Contract Opportunities

02-231027-01: Contract Public Defender

Missouri State Public Defender

Statewide within Missouri

Join the team of private attorneys who uphold the Sixth Amendment right to counsel in your area of the state as one of Missouri's Contract Public Defenders (also referred to as Panel Attorneys or Special Public Defenders).

The Missouri State Public Defender seeks attorneys in private practice in Missouri to serve as independent contractors who provide legal representation to indigent clients charged with criminal offenses facing the possibility of incarceration.

Job Number:  02-231027-01: Contract Public Defender

Company Name:  Missouri State Public Defender

The Missouri State Public Defender (MSPD) utilizes Panel Attorneys who accept individual case assignments on a contract basis as Contract Public Defenders.

MSPD panel attorneys serve as independent contractors and are able to maintain their current law practices. Panel attorneys select the judicial circuits in which they accept cases as well as the types of cases they accept. Contract rates are paid per case and vary depending on the case type. MSPD pays mileage, additional compensation for days spent in trial, and covers necessary litigation expenses when requested and pre-approved. Panel attorneys obtain important courtroom and trial experience and can attend some MSPD training events.

Public Defenders serve a critical mission - to ensure that indigent members of the local community are afforded their right to zealous legal representation regardless of their ability to pay.

Join the team of private attorneys who uphold the Sixth Amendment right to counsel in your area of the State.

Apply to become a Contract Public Defender.

Interested Parties/How to Apply:     

Attorneys wishing to be eligible to receive contract cases from MSPD must submit a Panel Attorney Application.

Panel Attorney Applications can be obtained via the MSPD website at or by emailing

Send completed applications by mail, fax, or email to:

Missouri State Public Defender
Attn: Case Contracting
Woodrail Centre
1000 W. Nifong, Building 7, Suite 100
Columbia, Missouri  65203

Fax: 573-777-9976


Posted: October 27, 2023