Office of the Public Defender

Office of the Public Defender

Lawyer talking to the court

Regional Offices

View address and phone numbers for all regional offices. The list includes offices for Criminal Defense, Law Guardian, Parental Representation, Special Litigation Unit and Mental Health and Guardianship Advocacy.

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The New Jersey Office of the Public Defender (NJOPD) is always searching for the highest quality attorneys, investigators, paralegals and clerical staff to join the agency and provide our clients with the best legal representation.

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Criminal Defense (Trial)

The Office of the Public Defender Criminal Trial Regions provide representation to indigent individuals charged with indictable offenses as well as all youth defendants accused of acts of juvenile delinquency.


Office of Law Guardian

The Office of Law Guardian provides direct representation to children and youth in abuse and neglect, and family in need of services cases in family court.  Law Guardians are appointed as attorneys to the child to advocate for and advance and protect the interests of their clients in all phases of child welfare litigation.  Law Guardians also represent clients in termination of parental rights cases, and as they transition to independence from the child welfare agency.  Law Guardians also represent clients in all 21 New Jersey counties in trial and appellate courts.


Office of Parental Representation

The Office of Parental Representation (OPR) provides representation to indigent parents and guardians charged in abuse and neglect cases, as well as those facing the loss of parental rights. OPR works to provide the highest quality client-directed advocacy aimed at keeping families together when the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) files a case in Superior Court. 


Appellate – Criminal

The Appellate Section (Criminal) provides representation to indigent individuals on appeal from their criminal convictions or adjudications of delinquency. The Appellate Section is based in Newark and handles appeals arising out of all 21 NJ counties.


Appellate - Office of Law Guardian

The OLG Appellate Advocacy and Special Interest Section represents children in child welfare appeals and provides strategic appellate, policy, legislative and high impact, special interest advocacy to OLG and its trial regions. 


Appellate - Office of Parental Representation

Office of Parental Representation Appellate (OPR-A) provides representation on appeals from final orders in child welfare cases.  OPR-A also provides assistance to trial attorneys pursuing interlocutory appeals and coordinates Office of Administrative Law appeals on substantiated cases.


Division of Mental Health Advocacy

Attorneys in the Division provide representation for all children and for adults from 18 counties at initial civil commitment and review hearings at 41 state, federal, county, general and private psychiatric hospitals throughout New Jersey, as well as for individuals who have been civilly committed under the Sexually Violent Predator Act.   Representation is also provided for some individuals subject to guardianship proceedings and persons found not guilty by reason of insanity. 


Recovery Court Unit

The Recovery Court Unit provides representation to indigent individuals with substance abuse disorders who have been diverted from the normal criminal process into the Recovery Court program (formerly Drug Court). There are attorneys assigned to the Recovery Court Unit in each of the OPD’s 21 regional offices.


Intensive Supervision Program (ISP) Unit

The Intensive Supervision Program Unit provides representation to indigent individuals in State Prison who apply for early release through admission to the Intensive Supervision Program, and the representation continues throughout the client’s participation in the program.


Conviction Integrity Unit

The Conviction Integrity Unit provides representation to indigent individuals pursuing Post Conviction Relief at the trial court level. The Unit is based in Newark and oversees cases in all 21 NJ counties.


Special Litigation Unit

The Special Litigation Unit (SLU) represents indigent individuals on Megan’s Law status as a result of having been convicted of a sexual offense. The SLU also pursues significant civil rights issues on behalf of the agency and its clients. The unit has three regional offices and handles cases at the trial and appellate levels throughout New Jersey.


Parole Revocation Defense Unit (PRDU)

Commencing on October 2, 2023, as a result of legislation signed by the Governor on September 12, 2023, the Parole Revocation Defense Unit (PRDU) commenced providing state-wide legal representation to adult parolees charged with violating parole for the first time since 1991. This includes representation of parolees at initial probable cause hearings and final revocation hearings held before administrative hearing officers. Representation also includes appeals to the full Parole Board following an adverse revocation decision. The alleged violation may be technical, or a violation based upon a new criminal charge brought against the parolee while under parole supervision.  


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