Wednesday, May 31, 2017

NOVA Capital Defense Office Fall 2017 Internship Opportunity

The Northern Virginia Capital Defender Office (CDO), located in Tysons, VA, seeks highly motivated graduate students pursuing a degree in Forensic Psychology, Social Work or related field, with an interest in assisting with the zealous representation of defendants facing the death penalty.  The CDO is a pretrial office under the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission that represents people who are charged with capital offenses and who are facing a possible death sentence.  The Mitigation Specialist/Investigative interns assist with gathering information and documentation about factors in our clients’ lives that can be used to argue for a sentence other than the death penalty. 

The CDO is currently seeking students for the Fall 2017 semester.  Interested students should submit a resume and a cover letter to Alexandra Silanskis, Mitigation Specialist, Northern Virginia Capital Defender Office, via email to  The application deadline is rolling.  The CDO is an equal opportunity employer, equal without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, or political affiliation.
Each year, students spend a semester or summer at the CDO completing a variety of assignments under the supervision of experienced staff.  The tasks to be performed are limited only by the ability and willingness of the interns.  

Responsibilities for the Mitigation Specialist/Investigative interns typically include collecting and analyzing records, conducting client-specific research, interviewing witnesses, reviewing discovery, developing mitigation themes to be presented at trial, preparing guilt phase defenses, participating in guilt phase investigation, and preparation of trial exhibits.  

This unpaid internship position provides an invaluable opportunity to receive direct experience working in a forensic setting while serving in the rewarding and challenging field of capital defense.