About Us

We are the Maryland Defenders Union, an association of the front-line workers of the Maryland Office of the Public Defender (OPD) whose collective labor fights the systemic racism and classism in the legal system. We provide outstanding representation to indigent clients throughout the state of Maryland. 

We are organizing with AFSCME Council 3 because our office cannot achieve our mission as long as the workers of OPD do not have a voice. Chronic under-funding, hiring freezes, budget cuts, and overwhelming workloads have resulted in staffing shortages, vast underpayment, and high employee turnover. Disregard for our own health and safety has led to staff being instructed to return to work in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic without adequate protective measures. And a failure to prioritize the hiring, retention, and promotion of people of color has made OPD as a whole not reflective of the clients we serve.

Our clients bear the brunt of these systemic failures, and as their advocates, we demand a seat at the table so that their voices, and ours, can be heard.

Click here to see our more in depth mission statement.

Contact Us: 

[email protected]


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?