Public Defender Service For The District Of Columbia

  www.pdsdc.org
  www.pdsdc.org

Public Defender Service For The District Of Columbia Reviews

9 Reviews
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9 Reviews
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  1.  

    Intern Investigator

    • Comp & Benefits
    • 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 an 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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2.  

    An Educational experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Juvenile Or Youth Worker in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Juvenile Or Youth Worker in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Public Defender Service For The District Of Columbia full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The best reason to work for the Public Defender, to protect clients from convictions

    Cons

    Some down sides is when a client is faced with negotiate pleas

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The Juveniles are showing up with charges. They know nothing about laws.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  3.  

    Summer law clerk

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Public Defender Service For The District Of Columbia

    Pros

    General atmosphere of excellence. Impressively skilled attorneys.

    Cons

    None - great summer internship program.

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  5.  

    Fantastic training, client-centered work, relaxed working atmosphere.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Attorney in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Attorney in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Public Defender Service For The District Of Columbia full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Flexible hours, great deal of independence and autonomy, satisfying work, good pay, laid-back management style. Pretty much ideal work environment for someone who likes a very social work day -- lots of conversations and client meetings.

    Cons

    Wish i could think of a downside, but there really aren't any.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  6.  

    The best hands-on experience for those interested in law

    • Comp & Benefits
    • 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 an year)

    Pros

    Directly contribute to trial preparations
    Full responsibility
    independent, creative thinking

    Cons

    May involve exposure to potentially dangerous situations and environments

    Recommends
  7.  

    Exhilarating

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Intern Investigator in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Intern Investigator in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Public Defender Service For The District Of Columbia

    Pros

    The environment is very open, friendly, and down to earth.

    Cons

    The extent of your personal investigative work is largely dependent on the attorneys you work for and whether or not you have a staff investigator overseeing your work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The training session that you hold for each intern class is fantastic.

    Recommends
  8.  

    My summer internship was amazing and I'll recommend it to students interested in legal services

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    I was an intern investigator for PDS, and I had an amazing time. I worked closely with my partner and the attorney assigned to us. This internship provided me with hands-on experiences, such as interviewing witnesses and took memos.

    Cons

    The workload fluctuates with the development of the cases, so sometimes the work could be hectic, sometimes it was just really chill. But there's nothing to do about it, so it's important to find other tasks to balance out the workload.

    Recommends
  9.  

    This was an amazing experience!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Public Defender Service For The District Of Columbia full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The subject matter, coworkers and clients are a remarkable group of people. You get to see the criminal justice system up close and work with individuals who have gone through some unbelievable situations and who still hold their heads up.

    Cons

    The work can be tiring. Long days and evenings researching and prepping but if you are dedicated to this mission, you can pull through.

    Recommends
  10.  

    Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Public Defender Service For The District Of Columbia

    Pros

    I liked working here--everyone was nice, work was interesting, etc. The work experience still comes up in interviews, even 3 years later.

    Cons

    Make sure you're getting paid or have wealthy parents who can bankroll your expenses for a summer. DC is expensive

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't really have any advice to give. Management was pretty laid-back, but it really depends on who you're working for.

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