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Quick Facts
Company Name:Wayne County Government
Location:Detroit, MI
Employment Type:Full Time
Category:Economic Development
Pay:Commensurate with Experience - Salary
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The Director of Public Defense Services will have oversight of the newly-created Public Defense Services Unit (PDSU), which is a key component of Wayne County's creation of an administrative office for indigent felony defense services. The Director will be responsible for the continued funding, policy development, and leadership of the county-wide criminal defense system intended to provide effective assistance of counsel to all indigent defendants who are charged with felony offenses. With oversight from the Wayne County Office of Corporation Counsel, the PDS Director will manage the indigent defense services provided by a Public Defender Office (PDO), and will share management with the Third Circuit Court of a roster of private counsel accepting felony assignments. The Director will work with the Third Circuit Court to support and develop management of assignment, performance review, and training functions. Support of the indigent defense bar offered by the PDSU includes access to investigators and experts, and training that is required by both the MIDC and Third Circuit Court.

The PDSU is funded by an annual grant from the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission (MIDC). The PDSU will be located in Detroit's Guardian Building, and its staff members will be County employees funded through the MIDC compliance grant to Wayne County. Staff in 2020 is expected to include the director, an assigned counsel administrator, a fiscal manager, an IT manager, an assignment coordinator, an attorney roster coordinator, and two investigator/expert administrators.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Develops, presents, and manages budgets covering the Public Defense Services Unit, the Public Defender Office (Neighborhood Defense Services Detroit), and the private assigned counsel system, collaborating with the Third Circuit Court, the Wayne County District Courts, and county and state government funding units.
  • Develops and manages plans for compliance with MIDC Standards, including policies, programs and costs.
  • Develops and manages an IT system for public defense, including planning, negotiating contracts, and overseeing purchases and installations.
  • Develops and manages a payment system for vendors within the public defense system, including private assigned counsel, training service providers, investigators for private assigned counsel, and experts for all assigned counsel including the PDO.
  • Manages the Wayne County Pilot Program for Defense Use of Investigators and Experts.
  • Develops and manages a grant program supporting the PDSU, PDO and private assigned counsel.
  • Collaborates with justice system stakeholders on funding and policies which improve the administration of justice, including implementation of Standards approved by the MIDC.
  • Prepares or oversees preparation of all MIDC reports and funding requests, and reports to Wayne County and the Third Circuit Court.
  • Manages the administrative activities of the PDSU.
  • Develops and oversees public defense training, support and community outreach, in collaboration with the PDO.
  • Negotiates and manages contracts with Wayne County's PDO (Neighborhood Defender Service Detroit).
  • Defines and inspires organizational culture, motivates employees.
  • Works closely with Wayne County's Office of Corporation Counsel to achieve both long and short-term goals and objectives, providing leadership and direction.


  • Juris Doctor (JD) from an accredited law school.
  • At least five years of experience practicing law.
  • Preferred Experience: Experience as a lawyer within the criminal justice system; management of budgets, personnel and data; and proficiency in public policy advocacy and communication with criminal justice system stakeholders.
  • Licensed Attorney in State of Michigan.

Wayne County offers a competitive total compensation package and excellent employee benefits.

Salary will be commensurate with experience.

Please include cover letter, resume and salary requirements

Position is open until filled

Equal Opportunity Employer

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