Director, Montana Office of Public Defender

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Job location
To be determined
to be determined, MT to be determined
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Montana Office of Public Defender
Street address: 
44 West Park Street
Job type: 
Legal - Defender
Position Description: 

Statutory Duties
Supervise the statewide public defender system, which is required to deliver public defender services in all courts in Montana.
Establish the qualifications, duties and compensation for the public defender division administrator, appellate division administrator, and conflict defender division administrator. Appoint these positions and regularly evaluate their performance.
Establish statewide standards for the qualification and training of attorneys providing public defender services to ensure that services are provided by competent counsel and in a manner that is fair and consistent throughout the state. Ensure public defender appointment in a timely manner.
Review and approve the strategic plan and budget based on proposals submitted by the public defender division administrator, the central services division administrator, the appellate defender division administrator, and the conflict defender division administrator.
Review and approve any proposal to create permanent staff positions.
Establish policies and procedures for handling excess caseloads.
Establish policies and procedures to ensure that detailed expenditure and caseload data is collected, recorded, and reported to support strategic planning efforts for OPD.
Examine workloads and workload standards for all levels within OPD and include its findings in a biennial report to the governor, the Supreme Court and the legislature. Each interim, the Director will also specifically report to the law and justice interim committee.


An attorney licensed in Montana or another state with criminal experience and commitment to providing excellent public defense services to the indigent in Montana.
An exceptional leader, manager, spokesperson, and educator who is familiar with issues, opportunities and challenges associated with public defense.
Has knowledge of large organizations, legislative process and evidence based strategic planning. The qualified candidate is able to use that knowledge to implement progressive, client-centered public defender services.
Is able to identify and obtain funding through grants and other awards to implement innovative public defense methods.
Possesses exceptional skills in writing, public speaking and presentation; in building positive relationships with OPD staff, stakeholders and interest groups; establishing effective and strong working relationships.
Insists upon the highest qualifications of OPD’s leadership team and garners respect within and outside the agency.
Deals effectively under pressure and remains optimistic and persistent under adversity.
Understands client communities, stakeholders and policy makers and fosters working relationships.
Is proficient in public relations and will communicate the important work of public defense through the media and to the public.
Understands managing a large organization with transparency and fiscal responsibility, finding ways to offer quality public defender services under budget constraints.

To apply: 

Interested Candidates Provide:
Cover letter
Writing sample
All materials are to be emailed to [email protected]. The deadline to submit materials to the Public Defender Advisory Commission is May 26, 2017.
All application materials will be posted on the Montana Office of Public Defender website at and public comment will be invited. The Public Defender Advisory Commission will submit a list of no more than three nominees to the Director of the Department of Administration.

Equal Opportunity Employer
Salary range: 
Compensation will be determined by the Montana Department of Administration.
Submission deadline: 
Friday, May 26, 2017