Victim Services Internship

The Victim Services Division of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office provides comprehensive advocacy and support to victims and witnesses of crime. The Victim Services Division offers free services in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Spanish. Our Victim Advocates work to ensure that crime victims and their families are provided with the services and information necessary to be an integral part of the criminal case process. We are looking for compassionate, responsible, and motivated interns to help us achieve our mission of ensuring that victims are treated fairly and that their voices are heard.

Victim Service Interns will assist advocates and staff members perform the following job responsibilities:

  • Assist victims of crime to navigate the criminal justice system.
  • Conduct crisis counseling and intakes with victims of crime, including assistance in filing California Victim Compensation Applications.
  • Provide court support and escort victims to the courtroom when needed to testify. Offer emotional support throughout the day when the victim is testifying. 
  • Assist with front office responsibilities, including answering phones, transferring calls to Advocates, filing, receiving, copying, and submitting documents (i.e. medical bills, appeal letters, receipts).
  • Assist with client intakes.
  • Accurately gather, organize and record data relevant to advocacy cases.
  • Provision of case status updates.
  • Offer information and make appropriate needs-based referrals to hospitals, clinics, mental health facilities, emergency resources, and community-based organizations.
  • Work with Assistant District Attorneys, Investigators, and Police Inspectors on case development.
  • Conduct other duties required by management to guarantee the successful operation of the unit (i.e. generating reports, collecting, and analyzing data).
  • Serve as liaison between the Victim Witness Unit and victims, witnesses, other law enforcement agencies, community agencies, service providers and other governmental personnel as such relate to advocacy.
  • Assist Victim Advocates updating and conducting outreach for new cases.

Application Process

We are looking for highly motivated, responsible candidates from criminal justice, social work, psychology and legal academic studies fields. This internship may meet the requirements of academic courses or departments.

Candidates will be required to make a 9-month commitment from September to May for this unpaid internship, and work a minimum of 16 hours per week in office, days/times to be determined by the Intern Coordinator.

Bilingual skills (Spanish and Cantonese) are highly desirable, and a high school diploma is required.

To apply, please submit a General Intern Application

All interested applicants should be prepared to submit the following materials:

    1. Cover Letter—Please address to Priscilla Portillo, Deputy Director of Vulnerable Victims & Community Engagement, and indicate the specific program(s) that you are interested in applying for. 
    2. Resume
    3. Adult Background Investigation Form
    4. A copy of government issued photo identification
    5. Writing Sample – No longer than 10 pages in length
Please note that all candidates are required to complete a Criminal Record Check Information Form with the submission of their application packet. These forms are thoroughly reviewed by our Bureau of Investigations, and applicants are encouraged to be candid. Acceptance into the Program is conditional upon the candidate passing a background check.

Email any questions to:

Program Dates: Mon. September 2, 2024 – Fri. May 30, 2025

  1. Application Period: Mon. April 1, 2024 – Fri. June 14, 2024 (due by 5:00 PM PST)
  2. Interviews: Mon. June 17, 2024 to Fri. June 28, 2024
  3. SFDA’s Notification of Offers into the Victim Services Internship Program: Fri. July 5, 2024
  4. Candidate’s Acceptance Deadline: Fri. July 12, 2024 (due by 5:00 PM PST)

Outside Employment Disclosure

California Government Code §§1125 through 1127 prohibits local agency officers and employees from engaging in activities that are incompatible, inconsistent, in conflict, or inimical with their agency employment. As a volunteer intern with our office, interns are bound by these sections of the Government Code. Students selected for any of the intern programs are advised that they may not perform any work (paid or unpaid) for any criminal defense attorney during the pendency of their internship with this office. This applies even if the criminal defense work is in a different county. Students who have other outside employment/incompatible activity during the pendency of their internship must disclose this to our office for review prior to accepting the internship.

Should an intern engage in outside employment/incompatible activity after commencing the internship, the intern must immediately advise the Internship Program Manager. If the outside employment/incompatible activity is deemed to fall within the prohibitions of California Government Code §1125 through 1127, the intern will not be able to remain in our program. If an intern has any questions concerning other employment/incompatible activity, they should contact the Program Director.