If you are interested in applying for a volunteer internship with the Office of Defense Services, please email your resume and cover letter to Donna Thomas at pdo.volunteers@state.de.us. You may also fax your resume and cover letter to her at 577-3995.

Please include the appropriate time frame of the internship, your days and hours of availability, the county in which you prefer to work and what your area of interest/career goal is such as attorney, paralegal, investigator, social worker, etc. In addition, if you are seeking course credit for your internship and have reporting or supervisory requirements with which our office must comply, please include that information.

Office of Defense Services Intake/ Investigator Internship

The Office of Defense Services is now offering a volunteer internship in our Intake/ Investigative Unit. Positions are available for college students who are interested in getting first hand experience in the Criminal Justice System. Positions are available in all three counties in the State of Delaware. Participants will be assigned to the intake office and /or a correctional facility. This program will also allow students to observe our attorneys in actual courtroom proceedings, when available. The internship openings will be for the spring, fall and summer breaks. All candidates must pass a criminal background check. The Office of Defense Services I.T. staff will provide extensive computer training with a variety of data resources and applications.


Duties: The students selected for these positions will serve as a focal point for the Office of Defense Services. Many times you will be the first representative of our office that the potential client meets. As a result of the Office of Defense Services mandate of quality customer service, you must understand and appreciate the diverse population that our office serves. The intern will be required to complete the initial financial eligibility form to qualify the potential client for legal representation. Corrected and updated pedigree information must be obtained. The intern will also review the criminal warrant information. The next step in the process would be to question the client regarding their version of the alleged incident. This information will be entered into various Office of Defense Services databases. The accuracy of this information is vital to the defense of our client. The attorney will utilize your investigative report to assist in the client’s defense in the criminal proceedings.

Where: There are opportunities in all three counties; New Castle (Wilmington); Kent (Dover); and Sussex (Georgetown). Offices hours are 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday to Friday. However your schedule can be flexible to meet the needs of your other requirements.

Spring: January to May (Interns may request a February start date to accommodate their school’s schedule)                  
Summer: May to August
Fall: September to December

How: To apply submit your resume and cover letter to: pdo.IntakeVols@state.de.us

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Office of Defense Services - Forensic Nurse / Legal Nurse Consultant Internship Program

The Office of Defense Services (ODS) has formally offered attorneys support through the Forensic Services Unit since 2000. This unit, one of the first of its kind in the nation was recognized by the International Association of Forensic Nurses, through The Vision Award in 2005.

The ODS offers nurses completing academic programs in forensic nursing and legal nurse consulting the opportunity to assist our attorneys through assignment as a nurse intern in the forensic services unit.

DESCRIPTION OF NURSE INTERNSHIP: Our nurse internship program is designed to expose students to all aspects of the ODS, the Delaware courts and the Delaware criminal justice system. Nurse interns are assigned within the forensic unit and are closely supervised by a MSN level Forensic Nurse Consultant or a MSN / JD Forensic Nurse. Nurse interns are assigned actual case work commensurate with their experience and specialty area. Assignments may include medical record outlines, autopsy review, analyzing photographs of injuries and crime scenes, assessment of toxicology reports and research on medical and forensic topics. In addition nurse interns may assist in reviewing healthcare records for the Death Penalty Mitigation Unit. Along with assigned case work interns will have the opportunity to discuss their case findings with trial attorneys, and observe court sessions. Positions in our nurse intern program are available in ODS offices located in either New Castle County or rotating between Kent and Sussex County Delaware.

SCHEDULE: Interns in the forensic unit must commit to work within the ODS 16-37.5 hours a week for at least 7 weeks starting in May / June each year. Interns opting for less than a 37.5 hours per week work schedule must commit to a specific schedule for the entire 7 week period. In addition to the 7 weeks , and prior to receiving their first assignment, interns must also commit to completing a 37.5 hour one-week training course which is held in May / June in New Castle County. This training, much of it taken with summer law clerks, is designed to provide an introduction to the ODS as well as to the Delaware courts, criminal justice system and criminal law. Interns may also have the opportunity to tour some criminal justice facilities. Part of this training occurs with law students enrolled in the summer law clerk program. Start dates of the program will be available in early spring each year.

COMPENSATION: Due to budgetary constraints, the ODS is unable to pay nurse interns. Interns are responsible for obtaining housing and transportation on their own. Interns are encouraged to obtain financial assistance through work study, grants or other sources. Academic credits from some universities may be available to nurse interns.

NURSE INTERNSHIP REQUIRMENTS: Candidates to the nurse internship program must be licensed in Delaware or a reciprocal state by the start date of the internship program. They must have no encumbrances against their license. Nurse Interns must have a B.S.N. Nurses must have completed some coursework in a college sponsored legal nurse consultant or forensic nurse program. Applicant must have completed formal coursework or CEUs in courses which include injury identification, sexual assault and death investigation. Preference is given to those with or pursuing a M.S.N.

APPLICATION PROCESS: The ODS seeks applicants with solid academic credentials, a strong work ethic, good social skills, initiative, adaptability and a dedication to ensuring that all individuals charged with a crime receive equal justice under the law. Nurse intern applicants must have an interest in pursuing professional service within a criminal justice environment. Candidates for the nurse intern clerk program should apply early because the selection process is very competitive and offers are extended early. A very limited number of positions are available.

To apply for the summer nurse internship programs, please submit the following documents:

1. Cover Letter describing related professional experience, professional objectives and interests as well as county of preference

2. Resume or C.V. which includes a list of related CEU courses

3. Transcript(s)

4. Names and contact information of 3 references

5. Writing Sample (4-10 pages)

6. Reporting or supervisory requirements required by college for internship

We look forward to hearing from you and reviewing your application. These documents can be submitted to Lisa M. Schwind R.N., Esquire via email at Lisa.Schwind @state.de.us or via mail to:

Office of Defense Services
Attn: Lisa M. Schwind R.N., Esquire
820 North French Street, 3rd Floor
Wilmington, DE 19801