Job Opportunities at PDS
About The Job
PDS Overview: The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS) is a federally funded, independent organization governed by an eleven-member Board of Trustees. PDS provides legal representation for indigent individuals who are charged with criminal offenses in the District of Columbia and face a loss of liberty. PDS has approximately 200 employees, most of whom work at the main office at 633 Indiana Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. PDS’s staff consists of approximately 100 attorneys and approximately 100 social workers, investigative specialists, administrative, and technical staff. PDS is funded by federal appropriations, and all employees are entitled to participate in certain federal benefits plans: health and life insurance, federal retirement, and Thrift Savings Plan. Transferring employees will receive recognition of creditable federal service for leave accrual and retirement purposes. The Investigative Specialist position is located in the Investigations Division of PDS.
Employment at the Public Defender Service is at will and is not federal employment.
complete investigations of criminal cases as assigned. This is accomplished by interviews with witnesses, researching records, contacting various sources for the purpose of obtaining facts, signed statements, etc. An investigative specialist verifies and corroborates all information obtained, analyzes findings, and presents findings in comprehensive reports for use by attorneys. Investigations can require overnight or multi-day travel. An investigative specialist will perform other related duties as assigned.
Qualifications Required for the PDS Grade 7
All candidates must possess the above noted educational requirement.
Qualifications Required for the PDS Grade 9
To qualify for the grade 9, a candidate must possess the aforementioned educational requirement and the following experience:
Specialized Experience: Candidates must have at least one year of specialized experience as a criminal defense staff investigator or criminal defense investigative specialist (investigating felony level cases), including experience with word processing, criminal justice database usage, social media usage, data input, and criminal defense related data analysis.
Qualifications Required for the PDS Grade 11
To qualify for the grade 11, a candidate must possess the aforementioned educational requirement and the following experience:
Specialized Experience: Candidates must have at least three years of specialized experience as a criminal defense staff investigator or criminal defense investigative specialist (investigating felony level cases), including experience with word processing, criminal justice database usage, social media usage, data input, and criminal defense related data analysis.
Notes on Educational Requirements
NOTE: Education must be from an accredited institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants can verify accreditation at the following
website: http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/search.aspx. All education claimed by applicants will be verified by PDS.
Special Instructions For Foreign Education: Applicants who are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, must show that the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university. For further information, visit: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus- forrecog.html
All candidates are subject to a criminal background check.
• The ability to fluently speak and write Spanish;
• Training and/or internship experience in criminal defense investigations;
• Training and/or experience in criminal defense mitigation;
• The skills and ability to provide quantitative and qualitative analysis and assessment of data evidence;
• Possess computing skills and proficiency in Adobe Acrobat Pro (PDF), Criminal Justice Database usage, researching Social Media content, criminal defense related data input/analysis and/or other related proprietary software;
• Experience in organizing for and/or serving the homeless, incarcerated, underserved and/or immigrant communities;
• The willingness to learn and utilize proprietary and evolving technology as related to investigations is also desirable.
Rating: Your application package will be rated and ranked among other applicants, based on your experience, education, training, and awards relevant to the duties of this position. Your rating can be lowered if your application package is not supported by the requested documents.
Referral: If you are among the top qualified candidates, your application package will be referred to a hiring manager for consideration at which time you may be invited to participate in a selection interview.
Interview Structure: Those who are selected for interviews will be required to interview via
Number of vacancies:
PDS is funded by federal appropriations, and employees are entitled to participate in federal benefits plans, federal retirement systems, and the workers compensation program.
Transferring federal employees will receive recognition of creditable federal service for leave accrual and retirement (if applicable) purposes. Benefits include: https://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/healthcare
Federal Employees Retirement Systems (retirement annuity) Thrift Savings Plan (similar to a 401K program)
Federal Employees Health Benefits (health insurance) Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (life insurance) Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program
Flexible Spending Accounts (for health care and dependent care)
Long Term Care
Parking Space (for Investigative Specialists)
Employee Assistance Program
Federal Occupational Health (access to health clinic and services)
Telework: At this time, the Investigations Division is on a hybrid telework schedule that requires a minimum of one day in the office each week and as needed to complete investigative tasks. The details of this schedule will depend on the needs of the Division, assignments that must be performed in person (e.g., court hearings, client visits in detention facilities) and office space availability.
PDS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and an E-Verify Participating Agency
Who May Apply:
How to Apply:
Please ensure your application package includes detailed information to support your qualifications for this position. Failure to provide sufficient evidence in your application package and requested supporting documents can result in a rejection of your application package.
• Cover letter and traditional résumé (with day telephone and email contact);
• copy of graduate school transcripts but must submit original copy prior to offer/employment;
• narrative statement
• a list of three professional references to include name, address, telephone number and a statement on how each reference is able to evaluate your skills.
To submit required documents, you must submit your complete application package to HR Specialist Brigette Carrington, Office of Human Resources, Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, Job Announcement PDS #2023-36, 633 Indiana Avenue, NW, Washington, dc 20004 as MS Word or PDF document attachments to the following email address: [email protected]. The vacancy announcement # and title of the vacancy MUST APPEAR on the subject line of the email.
All application materials become property of PDS and will not be returned. For questions or concerns regarding this vacancy announcement or hiring process, please contact HR Specialist Brigette Carrington at (202) 824-2237 or via the email address listed above.
The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS) is a federally funded, independent organization; governed by an eleven-member Board of Trustees, PDS provides legal representation to individuals facing a loss of freedom in the local criminal, delinquency, and mental health systems in the District of Columbia. PDS’s approximately 235 attorneys, social workers, investigative specialists, administrative, and technical staff collaborate with each other to advance the PDS mission. PDS’s main office is located at 633 Indiana Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. District of Columbia residency is not a requirement for employment. PDS is funded by federal appropriations, and all employees are entitled to participate in the federal health and life insurance plans, the federal retirement plans (FERS, FERS-RAE, FERS-FRAE, CSRS, CSRS-Offset), and the Thrift Savings Plan. Transferring employees will receive recognition of creditable federal service for leave accrual and retirement purposes. Employment at PDS is neither federal nor District of Columbia government employment, and all employees are at-will.
PDS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and E-Verify Participant.