The mission of the Washington State Office of Public Defense (OPD) is "to implement the constitutional and statutory guarantees of counsel and to ensure the effective and efficient delivery of indigent defense services funded by the state... ."  RCW 2.70.005.  Established by the Legislature in 1996, OPD is an independent agency of the judicial branch.  


Featured News: 

Supreme Court Appoints OPD Director

Wahington State Supreme Court names Larry Jefferson Jr. Director of Office of Public Defense.  Press Release [PDF]
Oath of Office- Director Swearing-in Ceremony. TVW [Video]


Employment, Volunteer, and Contract Opportunities


County and City Applications for Chapter 10.101 RCW Funds

Applications are now being accepted from counties and cities for Chapter 10.101 RCWexitingwebsite public defense improvement funds. Grant funds are to be used for appreciable, demonstrable improvements in the delivery of public defense services. County Applications [PDF] and City Applications [PDF] are due by Friday, August 27.  More information


Defending Clients in the COVID-19 Environment

OPD collaborated with WDA and WACLD to conduct a statewide survey of defense attorneys to better understand working conditions during the pandemic. The survey results are summarized in the report Defending Clients in the COVID-19 Environment: Survey Results from Private and Public Defense Counsel [PDF]. Topics covered include barriers to client communication, workload and caseload impacts, and litigating in remote and socially distanced courtrooms.


COVID-19 Guidance for Public Defense Attorneys, as approved by WSBA 

The Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) Council on Public Defense has promulgated comments [PDF] on public defense caseloads during COVID-19. This is not a new rule, but rather guidance on existing rules given the current challenging environment and changing patterns of criminal and juvenile filings. For assistance with administration of trial-level public defense services and implementation of the WA Supreme Court’s Standards on Indigent Defense, contact OPD’s Public Defense Improvement Program at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Disproportionality Advocacy

Disproportionality resources to build upon advocacy strategies for using data to show how race impacts various points of a case and case outcomes.


Indigent defense services administered by OPD:

OPD cannot provide direct representation of clients, pursuant to RCW 2.70.020.The previous hyperlink exits the OPD website.

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