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Opportunity Information
Opportunity Title: Licensed Social Worker (LSW), Criminal Defense
Location: Grand Junction
Department: Office of the Colorado State Public Defender
Posted Date: 03/30/2021
Closing Date: 04/27/2021
Contact Information
Name: Kristi Rudy
Brief Description

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

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 approximately 900 dedicated and zealous individuals assigned to twenty-one Regional Trial Offices across the state, an 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:

Assigned to our trial office in Grand Junction, Colorado, this position will be working with adult clients and covering the Western slope region from Durango to Steamboat Springs and Grand Junction to Glenwood Springs. 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.

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 histories through interviews and document review, including highly sensitive and confidential information. 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, prepare reports and provide additional support as requested by the defense attorney.
  • 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 the 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 client needs such as, treatment programs and alternative placements. Conduct research necessary to ensure resources are current.
  • 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.
  • Requires frequent travel within the State of Colorado. Assigned to the Grand Junction Office, covers the Western slope region from Durango to Steamboat Springs and Grand Junction to Glenwood Springs.

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.

How to Apply:

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


Qualified individuals must e-mail a resume and cover letter to by 11:59 p.m. Mountain time, Tuesday, April 27, 2021. Please highlight your specific interest in working with adults in a criminal public defense system and how your skills and experience meet the qualifications for the position.

Please note: 

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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