Franklin County Public Defender Office


Collaborates with case attorneys, develops information relative to client’s problems, environment, behavior pattern, etc. and proposes positive alternatives to conviction(s), incarceration, or other penalties.


1. Accumulates and reviews available facts about the case and the client from case attorney and court personnel. (Involvement in a case is generally initiated by a request from case attorney or the judge)
2. Interviews clients to observe and discover additional facts, attitudes, reactions, etc.
3. Conducts field investigations, including discussions with client family members, friends, neighbors, etc.
4. Upon consulting with the attorney, may communicate with witnesses and professionals.
5. With client’s authorization, obtain and review any prior medical records which could impact or influence client behavior.
6. Consults with any and all social agencies with whom our client may have had contact.
7. Maintains a working knowledge of all community resources and services available to assist clients, and a line of communication with such agencies.
8. Advises attorneys of their findings and makes recommendations relative to sentencing alternatives, use of community resources to abate problems, etc. May prepare pre-sentence reports.
9. Present in court as needed.

10. In cases that result in incarceration, upon request continue to work with the attorney to pursue early release options. Prepare post-sentence reports.
11. Performs other similar and related duties or duties as may be designated by the Unit Chief or Attorneys, including monitoring client participation in specialty dockets.


1. Four (4) year degree in an accredited college or university in social work or closely related curricula.
2. Must have a current license for social work in the State of Ohio.
3. One (1) year of experience in the field of social work, preferably associated with the judicial system, counseling and knowledge of local social agencies and services.
4. Ability to effectively communicate with clients and others, both inside and outside the Public Defenders organization.
5. Must have a car, good driving record, valid driver’s license, and automobile insurance.
6. Ability to maintain confidentiality of information relative to clients and other associates

NOTE: Social Worker II requires three (3) to four (4) years additional experience, including exemplary experience as Social Worker I.


Maria Rice

Executive Assistant/Human Resource

Franklin County Public Defender

373 S. High Street, 12th Floor

Columbus, Ohio  43215

614-525-8809 (p)

614-461-6470 (f)


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