Job Opportunities

Forensic Social Work Internship (with the Mental Health Division)

Opening Date:
Closing Date:
Job Type:
Mental Health Division
600 E Street, NW 
Washington, DC 20004
Job Description:

The Forensic Social Work Intern assists the agency Mental Health Liaison attorney by conducting  research on topics impacting criminal cases for clients facing competency proceedings or possible NGI findings.

Organization Overview:

The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS) provides and promotes quality legal representation to indigent adults and children facing a loss of liberty in the District of Columbia and thereby protects society's interest in the fair administration of justice. PDS is regarded as one of the best public defender offices in the country—local or federal. It is the benchmark by which other public defender systems often measure themselves.

Division Description:

The attorneys with the Mental Health Division of PDS are appointed by the court to represent indigent clients facing involuntary civil commitment to the DC Department of Behavioral Health.  We also represent insanity aquittees seeking release from their criminal court ordered commitment. 

Major Duties:

The Forensic Social Work Intern conducts research on topics impacting specific criminal cases when clients are facing competency proceedings or possibly a finding of not guilty by reason of insanity.  They also summarize medical and psychiatric records, update contact information for cases, document all work to the agency’s electronic case tracking system, and attend court proceedings.

Qualifications Required:

This internship is open to graduate students.  Applicants must have strong research and analytical skills, good written and oral communication skills, and be able to work with minimal supervision under tight deadlines.

How To Apply:

Email cover letter, resume, writing sampe and 2 references (at least one from an employer) to:, OR fax to 202/824-2877, OR mail to:  PDS/MHD, Internship Application, 633 Indiana Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004.

MHD internships usually begin mid-January, late May, and late August/early September – semesterly.  
MHD internships usually last the duration of a semester, typically 12-15 weeks.