Position Information

Position Information Message
Assistant Public Defender: Juvenile Division, Washington County (District XI)

The Maryland Office of the Public Defender (OPD) seeks a zealous and dedicated litigator with a long term commitment to juvenile defense to represent juveniles in delinquency and criminal matters in Washington County, Maryland. OPD 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. Juvenile Defenders must demonstrate strong oral and written litigation skills. 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. The attorney in this role will be expected, at times, to represent adults in criminal matters as well as provide support to the Frederick County office as needed. This position will primarily be located in Hagerstown, Maryland with an anticipated start date in the summer or fall 2021 depending on the selected candidate’s availability. OPD will consider candidates at all experience levels for this position.


Our 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.


Primary Duties and Responsibilities

•Represent youth at arraignment, adjudication, disposition, and post-disposition hearings. 

•Represent youth charged as adults in transfer hearings and subsequent trials in juvenile and criminal court. 

•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, independently, and resourcefully manage a full caseload.

•Effectively, proactively, and compassionately communicate with clients, family members, team members, colleagues, 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.

•Ensure clients are consistently heard and respected. 

Core Competencies and Requirements:

•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. Proven communication skills with children and adolescence. 

•Knowledge, training, and experience related to adolescent development, neuroscience, education, mental health treatment, and best practices for juvenile rehabilitation.  

•Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, diverse, team-oriented environment.

•Exceptional organizational, legal, and administrative skills necessary to independently handle a high caseload.

• Criminal trial experience preferred, specific experience representing juveniles strongly preferred.

• Active membership in good standing in the Maryland Bar or Bar of another state by start date.  Individuals who are members of the Bar of another State must be admitted to the Maryland Bar within 18 months of start date
Position: Assistant Public Defender: Juvenile Division, Washington County (District XI)
Organization: Maryland Office of the Public Defender
Location: Linthicum Heights,  MD 
United States
Salary: Dependent on Experience
Posting Start Date: 5/25/2021
Date Posted: 5/25/2021

If you wish to be considered for this position please click here to fill out the application and please submit the following items in one email to opd-jobs.law@maryland.gov: (1) current resume, (2) cover letter, (3) list of references, and (4) transcript (if graduated from law school within the past 3 years).  In the subject line of the email please indicate “Juvenile Defender, District XI”.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.  

Closing Date:  June 21, 2021

The Maryland Office of the Public Defender is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to building a culturally diverse staff and strongly encourage people historically underrepresented in the practice of law to apply.  Assistant Public Defenders are full-time employees who serve at the pleasure of the Public Defender. Criminal Procedure Art., Section 16-203(d). Assistant Public Defenders cannot engage in the private practice of law while in this position.

Status: This listing expires on: 8/23/2021
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Organization Information
Maryland Office of the Public Defender
839 Elkridge Landing Road, 4th Floor

Linthicum Heights,  MD 21090
United States
(410) 691-1530
Johanna Leshner