Semesters offered:




The City of Atlanta Office of the Public Defender provides constitutionally mandated criminal defense to indigent defendants accused of violating legislatively authorized state level misdemeanors, DUI and other traffic offenses, and Atlanta city ordinance and quality of life crimes, including: disorderly conduct, code enforcement and housing code violations, zoning and environmental offenses, animal control, common carrier, and business licensing and permits.

The office provides counsel at all phases of litigation from arrest through trial, including appellate representation. Many cases are complex in nature and require legal expertise in criminal law, real property, probate, environmental, bankruptcy, and contract law.  The attorneys must conduct a thorough investigation of the case, research the law, interview and subpoena witnesses, file pre-trial motions, and prepare for a zealous defense.

The City of Atlanta Public Defender’s Office is dedicated to holistic advocacy, addressing the civil collateral consequences that accompany criminal charges. Our goal is also to address underlying reasons for unlawful conduct, which commonly involve mental health challenges, substance dependency, or homelessness.  Attorneys and client advocates in the department seek treatment for clients by assessing needs and making referrals to mental health facilities, drug rehabilitation centers, housing placement, education, and employment.

Externs will work under the direct supervision of an experienced attorney. Most externs will be able to experience all courtroom procedures, including trial preparation, negotiation with solicitors, and examination of witnesses.  Assignments can include research, drafting motions, conducting client and witness interviews, arguing motions, and conducting trials.



  • Third year students, but second year students are encouraged to apply.
  • Must be eligible to practice under the Student Practice Rule as outlined by the Rules of the Supreme Court of Georgia (Rules 91 – 95). Must possess a certificate to practice from the State Bar of Georgia.


  • Criminal Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Litigation