Investigative Intern – Travis County Public Defender’s Office

Travis County Public Defender’s Office 

Officially opening our doors in January 2021, TCPDO provides high-quality holistic defense representation to indigent people accused of crimes in Travis County. Our interdisciplinary team-based model features criminal defense attorneys, Padilla immigration attorneys, social workers, civil paralegals, investigators, and legal secretaries working together to serve clients’ expressed goals and needs related to the criminal charges, and to combat the harmful collateral consequences/enmeshed penalties they trigger.

Born out of a desire to see improved outcomes for people coming through the County’s criminal legal system, all TCPDO advocates are guided by the community-shaped goals set out in our foundational documents: ( 1) promoting a client-centered culture that values and respects client dignity; (2) serving as a strong, independent, institutional voice for public defense; (3) providing a training ground that produces excellent defenders; (4) raising the quality of criminal representation for all people charged with crimes in Travis County who cannot afford an attorney; and (5) being resourceful and responsive to the evolving needs of the community.

Investigative Interns 

PDO Investigators are a critical part of the defense team as they work in concert with public defender attorneys to investigate allegations of suspected violations of criminal statutes and possible legal defenses to and mitigation against those allegations and use their findings to provide information to help guide the course and outcome of client representation. As an investigative intern, you will work closely with PDO investigators in planning and conducting complete investigations of criminal allegations and circumstances of clients’ lived experiences. This may include but is not limited to: taking photographs and measurements; collecting and evaluating physical and testimonial evidence; serving subpoenas; present orally and in writing findings of investigation; and preparation of demonstrative evidence for use in proceedings related to the allegations. 

Please note in your application if you are fluent in Spanish. To apply, please send a resume and statement of interest to This position may qualify for a Dwight Hall Summer Fellowship. Visit this webpage to learn more.

Summer 2024 Deadline: March 1st 2024 

Preferred Qualifications for this position include: 

  • Mission-aligned experience (work or lived) advocating on behalf of people/communities directly impacted by the criminal/immigration/indigent civil legal systems 
  • Skill in building rapport and communicating effectively across lines of difference with others 
  • Ability to bring a trauma-informed approach to communicating with people in crisis 
  • Ability to use active listening and demonstrate empathy 
  • Attention to detail and attunement to surroundings 
  • High level of organization; ability to take and maintain accurate records and write concisely 
  • Ability to conduct fact investigations 
  • Flexibility and adaptability 
  • Ability to drive preferred 
  • Ability to speak Spanish preferred 

TCPDO is committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff. The PDO strongly encourages candidates of all identities, experiences, abilities, and communities to apply. All applicants should be dedicated to working in and sustaining an environment that enables staff and clients to feel empowered, valued, respected, and safe. In considering applicants, TCPDO values an applicant’s experience and/or thoughtfulness in working with people from communities that experience marginalization.

About the Author