Job Opportunities

Investigative Specialist-Term

Vacancy Announcement:
PDS 2022-10
Pay Series:


Opening Date:
Apr 28, 2022
Closing Date:
May 18, 2022
Number of Vacancies:
4 (plus any additional vacancies that occur within the next 90 days)
Position Type:

Public Defender Service
633 Indiana Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004

Who May Appy:

US Citizens or persons authorized to work in the United States.


Salary Range:  $50,643 to $65,831
First Year Salary (no professional experience): $50,643

Organization Description:

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, investigators, 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. 

Employment at the Public Defender Service (PDS) is neither federal nor District of Columbia government employment and all employees are at-will.

Division Description: The mission of the Investigation Division is to stay ahead of the rapidly-evolving investigative landscape in order to zealously serve PDS's clients. Our investigators passionately and diligently investigate cases and assist all divisions of PDS. Investigators not only go through rigorous training, but also provide specialized training to other court-appointed investigators and attorneys. PDS investigators are well versed in the art of interviews and statements, mixed media, and forensics. Our investigators use their skills in-house and in the field to leave no stone unturned in PDS's clients' cases. Working on all aspects of a case, from the arraignment to the trial, our investigators are an invaluable component of the defense team.

Position Description:


Essential Duties:

Major Duties: This position works in concert with legal defense counsel in the Special Litigation Division (SLD) that is focusing on post-conviction litigation pursuant to the Incarceration Reduction Amendment Act (“IRAA” – D.C. Code  24-403.03) in D.C. Superior Court. 

An investigative specialist, under the supervision of the assigned attorney, plans and conducts complete investigations and back ground history of clients as assigned. This is accomplished by interviews with witnesses, visiting correctional facilities, researching records, contacting various sources for the purpose of obtaining facts, signed statements, etc. An investigator verifies and corroborates all information obtained, analyzes findings, and presents findings in comprehensive written reports for use by attorneys. Duties may also include additional division-related work.

Required Qualifications:

Educational Requirement: All candidates selected for the position must possess: A Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration, Law, Criminology, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, English, Journalism/Mass Communication and/or other related field.

NOTE: Education must be from an accredited institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.  Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website:  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:

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.

Other Requirements: (1) Incumbent must have insured, reliable and available transportation; (2) incumbent must have no convictions as defined in D.C. Code Sec. 14.305(b)(1) (Impeachment by evidence of conviction of crime); and (3) applicant must be a US Citizen or have current authorization to work in the United States.

All candidates are subject to a criminal background check.

Vaccination Policy: As a condition of employment and before starting employment, all employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or receive a reasonable accommodation due to a disability or sincere religious belief. Prior to your first date of employment, candidates will be required either (A) to submit proof that you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to the Office of Human Resources or (B) request and receive an accommodation due to disability of sincere religious belief.

Telework: This is a full-time, term position that will expire on September 30, 2024.  Due to the pandemic, this position is eligible for remote work.  At this time, PDS is on a maximum telework schedule until October 2022. Beginning in October, we expect this position to shift to a hybrid work schedule; 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. For these positions, it will be the responsibility of the investigative specialist to ensure that any remote work they perform complies with the ethical and practice requirements of the remote jurisdiction.



Preferred Qualifications:

Highly Desirable Qualifications:  Additionally, the following knowledge, skills, and abilities and/or experiences are deemed highly desirable:

  • 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.
Application Evaluation:

How you will be evaluated: Your application package includes your cover letter, resume and requested supporting documentation. 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. Prior to the closing date of the announcement, PDS reserves the right to conduct rolling interviews.

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 Web-EX, Skype, or some other communications platform due to the COVID-19 pandemic.




Benefits: 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:

Federal Employees Retirement Systems (retirement annuity)
Thrift Savings Plan (similar to a 401k program)
Federal Employees Health Benefits 
Federal Employees Group Life Insurance
Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program
Flexible Spending Accounts (for health care and dependent care)
Long-Term Care Insurance
Parking Space (for Investigative Specialists)
Employee Assistance Program
Federal Occupational Health (access to health clinic and services)

How To Apply:

Application Portal

Please submit your application package through PDS’s online application portal found through the following link:

To submit required documents, you must click on the “APPLY” button for Vacancy Announcement.  You must also fully complete the Questionnaire found on CareerBuilder.  All responses on the Questionnaire must be supported by a narrative statement for each question.  If you do not have sufficient space on the Questionnaire to complete your narrative statement, please type the response in Word Format and attach it to your Resume and/or Cover Letter when submitting your application materials through Career Builder. 

Additionally, the documentation you provide through your cover letter and/or resume must support your answers on the Questionnaire.  Application packages submitted with missing information and/or responses to the Questionnaire can negatively affect referring your application package to the hiring manager.  PDS will not accept application packages by email, mail, fax, or personal delivery.

For applicants with disabilities, this organization provides reasonable accommodations which will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, proof of full vaccination against the COVID-19 virus is a condition of employment with they exception of those who apply for and receive a reasonable accommodation based on their health (disability) or sincerely held religious belief as reasons for not being vaccinated.  To request a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or interview process, please contact Anisha Trice, HR Specialist at (202) 824-2227 or at

PDS Does Not Accept Application Packages Via Email, Mail or Fax
PDS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and E-Verify Participating Agency



PDS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and E-Verify Participating Agency.