Position Information

Position Information Message
Assistant Public Defender: Parental Defense Division (Baltimore County)
The Maryland Office of the Public Defender (OPD), Parental Defense Division (PDD), is seeking an advocate and litigator 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. PDD represents 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. The attorney in this position will represent clients in adversarial proceedings from the initial Emergency Shelter Care Hearing to the Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) trial.
Assistant Public Defenders in the Parental Defense Division are critical thinkers with a 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.  Assistant Public Defenders must be able to handle crises, a variety of personalities, and multitask in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment. We are hiring for our Baltimore County location. Selected candidate will begin their employment with OPD fall 2022.
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
  • Demonstrated commitment to serving communities who have been pushed to the margins. 
  • Clear dedication to upending systemic racism, prejudice, and unfairness.
  • Compassion and empathy.
  • 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.
  • Strong organizational, legal, and administrative skills necessary to handle a high caseload with short deadlines.
  • Prior experience in litigation including, CINA/TPR, Criminal, Civil, Juvenile, or Family Law (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 or Bar of another state. OPD will consider individuals who sat for the February 2022 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
Position: Assistant Public Defender: Parental Defense Division (Baltimore County)
Organization: State of Maryland Office of the Public Defender
Location: Linthicum Heights,  MD 
United States
Salary: Dependent on Experience
Posting Start Date: 5/10/2022
Date Posted: 5/10/2022
Requirements If you wish to be considered for one of these 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) resume, (2) cover letter, (3) list of references, and (4) law school transcript (if graduated within the last three years). In the subject line of the email please indicate “APD: Parental Defense Division.” Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Closing Date: May 25, 2022
The 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. Assistant Public Defenders are full-time employees who serve at the pleasure of the Public Defender. Criminal Procedure Art., Section 16-203(d). They cannot engage in the private practice of law while in this position.   
Status: This listing expires on: 8/8/2022
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Organization Information
State of Maryland Office of the Public Defender
839 Elkridge Landing Road
4th Floor
Linthicum Heights,  MD 21090
United States
(410) 691-1530
Marie Figueroa Ocasio