Working for the Maricopa County Office of the Public Defender offers a collaborative and supportive work environment in the heart of the fifth largest metropolitan area in the country, while providing competitive pay with a low cost of living. Additionally, because our office is a part of the County’s workforce, we have excellent benefits and County-wide programs to encourage overall health and well-being. Our office is also committed to creating a culture of conviviality, where you can participate in outside the office activities like hikes, service projects, and picnics and in-office activities like potlucks and take your child to work day. Working for our office means you will be able to participate in the meaningful work of protecting people’s constitutional rights and delivering America’s promise of justice for all.

For attorneys, we offer student loan repayment up to $72,000 over a lifetime ($600 per month), ethical caseloads, over 225 attorneys in the office to work with and learn from, the ability to get felony trial work from the start of your career, and special interest divisions including: appeals, capital, juveniles tried as adults, mental health, rehabilitative courts, sex crimes, and white collar. You will be able to work where your interest and strengths are while receiving excellent training in litigation and case management to build your skills as an advocate.

Access job opportunities with Maricopa County to review positions within the Office of the Public Defender.

  1. Externships
  2. Law Clerkships
  3. Clinic
  4. Gideon Fellowship

Externships give current law students:

  • Exposure to the work environment of a public defender office
  • Opportunity to observe and assist in legal proceedings
  • Ability to contribute to the work of a criminal defense team
  • Some of the same responsibilities as full time personnel

You work with attorneys on a range of cases, gaining experience in both trial and appellate practice. You will:

  • Research legal issues
  • Write legal memoranda
  • Draft & edit pleadings
  • Review case files
  • Meet with clients both in and out of jail
  • Participate in witness interviews
  • Assist in trial preparation
  • Observe court proceedings
  • Attend and assist in trials
  • Attend field trips
    • Jails and prisons
    • Juvenile detention
    • Homeless shelters