Job Opportunities

Investigations Internship (with the Mental Health Division)

Opening Date:
Closing Date:
Job Type:
Mental Health Division
Job Description:

The Investigations Interns will assist the Mental Health Division attorneys by conducting investigations of cases for indigent clients facing involuntary civil and/or criminal commitment and NGI acquittees committed to the DC Department of Behavioral Health.

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:

Investigations Interns assist the MHD attorneys by conducting case investigations which typically entail these responsibilities:  contact treating psychiatrists, family, witnesses, law enforcement; review and summarize medical and legal records; document all work into the agency’s computer case tracking system; attend court proceedings.  While not typical, Investigations Interns may also conduct on-line investigations on topics affecting a client’s case, execute subpoenas for witnesses or records, meet with clients to obtain/impart information, or testify in court.

Qualifications Required:

Students must have strong written and oral communication skills, be able to work with minimal supervision, and successfully juggle multiple tasks at one time.

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.  Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, except March 1st for summer applications.