Closing Date: 16th June, 2023


Job Duties:
The Virginia Indigent Defense Commission (VIDC) is now accepting applications for the position of Assistant Public Defender I/II the Office of the Public Defender for Arlington County and the City of Falls Church. This opening is for immediate employment with the office. The VIDC is committed to providing high-quality legal representation to indigent defendants charged with criminal offenses, and the qualified candidate should be committed to advocating zealously on behalf of indigent clients both in trial and appellate courts. The Assistant Public Defender I/II position reports to the Chief Public Defender for the Arlington Office and is employed at-will. In addition to the listed salary, there is a 22.5% local salary supplement, although this 22.5% supplement is discretionary, subject to annual approval by Arlington County, and earnings from the supplement do not impact retirement benefits.

If you are interested in applying and joining our mission, please complete an application. If you have specific questions related to applying, please contact us at

Duties include conducting client and witness interviews; preparing and litigating pre- and post-trial motions; working with staff investigators and the sentencing advocate to investigate allegations, collect mitigating evidence, and develop mitigation themes; collaborating with mental health and substance abuse services to identify alternatives to incarceration; representing clients at trial in the District and Circuit Courts; and representing clients on appeal in the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court of Virginia.

The IDC 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.

Minimum Qualifications:
  • Demonstrate a deep belief in zealous, client-centered advocacy and a passion for working on behalf of indigent defendants.
  • Value camaraderie and working closely with like-minded individuals in a team environment.
  • Comfortable with public speaking, and have the potential to argue persuasively before judges and juries.
  • Possess effective legal research and writing skills, and the capacity to think creatively about legal issues.
  • Comfortable working with disadvantaged persons—including mentally ill individuals and those charged with serious felony crimes.
  • Demonstrate commitment to criminal defense, social justice, and/or public service.
  • Comfortable working in a fast-paced, unpredictable environment with varying tasks and time demands.
  • Open to supervision and training in the interest of professional growth and the development of advocacy skills.
  • Communicate effectively with colleagues, supervisors, and the court.
  • Thorough, detail-oriented, and organized.

A Virginia State Bar license is required for employment as an Assistant Public Defender I/II. The vacancy may be filled at one of two levels, depending on the applicant's experience. At least two years of criminal defense practice experience is required to be considered for the Assistant Public Defender II position and significant jury trial experience is preferred. Assistant Public Defender I, on the other hand, is an entry-level position, for which applications currently registered for the Virginia Bar Exam and recent February bar passers are encouraged to apply, as well as licensed Virginia attorneys.

Preferred Qualifications:
Prior experience as a practicing defense attorney is required in order to be considered for the Assistant Public Defender II position, but prior experience with indigent defense—professional, post-graduate or clinical—is preferred for either position (Assistant PD I/II), as is current VIDC certification. The ideal candidate has a background of public service and may have experience working directly with underprivileged people. Spanish fluency is not required but would be of substantial benefit to the Office.

Special Instructions:
Applications for this position require a cover letter and resume.

While creating an account through the state system will save your basic information (please remember your username and password), applications are NOT saved for future openings. We encourage you to apply to any and all of the positions you may be considering within the IDC.

Employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a fingerprint-based criminal background check. Being authorized to work in the U.S. is a precondition of employment. IDC uses the E-Verify system and does not provide sponsorship.

You will be provided a confirmation of receipt when your application and/or résumé is submitted successfully. Please refer to “Your Application” in your account to check the status of your application for this position. Applications for this position must be submitted electronically through this website. Mailed, emailed, faxed, or hand-delivered applications and resumes will not be accepted. IDC does not accept “see resume” as a response to any question. Information on the application is the primary source used for screening the position. Reasonable accommodations are available to applicants if requested, during the application and/or interview process.

This position qualifies for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) depending on your type of loan.

Edits cannot be made to the application once you have received a confirmation number. Phone calls are not accepted regarding an inquiry to the status of an application. Please login to the RMS system for status updates.

Contact Information:
Name: Ashley Washington

Phone: 804-662-7249


In support of the Commonwealth's commitment to inclusion, we are encouraging individuals with disabilities to apply through the Commonwealth Alternative Hiring Process. To be considered for this opportunity, applicants will need to provide their Certificate of Disability (COD) provided by a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor within the Department for Aging & Rehabilitative Services (DARS), or the Department for the Blind & Vision Impaired (DBVI). Veterans are encouraged to answer Veteran status questions and submit their disability documentation, if applicable, to DARS/DBVI to get their Certificate of Disability. If you need to get a Certificate of Disability, use this link: Career Pathways ( for Individuals with Disabilities, or call DARS at 800-552-5019, or DBVI at 800-622-2155.

Each agency within the Commonwealth of Virginia is dedicated to recruiting, supporting, and maintaining a competent and diverse work force. Equal Opportunity Employe