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Opportunity Information
Opportunity Title: Licensed Social Worker (LSW) Criminal Defense
Location: Centennial
Department: Office of the State Public Defender
Posted Date: 09/09/2020
Closing Date: 10/05/2020
Contact Information
Name: Kristi Rudy
Brief Description

***This is a courtesy posting for the Office of the State Public Defender.***

Salary: $4,264 - $5,5970/Monthly

Agency Statement:

Colorado’s Office of the State Public Defender (OSPD) maintains a reputation as one of the top organizations in the nation specializing in the delivery of indigent criminal defense representation. It operates as an independent agency within the Judicial Branch of Colorado State Government with nearly 900 dedicated employees assigned to twenty-one Regional Trial Offices, a centralized Appellate Division, and a centralized Administrative Office. The mission of OSPD is to defend and protect the rights, liberties and dignity of those accused of crimes who cannot afford to retain counsel. We do so by providing constitutionally and statutorily mandated representation that is effective, zealous, inspired and compassionate.

We seek to hire professionals who are dedicated to public service and committed to serving our clients. We are a fast paced, team-oriented environment, where self-motivation and a personal commitment to high performance are important attributes for success. 

Position Purpose and Objectives/Definition of Work:

This is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW), which requires the application of fundamental theories of psychosocial variables to assist in identifying the presence of physical or mental health impairments, substance abuse issues, family or other social history patterns affecting the client’s behavior and development.

The Licensed Social Worker is the first level within the SW series wherein employees learn and apply policies, procedures, rules and regulations specific to the organization and relevant techniques, methods and/or theories of the profession. Positions work under direct supervision, to include regular guidance, review and oversight by supervisors and more experienced staff, while learning fundamental skills and technical aspects of the work.

Public Defender Social Workers serve as part of the defense team, and as such, are bound by the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct including rules regarding the attorney-client privilege and client confidentiality. Public Defender Social Workers perform duties and assume responsibility for case assignments under the specific direction, instruction and guidance of a defense attorney.

Typical duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Conduct assessments and compile psychosocial histories to develop recommendations concerning pretrial release, detention, case preparation, alternative placements, treatment options, conditions of probation or diversion, and sentencing and post-sentencing options, as appropriate.

  • Conduct assessments to identify physical or mental health issues, substance abuse or other patterns potentially influencing the client’s development, personality or behavior. Document and interpret symptoms of mental and behavioral impairment to assist the defense in developing case strategies.

  • Collect social and family history information through interviews and review of documentary materials, including highly sensitive and confidential information, to identify psychosocial influences and patterns in the client’s development and behavior including, but not limited to, socio/cultural/economic status and behavioral health issues

  • Participate in pretrial, adjudication and sentencing hearings as requested by the defense attorney. Prepare reports and provide additional information and support, as required.

  • Assist in obtaining and reviewing relevant records, evaluations or reports; and, analyze the significance of information relevant to the client’s circumstances and case. Where appropriate, assist the defense team in documenting and organizing digital and physical files of information collected.

  • Assist the defense team in identifying medical or mental health experts to further examine, evaluate and testify regarding the client’s physical or mental health issues. Assist in interpreting evaluation findings.

  • Serve as a collaborative member of the defense team: Consult with attorneys on the appropriate approach to the case; maintain regular and timely communications with attorneys and other members of the defense team; provide support to the client; and, identify and advocate for appropriate options for the client.

  • Keep current on statewide resources available and relevant to the individual needs of clients including, but not limited to, treatment programs and alternative placements. Conduct research necessary to ensure resources are current for providing appropriate recommendations.

  • Attend multi-agency and multi-disciplinary staffing meetings regarding the client.

  • May supervise and mentor student interns enrolled in a graduate-level social work education program, which may include training, guidance and formal feedback within the scope of the school’s academic program.

Minimal Educational / Professional Qualifications:

Required Education and Experience:

  • Master’s degree from an accredited college or university educational program in social work;

  • Licensure to practice social work (LSW) in the State of Colorado within 90 days of employment.

    Preferred Qualifications:

  • Training or experience in a criminal defense system;

  • Bilingual, Spanish-speaking skills may be preferred in some assignments.

Job Requirements:

  • Frequent travel within the State of Colorado. The areas covered by this assignment include the central Front Range, primarily Arapahoe, Denver and Douglas and other counties within the 2nd and 18th Judicial Districts.

  • Valid driver’s license, proof of insurance and access to a reliable vehicle.

How to Apply:

Hiring Pay Rate: LSW $4,264 Monthly; LCSW $4,426 Monthl


Qualified individuals must e-mail a resume and cover letter to Kristi Rudy at by 11:59pm Mountain time on Monday, October 5, 2020. Please address how your skills and experience meet the qualifications for the position and your interest in working for the Office of the State Public Defender.

Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted.



For a summary of employee benefits (health, dental, life and disability) please visit: Other benefits include retirement plan options through Colorado PERA, ten paid holidays a year, and paid-time-off for personal and sick leave.

Additional information about the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender can be found at:               



The Office of the Colorado State Public Defender provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability or other protected status, in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. Consistent with this commitment, our agency will assist individuals who have a disability with any reasonable accommodation requests related to employment, including the application and selection process. If you have a disability and require reasonable accommodation, please contact Laura Darrow at,

Detailed Job Information
NOTICE! Each person employed must present identity and employment eligibility verification.
NOTICE! Employees hired after March 1, 1988, must be on the payroll direct deposit program.
NOTICE! Disabled applicants: If you have a mental or physical impairment, which limits one of your major life activities (e.g. walking, hearing, seeing, speaking, breathing, or learning) and require special accommodations for testing or interviewing, it is your responsibility to notify the office scheduling the interview or test at least 3 working days before the interview or test date. If you need special accommodations at the work site, you must notify the hiring authority.
NOTICE! All prospective employees of the Colorado Judicial Branch are subject to background investigation prior to hiring.

INFORMATION ALERT: Judicial Department employees may not hold office in a political party, nor may they promote one political party or candidate over another in partisan political elections. Employees may hold not-partisan public office provided that there is no conflict of interest or appearance of impropriety with the duties performed for the Judicial Department. In all cases, it will be within the discretion of the Chief Judge of the judicial district to determine whether such a conflict exists. Employees shall seek the prior approval of the Chief Judge before seeking or assuming any such office. Work related to any office held may not be performed on Judicial Department time. Membership on a board or commission that requires registration or party identification as a qualification is not considered to be partisan political office.
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