Attorney-Public Defender - Hamilton

State of MontanaHamilton, MontanaFull TimeOn Site

To be considered for OPD positions, applicants must complete and submit their application online, as well as upload any required application materials.

Materials Required of Applicants:

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume

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!

Job Overview: Public Defenders render legal services for all cases handled by the Office of the Public Defender which include: 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 This position however, will primarily handle a misdemeanor-focused caseload.

Additionally, Public Defenders are expected to exercise their own professional judgment and provide competent indigent defense casework for clients.

Other 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.

Knowledge Skills and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of legal and court policies, procedures, practices, terminology and systems; state and federal laws; rules and regulations.
  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of law enforcement
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Skilled in negotiation, problem-solving and decision-making practices
  • Self-motivated
  • Ability to remain flexible
  • Client-oriented and customer service skills
  • Capable of spotting and framing issues to advance the client’s interests.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with clients, the public, witnesses, judges/ court personnel, and law enforcement/prosecution personnel

Physical and Environmental Demands:

This position works in an office and court setting and has regular visits with clients in jail, detention centers, and mental health facilities. Requires exposure to stressful situations and occasional travel to attend court, training and provide services to clients.


Minimum Qualifications (Education and Experience):

The minimum requirements include a Juris Doctor (JD) from an ABA accredited law school. Ideal candidates for this position include both recent graduates or experienced attorneys who have a strong desire to work in indigent defense.

To learn more about Admissions to the State Bar of Montana check out this web site at is the deadline to apply? The deadline for the February exam is October 1st and the deadline for the July exam is March 15th.

Applicant Pool Statement: If another department vacancy occurs in this job title within six months, the same applicant pool may be used for the selection.
Training Assignment: Not Applicable

Job: Legal
Salary: $ 65,104.09 - 71,563.09 Yearly
Benefits Package Eligibility: Health Insurance, Paid Leave & Holidays, Retirement Plan

Number of Openings: 1
Employee Status: Regular
Schedule: Full-Time
Shift: Day Job
Travel: Yes, 20 % of the Time

Primary Location: Hamilton

Agency: Office of Public Defender
Union: American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
Bargaining Unit: 091 - AFSCME- Office Public Defender

Posting Date: Oct 26, 2021, 3:31:22 PM
Closing Date (based on your computer's timezone): Nov 3, 2021, 12:59:00 AM
Required Application Materials: Cover Letter, Resume

Contact Name: Human Resources | Contact Email: | Contact Phone: 4064444136

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