Public Defender Service For The District Of Columbia

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Public Defender Service For The District Of Columbia Reviews

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    Intern Investigator

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern Investigator in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Intern Investigator in Washington, DC

    I worked at Public Defender Service For The District Of Columbia as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    One of the best experience I've had.

    Like any job, what you get out of it depends on how much effort you put in. I put a lot of time into this work because 1) I cared about the clients; 2) I wanted to do something real; and 3) I loved the work. And it paid off for me. I walked out of the internship having taken statements on my own.

    The internship really exposes you the the criminal defense sector. You are taking to clients and witnesses and going to crime scenes. You work closely with your attorney and can develop great relationships.

    The key here is, if you are not proactive in asking for more work or coming up with new leads, you will likely do very little, like serving a subpoena or sitting next to your staff investigator while he/she interviews someone. Offer to take a statement, or offer to interview someone.

    Also, if you are a driver, you really learn to get around DC. I learned to drive without a GPS by the end of the summer.

    Cons

    It's true that part of your experience depends on your attorney. But looking back, I think there's a lot you could do if you end up in a non-proactive position. First thing is advertise your skills and reach out to your intern supervisor (who's not an attorney) and offer your help. You can get on some pretty meaningful projects like this and I've done it before.

    Also, talk to your attorney. It's okay to be bold. Just know that these guys have been there for years and are not there to massage your ego. Ask for more work, which is what I did.

    There's no salary or anything for interns, but they do reimburse you for gas.

    One thing to note. On the internship brochure it talks about a "typical day" where you're working around the clock, going to court rooms and taking statements. That's not typical. You get there maybe toward the end of your internship when you 1) prove yourself, and 2) actually have so many cases that are around the clock.

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