News & Updates

King County DPD – Northwest Defenders Division Seeks Temporary Public Defense Investigator
March 2, 2018 | Mana

The Department of Public Defense (DPD) is renowned nationally for its excellent legal representation to indigent clients in King County. DPD provides legal representation to indigent clients in several practice areas, including felonies, misdemeanors, juvenile offenders, dependencies, involuntary commitment, civil commitment of sexually violent predators, and contempt of court. The department also works to address racial disproportionality in the criminal justice system, the collateral consequences of justice involvement, and other structural and/or systemic issues that undermine the rights of the criminally accused. It employs not only attorneys, but also skilled mitigation specialists, paralegals, investigators, and other support staff.

Incumbents in these positions provide trial related investigations supporting DPD attorneys representing clients, particularly as it pertains to establishing the best possible legal defense for clients.

Typical duties include:

  • Assist attorneys in analyzing cases from a defense perspective. This may include examination of discovery materials or other information to determine areas in which more factual information is needed, and attendance at pre-trial conferences.
  • Conduct crime scene analysis and examination of other physical locations or objects to uncover and identify evidence that will assist in preparing the defense. This may include taking photographs and preparing diagrams, maps, charts and scale drawings to be exhibited in court. Communicate findings to attorneys.
  • Identify and locate known or potential witnesses; assist attorneys in identifying appropriate expert witnesses.
  • Conduct in-depth interviews with victims, witnesses, police personnel, medical personnel, clients and others; develop and prioritize questions in order to obtain necessary information related to the case.
  • Prepare comprehensive written summaries of interviews and other investigative findings; document contacts.
  • Obtain and review reports, records and other information. This may include, but is not limited to: address verification, education and employment records, military records, medical records, private industry records, government agency records and criminal records of state and defense witnesses.
  • Prepare, process and serve subpoenas on individuals and organizations.
  • Organize investigative case files: maintain and update time logs and calendar of due dates and court dates, confer with attorneys regarding investigation status.
  • Provide trial assistance by communicating trial schedule to witnesses, responding to last minute investigation requests and testifying as necessary.
  • Maintain current knowledge of related issues/standards in the legal environment.
  • Attend and participate in unit and agency training and meetings as appropriate.
  • Handle special projects and assignments.
  • May supervise interns and volunteers.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Knowledge/Skills and Abilities

  1. Two years’ experience as a criminal defense investigator or any equivalent combination of experience/ education/ training that demonstrates the desired skills, knowledge, and ability required to perform the work
  2. Knowledge of interviewing methods, techniques and procedures; including ability to recognize and document facts, ascertain factual discrepancies and employ appropriate action and follow-up
  3. Knowledge of the role of the attorney- investigator relationship and familiarity with the Washington State Bar Association Rules of Professional Responsibility and other ethical standards which govern Investigators
  4. Demonstrated knowledge of the principles and methods of criminal investigation including gathering, preserving and presenting evidence
  5. Skill in working with a variety of individuals from diverse backgrounds. Experience working with clients in the criminal justice system preferred
  6. Experience and training in conducting investigations and interviewing people
  7. Ability to respond to inquiries from clients, staff members and court personnel and to testify effectively at trial, sentencing or other hearings
  8. Skill in preparing detailed narrative reports, correspondence and other written materials
  9. Effective listening skills and the ability to accurately document interviews and meetings
  10. Strong communication and interviewing skills
  11. Proficiency with computer/communications equipment and basic Microsoft Office suite of desktop applications (e.g., Word, Excel, and Outlook) Software; cameras, video equipment, tape recorders, and other relevant technology as appropriate. Familiarity with mapping/diagramming software programs preferred
  12. Proficiency at entering data efficiently and accurately
  13. Skill in handling confidential information acquired during the course of an investigation
  14. Skill in identifying potential ethical issues and seeking advice/counsel when ethical issues arise or require clarification
  15. Skill in observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. Proficiency in searching and analyzing social networks and information databases preferred
  16. Familiarity with criminal law, the legal system and legal terminology
  17. Skill in working independently, setting priorities and meeting deadlines
  18. Demonstrated analytical, organization and problem-solving skills
  19. Ability to assess potentially dangerous situations and act accordingly
  20. Ability to work well under pressure
  21. Washington State driver’s license or the ability to travel within the County in a timely manner
  22. Must be at least 21 years of age.


      Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice or a related field


  1. Ability to pass a Washington State Patrol Background Check
  2. Ability to pass security clearance and/or background check to secure access to correctional facilities

Where To Apply: Interested individuals must submit a resume to  by noon Tuesday, March 6, 2018

NOTE: when submitting via email, indicate in subject line: Temporary Investigator position.