Position Information

Position Information Message
Assistant Public Defender 4 Supervising Attorney
Applications are accepted via the Ohio Hiring Management System at this link. Deadline to apply: 8/23/21


The Office of the Ohio Public Defender (OPD) seeks an Assistant Public Defender 4 to serve as a Supervising Attorney in the Prison Legal Services Section (PLS). The PLS section provides a legal orientation to all individuals sentenced to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, answers questions pertaining to criminal sentences, jail-time credit, judicial and other release mechanisms, and other common inquiries, and represents release violation (RV) and open full board (OFB) hearings.
The position reports to the Legal Department Manager (Senior Assistant Public Defender 2), and will be part of a PLS supervising team that is jointly responsible for directing the operations of OPD’s three reception-center locations (Lorain Correctional, Correctional Reception Center at Orient, and Ohio Reformatory for Women at Marysville) and managing the direct representation of clients at RV and OFB hearings. The successful candidate will possess and exercise leadership skills in order to effectively supervise Assistant Public Defenders and Administrative Professionals and ensure that the agency’s mission and values are communicated to staff, integrated into their goals, and reflected in their work on behalf of clients. The position, which is based in Columbus, currently offers you the opportunity to work from home for a portion of time, so a successful candidate will also be self-motivated and comfortable communicating via Microsoft Teams or other conferencing software during those times. 
The duties for this position include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Serve as a Legal Department Supervisor in the PLS Section, supervising staff attorneys who provide litigation services to persons currently incarcerated and persons released on parole or PRC and core staff who coordinates responses to kites, collection of evidence/discovery for hearings, and assisting with scheduling of hearings . Primary duties include reviewing and assigning work product (e.g., legal orientations, post-conviction interviews, advocacy for clients during release violation (RV) & open full board (OFB) hearings; reviews drafts of case documents prepared by OPD attorneys & legal interns) to attorneys taking into account case complexity, caseloads, experience level and expertise of supervisees, etc.) and assisting attorneys in preparing for upcoming hearings. Also completes timely annual performance evaluations, works with employees to set performance goals, coaches to develop performance, prioritizes and approves work schedules, identifies and/or approves training opportunities for staff, approves work and leave time for payroll purposes, and carries out other administrative tasks, potentially including the initiation of disciplinary actions.
  • Carries a reduced caseload, primarily involving RV & OFB cases, and conducts legal research and prepares pleadings and/or case memoranda. Independently handles cases before APA hearing officers & the Parole Board. Writes technical legal pleadings, orally presents arguments, and formulates legal strategy for clients.
  • Responds to inquiries from county public defenders and private-practice counsel regarding various procedural and substantive aspects of criminal law related to parole and PRC.  Supervisors are also expected to create and manage targeted contacts in specific areas throughout the state to be aware of issues attorneys and people who are incarcerated are facing.
  • Serves as project leader and manager for various litigation projects in the Legal Department.  Projects to include litigation strategies in response to Ohio legislation, DRC or APA policies, and various superior court decisions, as well as developing litigation to address systemic criminal justice issues in Ohio.
  • As a member of the Legal Department management team:  Appears on behalf of State Public Defender to discuss law & policy; testifies before state legislature on matters of criminal law; attends meetings as assigned, assists in formation of department & agency policy. May be required to work on specific projects as assigned by the Legal Department Chief &/or the State Public Defender. May instruct & assist outside counsel in fields of expertise; may be temporarily assigned to perform duties of a Sr. Assistant Public Defender 2 at the direction of the State Public Defender.
PLEASE NOTE: A WRITING SAMPLE AND COVER LETTER MUST BE SUBMITTED WITH THIS APPLICATION. Your application will not be considered without a writing sample and cover letter.


The OPD is the state agency responsible for providing legal representation and other services to people accused or convicted of a crime who cannot afford to hire an attorney.

  • OPD Mission: Advocating. Fighting. Helping.
  • OPD Vision: A Fair Justice System. 
  • OPD Values: Compassion. Dignity. Equity. Integrity. Service. Community.

OPD Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:  Our commitment to inclusion is inseparable from our commitment to a fair justice system. We strive to ensure inclusive spaces and services for our staff, our clients, and Ohio’s diverse communities. We are committed to building a work environment where all our team members have a voice and can embrace our differences to innovate service to the public. We can best meet our public defense mission through a diverse workforce and an inclusive workplace, where employees thrive, our mission is accomplished, and Ohioans are served. #TeamOPD is grounded in diversity, equity, inclusion as we work together to pursue fairness and justice for all people

Position: Assistant Public Defender 4 Supervising Attorney
Organization: Ohio Public Defender's Office
Location: Columbus,  OH 
United States
Salary: $21.73 - $65.08
Posting Start Date: 8/10/2021
Date Posted: 8/10/2021
Requirements Qualifications:
Admission to Ohio Bar pursuant to Section 4705.01; licensed to practice law for minimum of 5 years; 5 years criminal law experience; prior to appointment as appellate counsel for an indigent defendant in a capital case pursuant to Appt.Coun.R. 5.02 & 5.03, an attorney shall obtain certification from the Commission on Appointment of Counsel in Capital Cases.

Note: Temporary Certification for Practice in Legal Services, Public Defender, and Law School Programs may be accepted in lieu of License to practice law in State of Ohio pursuant to Gov. Bar R. IX of the Supreme Court of Ohio.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Knowledge of criminal law; judicial system & process in Ohio; general management; employee training & development; human resources training & development; supervision; human relations; public relations; policies & procedures of Ohio Public Defender Commission; legal counseling; interviewing. Ability to deal with many variables & determine specific action; calculate fractions, decimals & percentages; prepare & review pleadings, briefs, motions & memoranda; gather, collate & classify information about data, people or things; handle most complex & difficult & novel cases, most without precedents, involving significant risks, personal pressure & unusual attention to detail; establish good rapport with clients & their families &/or work cooperatively with county public defenders & member of private bar; prepare & deliver training seminars for legal professional; draft policies training & legislation in area of criminal law; handle sensitive contacts with legislative liaison, county public defenders, members of private bar & representatives of federal, state & local governments regarding criminal law & representation of criminal defendants; prepare & deliver public speeches; draft qualifications & standards of conduct for county public defenders & appointed counsel systems.

(*)Developed after employment

Supplemental Information and Background Check:

This position serves at the pleasure and discretion of the State Public Defender. This position serves in a fiduciary relationship to the State Public Defender and will have an unclassified status per Ohio Revised Code 124.11 (A) (9).

Intentional omission of relevant information, falsification, or misrepresentation of information on the application will disqualify the applicant. In addition, such intentional acts are grounds for immediate termination of an employee. 

The Ohio Public Defeder is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, or genetic information. The Ohio Public Defender is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, its services, programs, and activities. To request reasonable accommodation, contact Tamra Meister at tamra.meister@opd.ohio.gov.

The Ohio Public Defener complies with federal and state disability laws and makes reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with disabilities. If reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and/or to receive other benefits and privileges of employment, please contact Tamra Meister at tamra.meister@opd.ohio.gov.

Background Check Information
 The final candidate selected for the position will be required to undergo a criminal background check. Criminal convictions do not necessarily preclude an applicant from consideration for a position. An individual assessment of an applicant's prior criminal convictions will be made before excluding an applicant from consideration.  

All final applicants tentatively selected for this position will be required to submit to urinalysis to test for illegal drug use prior to appointment. An applicant with a positive test shall not be offered employment.

Status: This listing expires on: 11/8/2021
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Organization Information
Ohio Public Defender's Office
250 E. Broad Street, 14th floor

Columbus,  OH 43215
United States
(614) 466-5394
Tamra Meister