The Virginia Indigent Defense Commission is committed to equal employment opportunity for all persons on the basis of merit and the bonafide occupational requirements of the positions allocated, including knowledge, skills and ability. It is the Commission’s policy to provide equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, or political affiliation. This policy applies to all phases of personnel administration including, but not limited to, recruitment, selection, promotion, demotion, transfer, termination, rates of pay, or other forms of compensation, selection for training use of all facilities, and participation in Commission sponsored employee activities.
Careers with Virginia Indigent Defense Commission
Public Defender Positions
Public Defender Offices provide legal services for indigent defendants charged with criminal offenses. Public Defender Office attorneys are responsible for trying cases in General district, Juvenile, and Circuit Courts for their respective locality. Cases may be handled at the trial and/or appellate level. Please note position descriptions may vary depending on the Public/Capital Defender Office’s qualifications.
Capital Defender Positions
Capital Defender offices are principally trial-level offices, representing indigent clients charged with capital murder in cases throughout four (4) regions in Virginia, Northern, Southwest, Southeast, and Central. The offices are involved in a smaller number of direct appeals of capital convictions and provide resource and consultative services to other capital trial counsel. Please note position descriptions may vary depending on the Public/Capital Defender Office’s qualifications.
Office Manager and Secretary positions provide overall administrative and clerical support of office attorneys, investigators and sentencing advocates. These positions communicate with office staff as well as clients and various judicial personnel. Please note position descriptions may vary depending on the Public/Capital Defender Office’s qualifications.
Sentencing Advocates/Mitigation Specialists and Investigators
Sentencing Advocates and Investigators are employed in both Public and Capital Defender offices. These positions provide office attorneys with information related to a client’s social, educations, medical and family history as well as locating and interviewing witnesses, serving subpoenas and at times testifying in court. Please note position descriptions may vary depending on the Public/Capital Defender Office’s qualifications.
The Virginia Indigent Defense Commission has 28 Public Defender Offices serving communities throughout the state. Each of the Public Defender offices handle trial and appellate cases and try cases in the General District, Juvenile, and Circuit Courts. Also, the agency has Capital Defender offices located in four regions of Virginia, Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Southeast Virginia and Central Virginia. The Capital Defender offices are principally trial-level offices representing indigent clients charged with capital murder in cases.
In addition to the Public and Capital Defender Offices VIDC has an administrative office located in Richmond, Virginia. The Administrative office is home to the agency’s Executive and Deputy Directors, Budget and Finance Department, Information Technology, Human Resources and Training Department.
To locate a VIDC Public/Capital Defender office in your community.
Full-time and part-time classified employees with the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission are eligible to receive benefits from the Commonwealth of Virginia.
For a list of benefits and a description click on the links below. Each link will take you to the provider’s website giving your detailed information on the benefit option.
- 12 Paid Holidays
- Health Benefits
- Flex Benefits Program
- Retirement Plan
- 457-Deferred Compensation and Cash Match
- Short and Long Term Disability
- Long Term Care
- Basic Life Insurance
- Optional Life Insurance
- Leaves of Absence
- Wellness Programs
- Employee Assistance Programs
The VIDC Internship Program is designed to expose law students and undergraduates to all aspects of work as a Public Defender. Interns work with mentors assigned to them in the Public Defender Office to assist with case preparation and observe misdemeanor and felony criminal trials in general district, juvenile and circuit courts. Third year practice qualified students gain trial experience under the supervision of VIDC attorneys.
VIDC interns have daily contact with a wide spectrum of agencies involved in the criminal justice system as well as meeting with bondsmen, probation officers, magistrates, Commonwealth Attorneys, police officers, substance abuse counselor and clients in the course of their duties. Additionally, VIDC interns may also interview clients, perform legal research, assist with investigation, visit various correctional centers, the Virginia Appellate Courts, the Division of Forensic Science, drug courts, and substance abuse treatment facilities.
Law students and undergraduate students seeking an internship in legal services are encouraged to apply with VIDC. Students interested should be committed to advocating on behalf of indigent clients and providing quality legal services.
How To Apply
Students interested in interning with a Public/Capital Defender Office should contact the individual office directly to verify internship availability and application requirements. Application requirements for students may vary depending on the Public/Capital Defender office. Students may be required to submit any or all of the following documents:
- Cover letter
- Writing sample
- School transcript
- Testimonials (PDF)