD provides to its clients.
Other Major Duties and Responsibilities:
Operational and Administrative Management                                                                   
  • Establishes and Implements the standards and procedures for the region, such as required time keeping, case closing and data entry requirements.
  • Ensure that public defender procedures, protocols and assignments within the region are in compliance with policy or statutes and that public defender services are rendered in a timely and consistent manner.
  • Participates in the development of operational plans, goals and directives to meet regional and agency needs and develops recommendations for enhancing the operations and services of the Office of the Public Defender.  
  • Develop and foster relationships with stake holders and service providers within the assigned region to ensure that services are available to attorneys within the region.  Foster relationships with new service providers that are willing to provide services for the agency.
  • Responsible for reviewing budget, state office leases and other regional expenditures; Makes client centered and budget conscious decisions regarding expenditures.
Client Representation                                                                                              
  • Represents clients in court, during hearings or before other legal proceedings and government entities; includes cases at the Montana Supreme Court as necessary.
  • Provides legal defense in cases that may be high-profile, involve significant liability exposure or death penalty, life in prison. 
  • Reviews and prepares legal documents including but not limited to opinions, forms, contracts and/or other legal agreements.
  • Prepares evidence, exhibits, and legal documents necessary to litigate cases.
  • Interprets and applies state and federal laws and administrative rules.
  • Identifies and Interviews parties, witnesses, and experts involved during the legal proceedings and prepares parties to testify.
  • Provides consultation, make recommendations, give appropriate legal advice, settlement negotiations, and/or facilitates legal decisions.
  • Handles cases with substantial legal precedent as well as analyzes, interprets, and advises about new laws that have no case precedent.
  • Serves as a legal advisor across multiple fields of law; may develop expertise in specific fields of law and provide training and guidance as necessary. 
  • Responsible for hiring, discipline and firing of Public Defenders and Managing Attorneys within the assigned region.
  • Responsible for directing, coordinating and supervising the work and activities of Managing Attorneys and Public Defenders; provides leadership, advice and training and evaluates work and performance.  
  • Determines appropriate caseload limits for Managing Attorneys.
  • Promotes a professional work environment.
Physical and Environmental Demands:  This position works in a variety of settings such as an office or court, setting and has regular visits to jails, detention centers or mental health facilities.  Fluctuation of workload may require more than a 40-hour work week and requires occasional exposure to stressful situations. Attendance of continuing legal education seminars to meet Bar requirements is necessary. Depending on location, travel to other office locations, attend court, trainings and provide services to clients is common, which could be up to 40% of the time.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
This position requires:
  • Extensive knowledge of the Public Defender arena, roles and duties of court appointed counsel, and general knowledge of business applications including human resource management, financial management, and budget processes.
  • Legal and court policies, procedures, practices and their application with particular emphasis on indigent defense.
  • State and federal laws, rules and regulations and their judicial interpretation and precedents.
  • Methods and tactics employed in the defense of legal actions in courts.
  • Extensive knowledge of substantive criminal law and the law of criminal procedure and its application in the State of Montana.
  • Counsel has a continuing obligation to stay abreast of changes and developments in the law? including learning and consistently utilizing the agency endorsed legal research program.
  • Knowledge of Titles 40 (Uniform Parentage Act), 41 (Montana Youth Court Act) (Child Abuse and Neglect), 45 (Crimes), 46 (Criminal Procedure), 47 (Access to Legal Services), 53 (Mental Disorder),61 (Motor Vehicles), 87 (Fish and Wildlife), Montana Code Annotated? Rules of Evidence, Rules of Appellate Procedures, and other applicable title provisions.
  • Classification of mental disorders and the ability to read and understand medical terminology related to mental disorders, developmental disabilities, chemical dependence and alcoholism, and how a particular mental disorder, developmental disability, chemical dependence or alcoholism will affect client communications and should recognize that communications may require special efforts on the part of counsel.
  • Statutory requirements governing guardianship and conservatorship in the jurisdiction as well as case law and court rules.
  • Various types of pleas that may be agreed to, including a plea of guilty, a plea of nolo contendere, and a plea in which the defendant is not required to personally acknowledge his or her guilt.  
  • Services available to youth, minors; mental health and social services that may be available in the community.
  • Principles and practices of evidence collection.
  • General legal principles and their applications, the powers, functions and duties of the Public Defender office.
Skill and Ability to:
  • Ability to work effectively with marginalized populations, who are disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system in Montana. 
  • Ability to understand and be sensitive to cultural differences that may affect the attorney/client relationship and communications
  • Provide strong leadership and direction.
  • Deal effectively with highly sensitive public, political and agency specific issues.
  • Able to develop and implement statewide policies and program goals based on short and long-term strategic planning goals, management concepts and practices. 
  • Assess hypothetical situations and impacts.
  • Consolidate a unified strategy in response to numerous issues and concerns.
  • Make proper decisions in stressful situations.
  • Recognize, analyze and solve complex problems.
  • Analyze highly complex legal documents for clarity and legal sufficiency.
  • Assemble, appraise and organize facts and to logically, clearly and concisely present evidence and other matters in accepted oral and written legal forms.
  • Direct a complex organization through effective planning, delegation and leadership.
  • Motivate, lead and supervise Managing Attorneys, Public Defenders, Investigators and Case Managers.
  • Recognize, analyze and solve complex management problems.
  • Prepare and supervise the preparation of accurate and reliable legal documents and perform a wide variety of legal tasks under the pressure of time-sensitive deadlines.
  • Carry out legal research; analyze legal documents and instruments for clarity and legal sufficiency; assemble, appraise and organize facts and logically, clearly, and concisely present noncomplex evidentiary matters and other materials in accepted oral and written legal forms. 
  • Frame issues based on the policy implications associated with the Public Defender System.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with indigent clients, attorneys, elected officials, witnesses, Judges, court personnel, law enforcement personnel, agency personnel and the public.
  • Prepare briefs, opinions and pleadings, and in carrying out legal research of a difficult nature.
  • Problem solving and decision making.
  • Must be self-motivated and customer oriented.
  • Skilled in use of standard office equipment, programs and software.
  • Ability to learn, understand and consistently utilize the agency case management system.
  • Able to gain respect and manage and utilize the skills of staff.
  • Able to exhibit personal accountability and ownership of decisions.
  • Accept direction and guidance from the Division Administrator.
  • Energize and lead others and show a commitment to the Agency’s mission.
To apply for this position, acccess the State of Montana Careers website at statecareers.mt.gov and search the job with the reference number 21140884 or call Human Resources at 406-444-4136 for more information.
Position: Regional Deputy Public Defender-Billings, MT
Organization: Montana State- Office of the Public Defender
Location: Billings,  MT 
United States
Salary: $95,500.76-$100,091.21/ Annually
Posting Start Date: 4/15/2021
Date Posted: 4/30/2021

Minimum Qualifications (Education and Experience): 

This position requires:

  • Juris Doctorate Degree from an accredited law school
  • Membership in the State Bar of Montana
  • Demonstrates responsible leadership skills to direct a complex organization through effective planning and delegation to manage, supervise and utilize the skills of staff to meet the needs of the Public Defender System.
  • Experience in providing leadership or supervision to Attorneys.
  • Other combinations of education and experience may be considered on a case-by-case basis.


  • Experience in criminal defense preferred.
Status: This listing expires on: 7/29/2021
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Organization Information
Montana State- Office of the Public Defender
207 N. Broadway

Billings,  MT 59101
United States
(406) 444-4136
(406) 496-6098
Michael Spatz-Human Resources