Website Maryland Office of the Public Defender
The Maryland Office of the Public Defender (OPD) 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 a Child In Need of Assistance/Termination of Parental Rights (CINA/TPR) proceedings in District XII. This attorney 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. We are committed to building a culturally diverse staff and strongly encourage people historically underrepresented in the practice of law to apply.
The Allegany and Garrett County offices are small but busy rural public defender offices with approximately 20+ attorneys and staff combined. OPD strives to achieve Justice, Fairness, and Dignity for All. Our employees are committed to the core values of a culture of excellence, client-centered representation, tenacious advocacy, and are united as a team in achieving the OPD’s mission.
Overview of the Position
Assistant Public Defenders in Parental Defense 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 and various personalities and multitask in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment. We are hiring for Allegany and Garrett County.
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 social workers, criminal defense attorneys, parent advocates, and others as part of a multidisciplinary defense team.
· Handle bail reviews in Circuit and District Court when needed.
· Occasionally representing clients in criminal District Court cases with related CINA charges
· 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.
· Ability to use technology in order to telework and participate in virtual court hearings as necessary.
· 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. Individuals who are members of the Bar of another State must be admitted to the Maryland Bar within 18 months of the start date.
Salary And Benefits
Salary is dependent on experience and salary rules will apply to State of Maryland employees. Please visit the State of Maryland Employee’s page to review benefit information.
Assistant Public Defender I- $72,340.00-$112,091.00 (Grade 20: Step 2- Step 22)
Assistant Public Defender II- $83,263.00- $119,591.00 (Grade 21: Step 4- Step 22)
Assistant Public Defender III- $94,113.00-127,263.00 (Grade 22: Step 6- Step 22)
How to Apply
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 PDF attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org: (1) a resume, (2) a cover letter, (3) a list of four references, and (4) law school transcript (if graduated within the last three years). In the subject line of the email please indicate “Application for APD: Parental Defense Attorney Western Maryland.” Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Assistant Public Defenders are full-time employees and cannot engage in the private practice of law while in this position. MD Code, Criminal Procedure Art., Section 16-203(d)(2).
As a State agency, the Maryland Office of the Public Defender (MOPD) is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. MOPD is committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, or genetic information.
All applicants must be able to communicate with clients and visitors and possess the ability to complete tasks in a fast-paced work environment. Applicants must be able to work in various positions and travel to various courtrooms and office environments throughout the state. MOPD is further committed to providing equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, its services, programs, and activities by modifying or adjusting the job application process or the job or work environment to make reasonable accommodations to the known applicant or employee to enable the applicant or employee be considered for the position they desire; to perform the essential functions of the position in question; or to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as are enjoyed by other similarly situated employees without disabilities, unless the accommodation imposes an undue hardship.
Applicants must be able to operate a computer and other office equipment. Applicants must have access to a motor vehicle or be able to navigate public transportation. If a reasonable accommodation is needed, please contact Tawanda Jackson, Human Resources Supervisor, at 410-767-8503 or email@example.com.
To apply for this job please visit www.opd.state.md.us.