Our Mission

DEDICATED to protecting and defending the rights and dignity of our clients through zealous, compassionate, high quality legal advocacy.

VIDC & Public Defender Office Locations

Employment Benefits

Full-time and part-time classified employees with the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission are eligible to receive benefits from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

  • Paid Holidays
  • Health Benefits
  • Flex Benefits Program
  • Retirement Plan
  • 457-Deferred Compensation and Cash Match
  • Short and Long Term Disability

  • Long Term Care
  • Basic & Optional Life Insurance
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness
  • Leaves of Absence
  • Wellness Programs
  • Employee Assistance Programs
Additional Benefits for Attorneys
  • Virginis State Bar Dues Paid
  • New Public Defender Boot Camp training
  • Free access to Continued Legal Education (CLE) Training
  • National Association of Public Defender (NAPD) Membership
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) Mebership
  • Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (VACDL) Membership
  • Appellate & Immigration Resources & Support
  • Malpractice Insurance Provided

VIDC Affinity Groups

  • The Action Group - Non-attorney staff group that shares resources and advice, influences internal policies, and helps non-attorney staff workshop through internal issues in a confidential setting.
  • Women Defenders - Group for those who identify as women to share experiences, provide internal support, engage socially, and engage external networks.
  • PRIDC - Confidential network and resource for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, gender non-conforming, non-binary, or otherwise LGBTQIA+ employees and their allies.
  • Alliance for Race Equity (“The Alliance”) - Group for all employees, regardless of racial identity, who are interested in advancing race equity.
  • People of Color (POC) Leadership Development Committee - Subcommittee of the Alliance (for people of color) that advocates for the adoption of policies, practices and initiatives that remove cultural barriers to leadership development and advancement within the organization.
  • People of Color (POC) Recruiting Committee - Subcommittee of the Alliance (for people of color) that strategically assists the VIDC in recruiting diverse and high performing talent for all roles in the organization.
  • PD Parents - Group that provides a space for employees who are parents to share experiences, resources, and advice; and advocates for equitable and inclusive policies for employees who are parents or expecting.
  • IDC Paralegals Network - Group for VIDC paralegals to share resources and advice to help define roles and workshop through internal issues in a confidential setting.

Equal Employment Opportunity

The Virginia Indigent Defense Commission is a proud equal opportunity employer and we are committed to a work environment that supports, inspires, and respects all individuals.  Employment is based solely on a person’s merit and qualifications related to professional competence. It is the Commission’s policy to provide equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity/expression, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, or political affiliation.  The VIDC is committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in our workforce. We encourage and welcome qualified applicants of all identities, cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.

INTERNSHIPS

VIDC Interships

VIDC internships 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.

Eligibility Requirements

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 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 Defender office. Students may be required to submit any or all of the following documents: resume, cover letter, writing sample, school transcript

Internship Testimonials


2024 VIDC Horizon Intership Program

The VIDC has a limited number of paid internship opportunities through the Horizon Internship Program.  This internship program is designed to expose law students to all aspects of work as a Public Defender Interns work with mentors assigned to them in the Office.

To apply, please complete the form linked below.


Other Opportunities:

NACDL Diversity Summer Law Fellowship

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) is proud to offer its Diversity Summer Law Fellowship program. The Fellowship provides opportunities for law students from historically underrepresented backgrounds to work with exceptional and experienced criminal defense attorneys. Students receive a weekly stipend for up to eight weeks of summer employment.

To apply, please visit the NACDL Diversity Summer Law Fellowship website page.

Deadline: Applications for the 2024 Diversity Summer Law Fellowship are now OPEN. Applications are due by 11:59pm on FEBRUARY 26, 2024.

PUBLIC DEFENDERS

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 Defender Office’s qualifications.

View Current Openings

PARALEGALS

Paralegals provide support services as part of the legal defense team, primarily responsible for assisting attorneys in preparing cases for trial.  Please note position descriptions may vary depending on the Public Defender Office’s qualifications.

View Current Openings

INVESTIGATORS

Investigators assist with interviewing witnesses, serving subpoenas and, at times, testifying in court. Please note position descriptions may vary depending on the Public Defender Office’s qualifications.

View Current Openings

MITIGATION SPECIALISTS

Mitigation Specialists provide office attorneys with information related to a client’s social, educations, medical and family history and, at times, testifying in court. Please note position descriptions may vary depending on the Public Defender Office’s qualifications.

View Current Openings

OFFICE MANAGERS & LEGAL ASSISTANTS

Office Manager and Legal Assistant positions provide overall administrative and clerical support of office attorneys, investigators and mitigation specialists. These positions communicate with office staff as well as clients and various judicial personnel. Please note position descriptions may vary depending on the Public Defender Office’s qualifications.

View Current Openings

ADMINISTRATION

The VIDC Administrative office is located in Henrico, VA and provides overall support to all Public Defender Offices and private certified court-appointed attorneys throughout the commonwealth.  The Administrative office is home to the agency’s Executive and Deputy Directors, Budget and Finance Department, Information Technology, Human Resources, Court-Appointed Attorney Certification Department and the Legal Training Department.  This office also staffs a number of agency resource attorneys.

View Current Openings