OPD Job Postings

Attorney- Public Defender- Billings, MT:

The Montana State Public Defender has multiple Public Defender opportunities in various Public Defender Offices in Montana.  

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To be considered for OPD positions, applicants must complete and submit their application online at http://statecareers.mt.gov/ , as well as upload any required application materials.

Materials Required of Applicants:

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • References

Our Mission

We provide effective professional legal services with equal access to quality client-centered representation.

Our Vision

As trained legal professionals we strive to represent our clients in an effective and efficient manner to ensure a more fair and balanced justice system. We are dedicated and committed to improving overall outcomes for our clients and addressing the conditions that led to their involvement with the justice system.

Reasons to work for the Office of the Public Defender: Our work changes lives! The work OPD does makes a difference for the people in our communities.   Public Defenders work for their clients, protect constitutional rights and ensure the system remains fair.   We are proud of the work we do.  To find out more about OPD visit our website HERE.

Benefits of working for OPD: The ability to work and play in the beautiful state of Montana is one of the benefits you will love about this opportunity!  Other fantastic benefits include:

  • Health Coverage
  • Retirement plans
  • Paid vacation, sick leave and Holidays
  • Work/life balance
  • Flexible schedules
  • Opportunities and room for professional growth
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness- Employment with the State of Montana may qualify you to receive loan forgiveness- click HERE to learn more!

About this Opportunity!

The Office of the Public Defender is currently accepting applications for Attorney positions in Public Defender and Conflict Offices throughout the State of Montana.  Work locations will be determined by the location of qualified applicants,  the needs of the agency or combination and will be considered at the time of the start date to qualified applicants.   

Job Overview:   Public Defenders render legal services for all cases handled by the Office of the Public Defender including: felony and misdemeanor criminal charges; youth court proceedings; involuntary mental health or developmental disability commitments; representing parents and children in dependent/neglect matters; and guardianship or conservatorship proceedings, as described in the Montana Public Defender Act Title 47 http://leg.mt.gov/bills/mca/title_0470/chapters_index.html. Additionally, Public Defenders are expected to exercise their own professional judgment and provide competent indigent defense casework for clients.

Public Defenders must have a passion, commitment, and willingness to work collaboratively with underprivileged populations to ensure that needed services are provided, and continually advocate and strive to improve the level of services OPD provides to its clients.

Major Duties and Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Serves as defense attorney for indigent criminal defendants and other persons in civil cases who are entitled by law to assistance of counsel.
  • Prepares for and appears with clients at all pretrial and trial proceedings and hearings.
  • Conducts investigations; obtains formal and informal discovery; develops a theory of the case; researches legal issues, prepares, files and argues appropriate motions. 
  • Negotiate settlements or changes of plea.
  • Interviews clients to evaluate evidence and assess strength of case.
  • Analyzes charging documents, police reports and discovery material and evidence for assigned criminal cases.
  • Prepares trial briefs and conducts all phases of trial in court, including jury trials
  • Recommends bond and participates in bond hearings.
  • Reviews petitions for probation revocations.
  • Participates in sentencing hearing.
  • Prepares motions for a new trial.
  • Develops overall defense strategies.
  • Keeps current with the statutes, rules, and cases regarding both procedural and substantive legal issues.
  • Shows commitment and willingness to work with underprivileged populations, including those facing socio-economic adversity and mental health issues, assessing needs, making referrals and ensuring that services are provided to clients.

Minimum Qualifications (Education and Experience):

The minimum requirements include:

  • a Juris Doctor (JD) from an ABA accredited law school.
  • Membership in the State Bar of Montana

Ideal candidates will include recent graduates or experienced attorneys who have a strong desire to work in indigent defense.

Admissions to the State Bar of Montana

To learn more about Admissions to the State Bar of Montana check out this web site: http://montanabar.site-ym.com/?page=AdmissionInfo

When is the deadline to apply? The deadline for the February exam is October 1st and the deadline for the July exam is March 15th.