An experienced Iron Range attorney has been appointed to supervise public defender services in Carlton and northern St. Louis counties.

Mark Muhich, a Hibbing native who has long practiced at the Virginia courthouse, will serve in a newly created managing attorney role, 6th Judicial District Chief Public Defender Dan Lew announced.

"(Muhich) brings nearly two decades of commitment to client-centered representation, an energy to holistic public defense and (is) active in our community," Lew said.

Muhich, who described himself as a "proud Iron Ranger," operated a general practice law firm in Virginia for 20 years, also serving as a part-time public defender for much of that time. He joined the public defender's office full-time last fall.

In the new role, Muhich will help guide public defender services at the courthouses in Carlton, Virginia and Hibbing.

Muhich, a graduate of Augsburg College and Hamline University School of Law, started as a law clerk at the Virginia courthouse in 1992. He later joined the Trenti Law Firm and worked as an independently contracted legal writer before opening his own firm in 1998.

For 16 years, Muhich taught political science, criminal justice, juvenile delinquency and business law at Mesabi Range College in Virginia, and spent six years teaching in the law enforcement program at Vermilion Community College in Ely.

Muhich also has served on the board of directors for the Range Mental Health Center since 2006 and is involved in many activities at Eveleth-Gilbert Public Schools, including serving as defensive line coach for the high school's football program.

"I have done many things over the course of my long career, and look forward to this new opportunity to lead the great group of attorneys we have on the Iron Range and Carlton," he said.

Muhich will be based in Hibbing, but said he is looking forward to "working collaboratively and collegially with everyone." He lives in Eveleth with his wife, Alison Perry, a public information officer at the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board. They have two sons, 18 and 14.