July 1, 2017 marked the 50th Anniversary of the Public Defender’s Office.  Watch our commemorative film highlighting our past, present and future goals:  The Advocates



The OPD Appellate Section is currently accepting applications from private attorneys with criminal experience to do pool work representing indigent clients before the Appellate Division and the New Jersey Supreme Court. Candidates must have excellent legal skills, including, but not limited to, oral advocacy skills, brief writing skills, and legal research skills. In addition, candidates must become “vendor compliant” prior to being assigned cases. The hourly rate is $60 in court and $50 out of court, plus expenses, per OPD policy. For oral argument before the Appellate Division and Supreme Court there is a flat rate of $250 per argument, plus expenses, per OPD policy. 

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to joseph.russo@opd.nj.gov

The New Jersey State Office of the Public Defender is committed to providing first class legal representation to citizens who cannot afford attorneys at both the trial and appellate levels. While the majority of our attorneys defend individuals charged with criminal offenses, we also represent individuals whose children have been removed based on allegations of abuse and neglect (Office of Parental Representation), the children who have been removed (Office of Law Guardian), and individuals involuntarily committed to State psychiatric facilities (Office of Mental Health Advocacy). My goal as the Public Defender is to establish the best Public Defender’s Office in the country. We are looking for attorneys with the skills and dedication needed to achieve that goal along with investigators and clerical staff willing and able to provide the support without which the attorneys cannot perform at the highest level. We are also determined to provide excellent training opportunities to allow for the professional development of our employees. Finally, we are trying to provide our staff with the resources and technological tools needed to maintain the highest level of representation.

If you have any questions about the New Jersey State Office of the Public Defender, you can contact us at thedefenders@opd.nj.gov or (609) 292-7087.