Job Opportunities

Parole Division Staff Attorney

Vacancy Announcement:
Pay Series:
PDS-11/12/13 (GS-11/12/13 Equivalent)   
Promotion Potential:
If this position is filled at a lower grade, incumbent will have promotion potential to PDS-13 (GS-13 equivalent).

Opening Date:
Sep 11, 2020
Closing Date:
Oct 2, 2020
Organization Description:
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, investigators, 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, 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 the Public Defender Service is neither federal nor District of Columbia government employment, and all employees are at-will.

Division Background: The Parole Division of the Public Defender Service provides legal representation to parolees in the District of Columbia and those who are committed and detained in the District of Columbia Jail and CCA/Correctional Treatment Facility. The Parole Division represents alleged supervised release/parole violators throughout the revocation process, probable cause hearings, and at final revocation hearings before the United States Parole Commission. Revocation and other hearings are expected to resume at the District of Columbia Jail and the CCA/Correctional Treatment Facility once authorities have determined that it is safe. The Division files parole related civil actions in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia and the United States District Court to protect the Constitutional and statutory rights of clients.
Essential Duties:
Reporting to the Chief of the Parole Division, the staff attorney will represent parolees in revocation matters before the U.S. Parole Commission, coordinating with PDS trial attorneys and social workers when needed. The attorney will report and track cases through the PDS case management system, provide monthly case statistics and respond to ‘duty day’ requests from parolees and community actors. The parole staff attorney will also supervise clinical law students directly representing parole clients in the revocation process and work extensively with PDS staff investigators.
Required Qualifications:
J.D. or equivalent degree from an accredited law school, membership in District of Columbia Bar or eligibility for reciprocity admission to the DC Bar, and strong research, writing, and oral persuasion skills. Recent graduates who have not yet taken, but have registered for a state bar exam, are eligible to apply.

Although in-person client representation has been paused during Covid-19, the successful applicant will be expected to conduct hearings at the District of Columbia Jail, the CCA/Correctional Treatment Facility and other forums in the future.
Preferred Qualifications:
Preferred qualifications include experience as a parole attorney, public defender or other position advocating on behalf of marginalized populations. Experience preparing and presenting cases in trial courts, administrative forums and/or other oral presentation engagements.
How To Apply:
Applicants must submit: (1) a resume that includes a list of three references (name, address, telephone number, and a statement of how each reference is able to evaluate your skills), (2) a legal writing sample, preferably a brief or other advocacy piece, (3) response to the question (no more than three double-spaced typewritten pages): Why do you want to be a parole attorney?, and (4) an unofficial law school transcript or grade list. All materials must be submitted as a single consolidated PDF through the PDS website at If you are not yet admitted to a state bar please select ‘Not a Member of a Bar’ in the dropdown menu. All applications are due by midnight on October 2, 2020.

If you have questions about the application or are unable to upload your consolidated application please contact:

Jennifer Thomas,
Director of Legal Recruiting
(202) 480-0385
PDS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and E-Verify Participating Agency.