Job Opportunities

Law Clerk (with the Mental Health Division)

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

The Law Clerk assists the Chief of the Mental Health Division, as well as the Division staff attorneys, by conducting legal research and writing for our clients, who are subject to involuntary civil commitment or are committed as insanity acquittees. 

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 MHD law clerk will conduct legal research and writing on topics that affect a particular client’s case or our clients as a class.  They will also be expected to:  review and summarize volumes of medical/psychiatric records, update contacts, interview family, document all work into the agency’s computer case tracking system, and attend court proceedings.

Qualifications Required:

Students must have strong written and oral communication skills, and be able to work with minimal supervision.  Applicants must be in law school, and we will consider 1L’s for this position.

How To Apply:

Email cover letter, resume, writing sample 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 typically begin mid-January, late May, and late August/early September--Semesterly.  
Rolling applications/acceptances, except March 1st for summer applications.