Maryland Defenders Union

Top News

  • New core staffers are paid less than a living wage
  • New attorneys are underpaid compared to their student loan debt and their peers in the private sector
  • For each year spent working at OPD, the average core staffer’s salary increases just $378 and the average attorney’s salary just $1,316

An analysis of public salary data confirms what every OPD worker already suspects: we aren’t paid enough or given enough opportunities for advancement.

Responding to the COVID-19 Outbreak at Wabash Ave. Courthouse

There is an active outbreak happening at the Wabash Avenue District Courthouse in Baltimore, Maryland.  MDU continues to learn of additional positive cases.  So while OPD management still refuses to meet with us about this crisis, we took matters into our own hands and conducted an emergency meeting with our union brothers and sisters who work at the courthouse. 

In mid-August, the Maryland Defenders Union sent a survey to the frontline workers of the Office of the Public Defender that asked a variety of questions about OPD and how it could be improved. We received a total of 187 responses from all over the agency, covering every district except one (District 12) and a number of the non-geographic divisions. Of those 187 responses, 119 came from attorneys, 60 came from core staffers, and eight from social workers. Respondents expressed their concerns with a wide range of issues but also showed significant agreement on several key principles.


We are the Maryland Defenders Union, an association of the frontline workers of the Office of the Public Defender whose labor is essential to the agency’s mission of providing outstanding representation to indigent clients. We are strongest when we speak together, work together, and fight together. Are you ready to join us?