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The Washington State Office of Public Defense (OPD) was established by the Legislature in 1996 as an independent agency of the judicial branch “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. 

The Mission of OPD is to uphold the rights of all people who are facing the loss of liberty or family by providing statewide leadership, administration and support to the multidisciplinary public defense profession. 

Indigent defense services administered by OPD:

OPD cannot provide direct representation of clients, pursuant to RCW 2.70.020.

Featured News: 

Register for the Youth Defender Training Series

Effectively working with youth with complex trauma and behavioral health needs.  View flyer [PDF]

Commentary: State Must Bolster Poorly Funded Public Defense System

Sixty years after the Gideon decision, funding and support for the right to counsel is failing in Washington state.  View the full story.


Senate Unanimously Passes NGRI bill (SSB 5415)

Watch the March 6, 2023 Washington State Senate floor debate on SSB 5415.  Video exitingwebsite


A Conversation with Washington State Representative Debra Entenman

A conversation with Washington State Representative, Debra Entenman and Larry Jefferson Jr., Director of the Office of Public Defense. They discuss how the Office of Public Defense operates and how the State Legislature can support their work.  Videoexitingwebsite


Washington Prison Mishandled Court Mail, Impeded Access to Justice

Officials delayed the delivery of critical documents for months, leading to the premature dismissal of at least two appeals filed by incarcerated men. View full story.exitingwebsite


Employment and Contract Opportunities

  • Request for Qualifications Youth Access to Counsel- On Call.  RFQ23028 [PDF]
  • Request for Qualifications in Court of Appeals, Division III- Appellate Program Attorney.  RFQ23027 [PDF]


Youth Access to Counsel Hotline

The Youth Access to Counsel (YAC) Line is now live. Law Enforcement officers looking to reach an attorney for consultations required under RCW 13.40.740 can contact 1-877-J-PUB-DEF (1-877-578-2333) or (360) 252-9656.  Attorneys are available 24/7 to provide consultations with youth.  

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