Externships listings

Externship Category: Criminal Defense

Externship SitePractice AreaDetails
City of Atlanta Office of the Public Defender

SITE DESCRIPTION

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.

STUDENT QUALIFICATIONS

Prerequisites:

  • 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.

Preferences:

  • Criminal Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Litigation

NO ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

DeKalb County Public Defender, Appellate

SITE DESCRIPTION

Students will summarize and analyze trial transcripts, research appellate issues, and draft legal memoranda and/or briefs in cases pending before the Georgia Court of Appeals and the Georgia Supreme Court. Interns will also attend oral arguments as their schedule permits. Interns may also be assigned research issues in connection with motions and trials.

STUDENT QUALIFICATIONS

Prerequisites: Second and third year students may apply.

Preferences:
  • Criminal procedure and evidence is helpful and may be taken concurrently with the externship
  • Legal writing course

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

A writing sample must accompany resume

 

DeKalb County Public Defender, Litigation

SITE DESCRIPTION

Our office is responsible for representing all indigent people who have been accused of juvenile, misdemeanor, and felony crimes in DeKalb County, Georgia. Our downtown Decatur office begins representing indigent clients at the time of their arrest and continues this representation through final disposition of their case, including any appeals. This is a unique opportunity to integrate what the student has learned in law school with the practical application of practicing law. Under the supervision of an attorney, the third-year student will be sworn in under the third-year practice act and will be expected to represent clients in court. The student will have the opportunity to experience all courtroom procedures including preliminary hearings, arraignments, pretrial hearings, motions hearings, and jury trials. The student can expect to have many varied "hands on" experiences that will involve spending much of their time in court and with clients as well as witnesses, researching and preparing legal motions and memoranda, and assisting attorneys in all phases of trial preparation.

STUDENT QUALIFICATIONS

Prerequisites:

  • Third-year students only
  • Eligibility to practice under the Law School Public Prosecutor Act, which requires that the student (1) be in good academic standing (at least 2.3 GPA), (2) have earned at least two-thirds (58 hours) of the J.D. requirements in not fewer than four semesters or six quarters of residence, and (3) be of good moral character

Preferences:

  •  Criminal Procedure Adjudication and/or Criminal Procedure Investigation

NO ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

 

DeKalb County Public Defender, Pretrial Justice Division

SITE DESCRIPTION

Our office is responsible for representing all indigent people who have been accused of committing juvenile, traffic, misdemeanor and felony crimes in DeKalb County.  Our program is a unique opportunity for law students to integrate what they have learned in law school with the practical application of what it means to be a trial lawyer in a Public Defender’s office. Our externs will work with and support our attorneys and social workers in our Pretrial Justice Division.  Students can expect to work with our staff to zealously represent clients accused of felony offenses on issues regarding pretrial detention.  There will be many opportunities to observe and assist attorneys in court, and also assist our social workers in helping clients with education challenges, mental health illnesses, and poverty related issues such as jobs and housing.  Under the supervision of an attorney, the extern will be responsible for interviewing clients and then representing them at felony first appearance hearings, preliminary hearings and bond hearings.   The extern can expect to have many varied hands-on experience that will involve spending much time in court and with clients.

Prerequisites:

  • Second and third year students may apply.
  • Students must be certified under the Second Year Practice Rule

Preferences: None

NO ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

 

Federal Defender Program

SITE DESCRIPTION

The Federal Defender Program provides representation to indigent criminal defendants in Federal Court. The Federal Defender also represents some death-row inmates challenging their convictions and/or sentences in federal habeas corpus litigation.

Students working with the Federal Defender program will help in drafting documents, motions and briefs in U.S. District Court, the Court of Appeals, and occasionally in the United States Supreme Court. Students will help in interviewing witnesses, preparing cases for pretrial hearings, and will assist the attorneys in preparing cases for trial and sentencing hearings. Students are considered to be an integral part of the "defense team," and can do almost anything, short of actually speaking in court as the attorney of record.

STUDENT QUALIFICATIONS

Prerequisites: Open to second and third-year students

Preferences: None

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

  • At the time of application, students must submit a short paragraph or statement indicating why they want to work for the Federal Defender Program.
  • Students who choose to participate in this externship may have to work more hours than required by the school. Students must have flexible schedules to accommodate the court schedules of the cases on which the student is assisting.
  • Students who currently work or who are doing externship programs with any prosecuting or investigative agency are not eligible to participate in this externship.

 

Georgia Innocence Project

SITE DESCRIPTION

The Georgia Innocent Project (GIP) is a non-profit legal organization dedicated to proving the innocence of the wrongfully convicted through DNA testing, remedying the causes of wrongful convictions, and helping the exonerated rebuild their lives. The Project reviews post-conviction cases to determine whether there is a legitimate claim of innocence that can be proven using newly discovered evidence or newly available forensic testing. GIP then fully re-investigates and ultimately litigates cases.

Externs will work under the supervision of GIP's Executive Director, and for administrative purposes will report to the project's Operations Manager. Students will have the opportunity to participate in various stages of post-conviction innocence work, including case intake (screening applications for assistance, pulling appeals, conducting preliminary research), case investigation (open records requests, document review and work product creation, drafting memos, interviewing clients and witnesses) and/or litigation (research/writing and motions practice; hearing preparation; courtroom appearances if certified under the Student Practice Act). Students may also be assigned ad-hoc projects from time to time (e.g., policy-related research projects) at the direction of the Executive Director.

This is a unique opportunity to be a part of the innocence movement. For more information on the Georgia Innocence Project, visit our website at www.georgiainnocenceproject.org.

STUDENT QUALIFICATIONS

Prerequisites:  Students must be tenacious, detail-oriented, good writers, and receptive to giving and receiving feedback. Coursework in criminal or appellate procedure is a plus.

Preferences: None

NO ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

 

Georgia Justice Project

SITE DESCRIPTION

The Georgia Innocence Project (GIP) is a non-profit legal organization dedicated to proving the innocence of the wrongfully convicted through DNA testing, remedying the causes of wrongful convictions, and helping the exonerated rebuild their lives. The Project reviews post-conviction cases to determine whether there is a legitimate claim of innocence that can be proven using newly discovered evidence or newly available forensic testing. GIP then fully re-investigates and ultimately litigates cases.

Externs will work under the supervision of GIP’s Executive Director, and for administrative purposes will report to the project’s Operations Manager. Students will have the opportunity to participate in various stages of post-conviction innocence work, including case intake (screening applications for assistance, pulling appeals, conducting preliminary research), case investigation (open records requests, document review and work product creation, drafting memos, interviewing clients and witnesses) and/or litigation (research/writing and motions practice; hearing preparation; courtroom appearances if certified under the Student Practice Act). Students may also be assigned ad-hoc projects from time to time (e.g., policy-related research projects) at the discretion of the Executive Director.

This is a unique opportunity to be a part of the innocence movement.  For more information on the Georgia Innocence Project, visit our website at www.georgiainnocenceproject.org.

STUDENT QUALIFICATIONS

Prerequisites: Students must be tenacious, detail-oriented, good writers, and receptive to giving and receiving feedback. Coursework in criminal or appellate procedure is a plus.

NO ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

Georgia Public Defender Standards Council, Appellate Division

SITE DESCRIPTION

The Appellate Division of the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council represents indigent defendants on criminal appeals. Externs will partner with experienced appellate attorneys to review trial court records, analyze legal issues, draft pleadings, and attend court proceedings in actual criminal cases from the motion to new trial level through direct appeal. Students will also watch oral arguments first-hand in the Court of Appeals of Georgia, one of the busiest intermediate appellate courts in the country, as well as the Supreme Court of Georgia.

STUDENT QUALIFICATIONS

Prerequisites: None

Preferences:

  • Evidence
  • Criminal Law Courses
  • Constitutional Law The Appellate Division is recruiting While a criminal law background is not a prerequisite, applicants who have taken evidence, criminal law, or constitutional law classes are preferred.

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

  • A writing sample is required at the time of application.
Southern Center for Human Rights

SITE DESCRIPTION

The Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR)'s internship program provides students with hands-on training in all areas of capital and civil rights litigation and advocacy. Externs assist staff attorneys in all aspects of our work. Externs should expect to do several of the following tasks while they are at the Center: conduct legal research and draft pleadings, motions, and briefs; locate and interview witnesses; visit and interview clients; monitor court proceedings for human rights violations; represent inmates before the Alabama parole board; participate in case strategy sessions; locate, obtain, and organize documents; gather statistical data; read and digest transcripts; assist in conducting inspections of jails and prisons; conduct social science and other research; assist in locating and preparing expert witnesses; research public policy issues and prepare policy reports; and attend depositions, press conferences, court hearings, and arguments. We give our externs a great deal of responsibility, and they have been instrumental in many of our successes. We expect our externs to be committed, to work hard, to have fun, and to learn a great deal. As many of SCHR's clients are in prisons outside of the metropolitan Atlanta area, our externs are often asked to travel with attorneys, investigators, and other interns and externs throughout Georgia and Alabama. SCHR’s small staff size ensures that externs receive regular supervision and support. Upon completion of assignments, externs review their findings with the attorneys and develop follow-up action plans.

The Southern Center for Human Rights is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. SCHR does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, religious creed, national original, ancestry, disability, or sexual orientation. SCHR encourages applications from minorities, women and other groups that are under-represented in the legal profession.

STUDENT QUALIFICATIONS

Prerequisites:

  • Criminal Law
  • Evidence

Preferences:

Criminal Procedure

  • Federal Jurisdiction

 

NO ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS