Position Information

Position Information Message
Parental Defense (Baltimore City & Harford County): Contractual Attorney
The Maryland Office of the Public Defender (OPD) is seeking advocates and litigators to defend parents and legal guardians in cases in which the State initiates legal action to separate a family in Child In Need of Assistance/Termination of Parental Rights (CINA/TPR) proceedings. These attorneys will represent parents and/or legal guardians whose children have been removed or are at risk of being removed from their care and custody by the State. Representation includes adversarial proceedings from the initial Emergency Shelter Care Hearing to the Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) trial. 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 unity in achieving our mission. Learn more about our mission and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Overview of the Positions
OPD seeks critical thinkers with demonstrated ability to apply legal analysis in an area of the law that may be unsettled. They must be willing to challenge the system with a healthy sense of outrage and be persistent in the face of ambiguity or outright resistance to their position. Attorneys in this role must be able to handle crises, a variety of personalities, and multitask in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment. These contractual positions will be located in Baltimore City and Harford County. Contracts would run until June 30, 2022 with the possibility of extension thereafter.
Primary Duties and Responsibilities
  • Protect clients’ Constitutional rights to raise and rear their children.
  • Defend clients against allegations of neglect and/or abuse.
  • Zealously and compassionately advocate on behalf of clients at every stage of the proceeding.
  • Engage in motions practice, legal research, and writing.
  • Obtain, organize, and review voluminous records and documents to assist with preparing a defense.
  • Develop and maintain client relationships over the extended life of the case.
  • Collaborate with PDD social workers, criminal defense attorneys, parent advocates, and others as part of a multidisciplinary defense team.
  • Ensure clients are consistently heard and respected. Be non-judgmental and empathetic of clients who present with challenges and/or barriers.
  • Effectively and compassionately communicate with clients, colleagues, and service providers to ensure optimal outcomes for clients. 
  • Continuously seek professional and personal development through training, continuing legal education, and trial skills courses.
Core Competencies and Requirements
  • 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 environment.
  • Strong organizational, legal, and administrative skills necessary to handle a high caseload.
  • Prior experience in litigation including, CINA/TPR, Criminal, Civil, Juvenile, or Family Law preferred (experience may include internships, law school clinical programs, or any other relevant experience).
  • Strong communication and client advocacy skills.
  • Active membership in good standing in the Maryland Bar.
Position: Parental Defense (Baltimore City & Harford County): Contractual Attorney
Organization: Maryland Office of the Public Defender
Location: Linthicum Heights,  MD 
United States
Salary: Dependent on Experience
Posting Start Date: 8/30/2021
Date Posted: 7/23/2021
Requirements If you wish to be considered for one of these contractual positions please click here to fill out the application and please submit the following items in one email to opd-jobs.law@maryland.gov: (1) resume, (2) cover letter (indicating preference for Baltimore City or Harford County), and (3) list of references. In the subject line of the email please indicate “Contractual Attorney: Parental Defense.” Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Closing Date: Open Until Filled
OPD 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.
Status: This listing expires on: 10/21/2021
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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