http://www.pdsdc.org/careers/job-opportunities

The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia

Investigative Intern

June - August 2019 • Washington, DC

What I liked

- Case materials/subjects - Hands-on - Resources with the job (i.e. court watching, speaking to attorneys and law clerks, etc) - Cooperation required to ensure efficiency within the workplace - Opportunity to utilize both Spanish and English - General exposure to the criminal justice system/the inner workings - Ability to help other coworkers outside of my partner when necessary - especially helpful when workload is low

What I wish was different

- Wish I had more opportunities to use Spanish - Workload dependent upon attorney(s) assigned and the type of case - workload is not consistent - Wish I had asked for more work

Advice

Make the most of it. There are so many resources available through PDS. Talk to law clerks. Talk to your (and other) attorneys. Form relationships with your colleagues. If you find yourself wanting more work, ask for it! The program is a few months long and flies by. Prior to applying (or interviewing) do your research. Do not treat the application process like any other internship. Finally, if you are not attending an ivy-league institution, that's OKAY! Applicants come from various backgrounds. All of my coworkers were smart and passionate about the work being done at the Public Defender Service (regardless of the institution they were attending).
1 person found this helpful

Investigative Intern

May - July 2018 • Washington, DC

What I liked

It prepared me for a career in the criminal justice system.

What I wish was different

Nothing.

Advice

If you are interested at all in gaining hands-on experience, then definitely consider applying. There are not a lot of opportunities that prepare students for law school or for a career in law, but this experience provided both.
2 people found this helpful

Criminal Law Investigative Intern

May - August 2018 • Washington, DC

What I liked

I loved that it was a super hands on experience. I learned an immense amount of knowledge about the criminal justice system and investigation in general. I created meaningful relationships with clients and saw a different side of DC that I hadn't seen before. It was eye opening and overall a great experience.

What I wish was different

There was a lot of driving involved, which can be tough in the city. However, due to the nature of the job, I do not think this could change.

Advice

Go all in with this internship and you will get a lot out of it. Really be open to and excited about new experiences you might have in this setting.
2 people found this helpful

Investigative Intern

June - August 2018 • Washington, DC

What I liked

Best, hands on criminal law internship in the country. Most hands-on experience you can get and great opportunity to build a strong network of your peers and those in the field.

What I wish was different

Would've liked to have been there longer.

Advice

Get to know the people you work with.
3 people found this helpful

Intern Investigator

June - September 2017 • Washington, DC

What I liked

Great hands-on legal exposure. Got to explore many different parts of Washington, actually talk to clients, and form close relationships with the attorneys I was assigned to. The intern coordinator assigns you a partner to work with, and I loved the experience of having a teammate in tough situations.

What I wish was different

Experience is different depending on what department you are assigned to. Juvenile (what I was assigned to) can get a bit intense, so be prepared for that.

Advice

Don't be put off by a serious interviewer!
9 people found this helpful

Intern Investigator

June - September 2018 • Washington, DC

What I liked

The independence and responsibility you are given with this job is a bit daunting at first but make the most of it. There are few other opportunities than this one to get into the grittiness of our criminal justice system.

What I wish was different

I wish I knew that there would not be as much engagement with the legal aspect of each case. However, this depends on which attorney you have.

Advice

Never be afraid to ask questions of your attorney or your partner. Everyone at PDS is incredibly open and want you to succeed.
2 people found this helpful