Capital Defense Internships and Jobs
The following are internship and job opportunities for law students and recent graduates in offices around the country that are engaged in the defense of death row inmates or capitally-charged defendants. The information provided below is submitted by the offices listed. The Berkeley Law Death Penalty Clinic cannot vouch for the reliability of the information submitted by these offices or the quality of the experience you may have as an intern or employee at any of these offices. As with any such opportunities, we encourage you to speak with other students who have worked at the offices in which you are interested, and gather as much information as you can from colleagues and mentors before accepting a position.
Please check back frequently, as new information is posted as we receive it. To submit, remove, or revise a posting, please send an email to email@example.com.
The following list contains Summer 2013 Internship Opportunities and Year-Round Internship Opportunities in the Bay Area.
Summer 2013 Internship Opportunities
The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) is accepting applications from first- and second-year law students for a summer legal clerkship position for Summer 2012. The legal clerkship requires a ten-week commitment to work at EJI in Montgomery, Alabama. It is an unfunded internship. To apply, please email a letter of interest and resume to Alicia D'Addario. Students are encouraged to apply any time between October 1, 2011, and January 15, 2012. However, earlier applications are usually the most successful. Limited positions are available. People of color and other minorities underrepresented in the legal profession are especially encouraged to apply. If you have questions about the summer legal clerkship or would like more information, please feel free to contact Alicia D'Addario at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or (334) 269-1803.
The Federal Defender Program for the Middle District of Alabama provides representation to persons charged with federal crimes in the twenty-three southeastern counties of Alabama and to people on Alabama’s death row whose appeals are entering federal habeas. This office offers a paid, ten (10 ) week summer internship program to first, second and third year law students who possess excellent research and writing skills and demonstrate an interest in federal criminal trial work, capital habeas issues, and indigent defense issues. Law interns complete a training program which includes lectures, role plays, and a brief research project. After completing the training program, interns assist attorneys and investigators at all stages of client representation, including interviewing clients and witnesses, reviewing and organizing discovery materials, researching federal constitutional and criminal law issues, and investigating and preparing cases for pleadings, hearings and/or trial. Law interns will have opportunities throughout their internship to observe criminal trials and hearings of Federal Defender staff, appellate arguments conducted by the Alabama appellate courts and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and other court proceedings. This year, our summer program begins on June 3, 2013 and ends on August 9, 2013. We are accepting applications for the program until Feb 28, 2013. Interested students should e-mail a cover letter, resume, at least two references, and a short writing to Patricia Kemp, Esq., at Patricia_Kemp@fd.org.
The Arizona Capital Representation Project ("Project") is Arizona 's only non-profit capital defense resource center. The Project directly represents indigent inmates who are challenging their convictions and death sentences in state and federal court. The Project also provides training seminars, resource materials and consultation to capital defense attorneys representing clients at every legal stage from pretrial through clemency proceedings. The Project accepts full-time interns during the summer and part-time interns during the school year. Duties of the intern may include investigating capital cases, researching and writing on capital litigation issues, fund-raising for the Project, coordinating capital defense training seminars and consulting with clients at the state prison. The internship is open to 2Ls and 3Ls who have demonstrated an interest in public service, human rights, and/or social justice issues. Prior coursework in criminal law is preferred. Interested students should send a resume, writing sample and cover letter to Emily Skinner at email@example.com For further information, please visit azcapitalproject.org.
The Capital Habeas Unit of the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the District of Arizona has a satellite office in Salt Lake City which provides representation for six of the eight inmates currently sentenced to death in the state of Utah. The office’s mission is to ensure the right to effective assistance of counsel–as guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Criminal Justice Act–to those who are unable to afford retained counsel and other necessary defense services. Students who work in the Capital Habeas Unit will have the opportunity to contribute to this mission while they develop their legal research and writing skills. They may contribute to appellate briefs, and may have the opportunity to assist with the representation of clients who are under an immediate warrant of execution, as well as conducting specific research tasks. Applicants must have a demonstrated commitment to indigent defense, along with strong research and writing skills. For consideration, please submit a cover letter, resume, and legal writing sample to David Christensen, firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information, please email Mr. Christensen or call (801) 538-5090.
The California Appellate Project (CAP) in San Francisco assists in the legal representation of the currently more than 700 persons on California's Death Row. CAP is seeking law students to join us as clinical externs during the school year. We need highly motivated students with a strong commitment to vigorous advocacy on behalf of indigent defendants on death row. Under the supervision of experienced attorneys, CAP interns support the litigation of cases through fact investigation, legal research and drafting, development and coordination of litigation materials, and a variety of other tasks. To apply please send us, a cover letter explaining your interest in our work, a resume, a writing sample, and the names and phone numbers of three references familiar with your skills and experience. Since nearly all of the men and women on California's death row are from deprived economic backgrounds, and the majority are people of color, we are interested in learning from your cover letter the aspects of your life experience, education, training, and work history that you believe have prepared you to understand and work well with the clients we serve and their communities. Please email these materials to email@example.com.
The Capital Habeas Unit of the Federal Defender for the Eastern District of California, in Sacramento, offers full-time, unpaid summer internships for law students. The CHU represents California death row inmates in federal court habeas corpus proceedings. Students may perform legal research, review documents, and assist in investigation. Dates are flexible, but a minimum 10-week commitment is required. 1Ls, 2Ls and 3Ls are all welcome to apply; assignments will vary with background and experience. Preference is given to students with a demonstrated commitment to capital defense, post-conviction work, and/or indigent criminal defense. No more than two interns will be selected for the summer of 2012. Applications may be submitted at any time, but will not be reviewed until January 15. Applications received after January 15 will be considered on a rolling basis if vacancies remain. To apply, please send a cover letter, resume and writing sample to Office of the Federal Defender, 801 I Street, Third Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Capital Habeas Unit of the Federal Public Defender for the Central District of California offers full-time, unpaid summer clerkships for law students. Over the course of ten weeks, law students will work closely with lawyers who are challenging their clients’ death sentences in state and federal habeas proceedings. Summer law clerks help write petitions and district court and appellate briefs. They also attend federal court trials and hearings. Interested students should email a cover letter, resume, brief writing sample, and unofficial transcript to Michael Weinstein at Michael_Weinstein@fd.org. Strong research and writing skills are mandatory; special preference is given to students with a demonstrated commitment to social justice issues. Hiring decisions are made on a rolling basis, and the office is currently accepting applications from 1Ls and 2Ls.
The Habeas Corpus Resource Center (HCRC) in San Francisco provides exciting opportunities for law students interested in post-conviction capital defense. The HCRC is a judicial branch entity appointed to directly represent death row inmates in habeas corpus and clemency proceedings. The summer internship is a ten-week long program beginning at the end of May and continuing through early August. During the internship, students receive extensive training and are assigned to work directly with case teams on a client’s case. Commonly assigned projects include: legal, non-legal, and factual research; drafting pleadings, memos, and other documents; assisting with investigatory tasks; and other critical projects. We seek to hire numerous interns for the summer of 2012. All positions are upaid. Therefore, we strongly encourage students to seek grant, fellowship, or other outside funding for the summer. To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, and a short writing sample via e-mail to email@example.com. Application materials may also be submitted by mail or fax to: Habeas Corpus Resource Center, 303 Second Street, Suite 400 South, San Francisco, CA 94107; fax (415) 348-3873. We encourage 1Ls to apply. Knowledge of substantive and procedural legal principles of criminal and constitutional law, criminal procedure, provisions of the United States and California Constitutions, and the rules of evidence and conduct of proceedings in California courts is preferred but not required. In addition, preferred applicants are typically those with a demonstrated interest in capital defense, post-conviction work, indigent criminal defense, psychology and mental health issues, and/or public interest work. Applications are considered on a rolling basis, and we expect to make all hiring decisions by March of 2012. Applicants whose qualifications meet the needs of the office will be contacted for an interview. For more information about the HCRC please visit our website at http://www.hcrc.ca.gov. You may also contact us at (415) 348-3800 or firstname.lastname@example.org you have any questions.
District of Columbia
The Death Penalty Representation Project was created by the ABA in 1986 in order to better inform the bar and public about the lack of representation available to death row inmates. We address this urgent need by recruiting competent, volunteer attorneys, offering counsel training and assistance, and working for systemic reform to ensure that individuals facing a sentence of death are represented at every stage of the proceedings by competent counsel. The Project is accepting applications for Spring and Summer 2013, 37.5 hours per week. Intern duties include legal and policy research, case summaries, fundraising, and more. This is an unpaid position. Previous experience with or knowledge of the death penalty is not required. To apply, please send cover letter, resume, writing sample, and 3 references to Kaitlin Sandin at email@example.com.
The American Bar Association is the only national lawyers’ organization in the United States devoting time and resources to ensure that the death penalty system comports with minimum due process standards and minimizes the risk that an innocent person will be executed. Through creation and support of its Death Penalty Moratorium Implementation Project (Project), the ABA recognizes that it is incumbent upon lawyers – as a profession – to ensure that we are carrying out our work justly and competently, particularly when a life is at stake. The Project is currently undertaking a series of comprehensive assessments on the operation of several U.S. jurisdictions’ capital punishment laws and processes. These “State Death Penalty Assessments” evaluate the death penalty in various U.S. states and compare those states’ systems to a series of ABA policies on the fairness and accuracy of the death penalty. These areas include preservation and testing of DNA and other types of evidence, law enforcement identification and interrogation procedures, crime laboratory and medical examiner practices, prosecution and defense services, direct appeal, state post-conviction procedures, capital jury instructions, clemency proceedings, judicial independence, racial and ethnic minorities, and the treatment of mentally retarded and mentally ill offenders. Each assessment culminates in the release of a report in the assessed jurisdiction. More about the Project and the state assessments is available at http://americanbar.org/moratorium. The Assessments will provide jurisdictions with an independent and accurate view of what problems may exist in their death penalty systems and describe not only where a particular jurisdiction is deficient, but also detail what states should be doing to improve their capital punishment laws and processes. The Project works with notable members of the legal community in examined states in carrying out the state assessments. Responsibilities: The Project is in search of law students to join our team for the summer to assist us with drafting of our reports on the Texas and Virginia death penalties. Summer 2012 law clerks will be primarily responsible for conducting factual and legal research and drafting sections of the ongoing Texas and Virginia Assessment Reports, where needed. Law clerks will also assist in the final production of the Reports, which includes editing, proofreading, and fact-checking. This allows law students to have the opportunity to write for and edit a national publication, with name recognition in the Acknowledgments. In addition, law clerks are encouraged to attend and participate in Project meetings as well as meetings of the ABA’s Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, in which the Project is housed. Attendance at death penalty-related hearings, conferences, and/or oral arguments at the Supreme Court of the United States is encouraged, when available. Qualifications: Law clerks must be skilled in research and familiar with the Bluebook, possess excellent writing and research skills, and careful attention to detail. Proficiency with Westlaw and Microsoft Office needed. Candidates must be able to work efficiently, under a deadline, and with little supervision and must take initiative when the situation calls for it. Law clerks must exercise professional judgment in a variety of settings and possess good communication skills. Candidates should have an interest in human and civil rights and some knowledge of death penalty law and practices preferred. Law clerks must be able to work full time, 37.5 hours per week, for at least ten weeks during the Summer. The Project is happy work with candidates to assist in completing requirements to obtain course credits. *This is an unpaid position.* Application Requirements: Please send a cover letter, resume, and brief writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org. The American Bar Association is an equal opportunity employer.
Federal Defender Program, Inc. (Northern District of Georgia) The Federal Defender Program (located in Atlanta) offers non-funded positions for a ten-week period during the summer to law students. We accept applications from rising second and third year students who possess strong research and writing skills and an interest in indigent defense work. The Capital Habeas Unit represents indigent defendants sentenced to death in the state courts of Georgia. Students participating in this program will assist in all aspects of our work, including records collection, investigation and legal research and writing. Students will also have the opportunity to visit with clients during the summer. Applications will be accepted via email through February 1, 2013 and should be directed to Lindsay Bennett at email@example.com. Please be sure to include a resume, writing sample and cover letter in your application.
The Georgia Resource Center is a non-profit law office that represents men and women sentenced to death in the State of Georgia. GRC represents these individuals through state and federal habeas proceedings and clemency proceedings. GRC hires law students during the summer and academic year. The positions are unpaid, though outside funding is often available during the summer. The internships are not of set duration, but are typically 10-12 weeks. Interns participate in activities including interviewing witnesses, compiling life histories, visiting clients, and conducting legal research. Students can apply by sending a non-generic cover letter, resume, writing sample and two references to Robyn Painter, Georgia Resource Center, 303 Elizabeth Street, Atlanta, GA 30307 or to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on our organization and the work that we do, please visit our website at www.garesource.org.
Located in Atlanta, the Southern Center for Human Rights one of the nation's leading organizations devoted to indigent defense and protection of human rights in the criminal justice system. SCHR accepts summer interns to work throughout their practice areas, which include capital representation and civil rights litigation. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. It is suggested, however, that 2Ls get their applications in during September because they hire quickly. Applicants from both 1Ls and 2Ls welcome. SCHR will be accepting applications for Summer 2012 until January 8, 2012. Applications should be submitted by e-mail to Patrick Mulvaney at email@example.com. All internship applications must include a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and list of references. Click here for more information.
The Capital Post-Conviction Project of Louisiana represents over 60 men and 2 women on Louisiana’s Death Row at the last stage of the State’s efforts to kill them: each client has lost their trial, been condemned to die and those convictions and death sentences have been upheld on direct appeal. We start with the state Public Records Act to uncover Brady evidence and do our own independent investigation of the facts and science of the crime and the mitigation of our client’s lives. We discover the devil in the details and work to level the playing field, forcing the prosecution to sweat harder than they have ever had to. Since 2002, there has been only one execution here, and that was of a “volunteer,” who was barred from even having access to CPCPL. We take some credit for the absence of other executions in this past decade. We have accomplished this work with the valuable contributions of interns and now are seeking additional committed applicants for unpaid internships. Applicants should send a resume, a cover letter detailing their interest in capital defense work, a writing sample, and a list of three references to Gary Clements, 1340 Poydras Street, Suite 1700, New Orleans LA 70112. Gary may be contacted with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition to summer, CPCPL also accepts law students in year-round internship / externship positions.
The Capital Appeals Project (CAP) in New Orleans, LA is seeking hard-working and dedicated law students in their first and second years for ten-week unpaid internships during the Summer 2013. CAP provides high quality appellate representation to people on death row in Louisiana on their direct appeals to the Louisiana Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court. Attorneys in the office also provide training and consultation to death-penalty defense lawyers throughout the State. Interns conduct a wide range of tasks, including legal research and writing, records collection and digesting, client interviews, and, in some cases, investigation. To apply, send a cover letter, resume and writing sample to email@example.com. Applicants will be selected and interviewed on a rolling basis.
The Louisiana Capital Assistance Center (LCAC) is a non-profit capital trial organization deeply committed to providing quality legal representation to poor people facing the death penalty in Louisiana and throughout the South. The LCAC emphasizes client-centered representation, constantly seeks to develop new and innovative advocacy strategies, and also pursues systemic litigation related to issues involving racism in the criminal justice system. The LCAC is seeking summer law clerks to assist attorneys on all aspects of their work, including (but not limited to) legal research and writing, monitoring court proceedings, gathering, processing and summarizing records, social science research, gathering statistical data, and visiting clients. Our work is both high volume and high stakes, yet we are limited by extremely scarce resources to a small permanent staff. As a result, we ask and expect a great deal of our summer legal interns. Interns generally will work 50-70 hours per week, and for special projects may be asked to travel within Louisiana, work weekends, and work longer hours. Our interns can expect over the course of their summer to make a real and substantive contribution to the fight against the death penalty in the deep south. We are looking for individuals who will bring enthusiasm and diligence to their work, and who share our deep commitment to public service and to indigent defense. Interested applicants should send a resume, a cover letter detailing their interest in capital defense work, a writing sample, and a list of three references to Sissy Phleger (mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org) with “Summer Law Clerk application” in the subject line. Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, as the recruitment process is competitive and applicants are considered on a rolling basis, with final slots generally filled in early February.
The Federal Public Defender for the District of Maryland handles a steady stream of federal capital trials. Summer interns will likely work on both capital and non-capital cases. Interested students should send a resume and cover letter to Jim Wyda, Federal Public Defender, Office of the Federal Public Defender, 100 South Charles Street, Tower II Suite 1100, Baltimore MD 21201. Internships are generally unpaid. Hiring decisions are made on a rolling basis. The office also accepts internship applications for short periods of time outside of summer months (i.e. winter break, etc.).
The Aggravated Homicide Division is a statewide division of the Maryland Office of the Public Defender. We currently are accepting applications for law clerks, social work and investigator interns, for the spring and summer semesters, 2011 and 2012. The Aggravated Homicide Division represents persons charged with death-eligible offenses, at the pre-trial and trial level. Due to budgetary constraints, interested candidates must be able to procure their own funding, or work as volunteers. For consideration, please submit a resume, a letter stating your interest, and a legal writing sample, to Stefanie McArdle, at email@example.com. For questions, email or call Stefanie McArdle at 410-767-9853. Applications will be considered until all slots are filled.
The Federal Capital Habeas Project, a program of the Federal Public Defender System, is currently accepting applications from law students for the summer of 2013 for a position in its Greenbelt, Maryland office, located fifteen miles from the heart of downtown Washington, DC. The Project was started in 2006 to provide litigation and other support to lawyers for the growing number of prisoners on federal death row. Its aim is to ensure that all individuals sentenced to death in federal court who have completed their direct appeals receive representation consistent with the highest standards of the legal profession during post-conviction and clemency proceedings. Students will have the opportunity to work closely with the Project’s attorneys on federal death penalty cases across the country, on research and writing assignments related to both substantive and procedural issues of federal capital habeas law, as well as assignments related to mitigation, mental health and forensic evidence. The intern will also assist the Project’s attorneys in preparing materials for training and related educational opportunities for lawyers representing individuals on federal death row. The ideal candidate will have a strong demonstrated interest in public interest law, ideally criminal defense. Because the internship position is unpaid, students should seek summer funding through their law schools. The intern would ideally work for at least ten weeks during the summer. Applicants should submit (1) a resume; (2) cover letter; (3) a writing sample; and (4) the names of two professional or academic references, by email to Dewanna_Planter@fd.org, attention: Dewanna Planter, Project Manager, Federal Capital Habeas Project, Office of the Federal Public Defender, District of Maryland, 6411 Ivy Lane, Suite 710, Greenbelt, Maryland 20770. Emails are preferred; no telephone calls please.Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. The Federal Capital Habeas Project is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
The Minnesota Office of the Federal Defender is accepting applications for volunteer law clerks for summer 2013. We are looking for law clerks to work on our usual interesting array of federal criminal cases, helping represent poor people charged in federal court. This year we are also looking for a clerk to focus primarily on a federal capital habeas case we are working on. We are seeking a clerk with a special interest in capital work. An applicant should also have excellent research and writing skills. If you are interested, please email Kate Menendez (Chief of Training) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Missouri State Public Defender Capital Division specializes in capital murder cases and represents defendants for whom the state has decided to seek the death penalty. Capital offices are located in Columbia, Kansas City, and St. Louis. Applicants attending law school in Missouri should participate in the spring on-campus interview process at their law school. The office also participates in OCI at many other law schools surrounding Missouri. Applicants attending law school in other locations may submit an application at anytime and they will be contacted to schedule a phone interview. Applications should be received no later than February 15th. Interns may assist in case preparation for the guilt or penalty phase of the capital murder trial, including reading discovery information and reviewing evidence. Interns with backgrounds in psychology, sociology, or mental health work may particularly enjoy this internship, since the office performs a significant amount of mitigation investigation. The internship is unpaid. Interested students should mail a resume and cover letter to Human Resources located at Woodrail Centre, 1000 W. Nifong, Bldg. 7, Suite 100, Columbia, MO 65203. Both 1Ls and 2Ls welcome to apply. Gina Hall, Human Resources Coordinator, can be contacted at (573)-882-9855, ext. 204 or email@example.com for more information. You can also learn more about MSPD by visiting their website at http://www.publicdefender.mo.gov/.
The Death Penalty Litigation Clinic (DPLC) is a non-profit law firm that provides capital defense representation throughout the country, focusing on the Midwest. We specialize in post-conviction defense, mitigation investigation, and clemency advocacy. DPLC is seeking applications for legal internship positions during the summer and/or academic year. DPLC interns conduct legal research and assist attorneys in writing motions and briefs. Additionally, interns are involved in factual development and investigation. This includes accompanying attorneys on client and witness interviews, obtaining social history records, and digesting transcripts and records. DPLC frequently works with universities to secure funding and school credit. If interested, please send a cover letter and resume to Jessica Sutton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Capital Habeas Unit of the Federal Public Defender for the District of Nevada is accepting applications for summer interns. Applicants should have a demonstrated interest in the death penalty, federal habeas corpus and/or state post-conviction litigation. This is an unpaid position; students who have completed their 2L year are preferred. Interested applicants are asked to send a cover letter, resume and writing sample to Heather Fraley at Heather_Fraley@fd.org.
The Clark County Special Public Defender's Office represents defendants at trial and on direct appeal in murder cases, including cases in which the State of Nevada has decided to seek the death penalty. The office of 10 attorneys, three investigators, and one mitigation specialist is in Las Vegas, Nevada. Applicants attending law school may submit an application at anytime and they will be contacted to schedule a phone interview. Interns may assist in case preparation for the guilt or penalty phase of the capital murder trial, including reading discovery information and reviewing evidence, interviewing witnesses, assisting with pretrial motions and briefs, and attending trials and other hearings. The internship is unpaid. Interested students should mail a resume and cover letter to email@example.com.
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund hires summer interns in their Criminal Justice Project, which includes representation of capital and non-capital clients. Most of these cases are in the habeas stage. The internship is unpaid and lasts 10 weeks. Students assist with all aspects of cases, including legal research, memo writing, drafting portions of briefs, working on clemency issues, developing claims, and conducting investigation. 1Ls and 2Ls are welcome to apply; applications should include a cover letter, resume, list of references, and a writing sample. Decisions are made on a rolling basis, but are generally made between October and February. See their website for the addresses to which applications should be sent.
Each summer, the Center for Death Penalty Litigation hosts up to four full-time law student interns. Each year, we receive rave reviews from our summer interns. Former interns consistently remark on the diversity of opportunities, the rigorous intellectual environment, and the collegiality of our office. In recent summers, law student interns have visited clients, traveled across the state interviewing witnesses and jurors, worked on clemency cases, assisted with research and writing of direct appeal and post-conviction claims, attended capital trials, and assisted at evidentiary hearings. We eagerly recruit both 1Ls and 2Ls to fill our summer intern positions. Because of the nature of the work our students perform, we typically do not allow split summers and we prefer that all interns begin work on the same date. Further, we ask each intern to commit to a 10 week program, usually beginning the first work-day of June. Most summers, CDPL is able to offer interns monetary compensation for their work through the Weston Fenhagen Fellowship. Students interested in a summer internship should provide the following by January 31: 1) Cover letter clearly articulating the applicant's interest in death penalty defense or criminal defense work 2) Current resume 3) Writing sample of 10 pages or less 4) Phone numbers and email addresses for three references, including at least one person familiar with your skills and abilities in a professional setting We prefer that applications be submitted electronically whenever possible. Applications should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our goal is to make final hiring decisions by February 28. In addition, we welcome undergraduate students to contact us about volunteering during the summer. Although there is no formal deadline for non-law student applications, keep in mind that students often begin inquiring about summer work as early as January. We have limited space, so students are encouraged to contact us early. CDPL complies with the letter and spirit of all federal, state, and local employment discrimination laws and does not discriminate based on race, age, color, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, family responsibility, sexual orientation, veteran status or disability.
The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (ACLU), founded in 1920, is a nationwide, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with more than 500,000 members, and is dedicated to the principles of liberty and equality embodied in the U.S. Constitution. The Capital Punishment Project of the ACLU’s National Office in Durham, North Carolina seeks legal interns for the Summer of 2012. OVERVIEW: The Capital Punishment Project challenges the unfairness and arbitrariness of capital punishment while working toward the ultimate goal of abolishing the death penalty. The Project engages in public advocacy and strategic litigation, including direct representation of capital defendants. The Project's litigation is conducted throughout the country, with particular focus on the South. INTERNSHIP OVERVIEW: The Capital Punishment Project is offering Summer Legal Interns the opportunity to work on all aspects of litigation. Our Summer Legal Internship requires a 10 to 12 week commitment and is full-time. This is an unpaid internship. Students are highly encouraged to seek Public Interest Fellowship funds for the internship. Arrangements can also be made with the student’s law school for work/study stipends or course credit. Summer Legal Interns who do not secure funding will be eligible for a stipend provided by the project. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: The Summer Legal interns will have the opportunity to gain valuable experience by working alongside the Capital Punishment Project team. Interns will gain hands on experience in all aspects of litigation work including but not limited to the following: Conducting legal and policy research. Drafting memoranda, affidavits and briefs. Conducting research on prospects for new litigation, including both factual and legal claims. Preparing expert and percipient witnesses for courtroom testimony. Conducting research and drafting materials for public education. DESIRED EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS: This legal internship is open to law students that have completed their first year. Excellent research, writing and communication skills. Proficiency in Microsoft Office, including internet research. Demonstrated initiative to see projects through to completion. Strong interest in social justice and legal issues. A strong interest and commitment to civil rights and civil liberties issues. HOW TO APPLY: Applicants should send a letter of interest, a resume, the names and telephone numbers of three references, an official or unofficial transcript, and a legal writing sample of no more than ten pages to email@example.com, reference CPP Summer 2012 Legal Internship in subject line -or by mail to: Human Resources Re: CPP Summer 2012 Legal Internship American Civil Liberties Union 125 Broad Street, 18th Floor New York, NY 10004. Applications will be considered on a continuous basis, and therefore candidates are encouraged to apply well in advance of the deadline. We strongly encourage applicants to apply by February 10, 2012. Please indicate in your cover letter where you found this internship opportunity. The ACLU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages applications from all qualified individuals including women, people of color, persons with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. The ACLU comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation. Both the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation are national organizations with the same overall mission, and share office space and employees. The ACLU has two separate corporate entities in order to do a broad range of work to protect civil liberties. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU.”
The Capital Habeas Unit (CHU) in the Cleveland, Ohio branch of the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of Ohio has year-round externship opportunities for second and third-year law students. The CHU represents individuals who have been convicted of a capital crime in Ohio and who seek post-conviction relief in federal court. Externships are unpaid; however, our office routinely qualifies for work-study placement and works with sponsoring law schools to meet academic requirements in order for the externship to qualify for academic credit. Externs must commit to work at least 12 hours a week during the academic year and 16 hours a week during the summer. CHU externs will work exclusively on pending death penalty cases and related matters, such as clemency preparation and presentation. Extern responsibilities may include: researching specific issues, assisting with the drafting of motions, reviewing records, documents and transcripts, assisting with the gathering of documents for clemency packets, and assisting with investigations. Prerequisites include having successfully taken Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Evidence. Applicants meeting these academic prerequisites must also be interviewed to be considered for placement. Applicants offered an externship will be subject to a background check as required under the current policy for the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. To apply, please forward a (1) cover letter; (2) resume; (3) short writing sample; (4) list of completed law school classes; and (5) current GPA to Attorney Amy B. Cleary via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via U.S. Mail at Office of the Federal Public Defender, Skylight Office Tower, Suite 750, 1660 West 2nd Street, Cleveland, Ohio, 44113. For more information, please call 216.522.4856.
The Capital Habeas Unit (CHU) in the Columbus, Ohio branch of the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Southern District of Ohio offers summer and school-year externship opportunities. The CHU represents inmates on Ohio’s death row in all levels of federal court litigation and also argues for clemency before the Ohio Parole Board and to Ohio’s governor. The legal work concerns the exciting and challenging intersection of constitutional law, death-penalty jurisprudence, and habeas and civil-rights litigation; factual investigation involves digging into records and witnesses related to clients’ social histories, including their upbringing, education, and other factors relevant to their development. The CHU works closely with experts in a variety of areas, including neurology, psychology, psychiatry, forensics, DNA, mental-health, addiction, and intellectual disability. The office operates in teams of attorneys, investigators, and support staff to tackle this demanding and sobering work. Externs work closely with these teams to assist in both legal and factual research and drafting related to the clients’ cases. CHU teams rely on externs’ assistance on real projects for real clients and aim to involve the externs as much as possible from start to finish on a project. For more information about the program, please visit our website at: http://www.fpd-ohs.org/law.htm. The CHU seeks externs with sound judgment, the ability to work independently, excellent research and writing skills, and a strong commitment to indigent defense and saving clients’ lives. While full-time externs are preferred, students who will have completed their first year of law school may apply to extern for a minimum 20 hours per week during the summer and for a minimum of 12 hours per week during the school year. The positions are unpaid, but externs are free to seek funding through work-study or other public-interest programs, as well as class hours or other applicable credit at their law schools. To apply electronically, send a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and transcript to attorneys Erin Barnhart (email@example.com) and Justin Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org). To apply via hard copy, mail these materials to: CHU Extern Coordinators, Federal Public Defender––Southern District of Ohio, One Columbus, 10 West Broad Street, Suite 1020, Columbus, Ohio 43215-3469. The CHU considers applications on a rolling basis until positions are filled, and likely will hold interviews for Summer 2013 positions in February 2013. Applicants offered an externship will be subject to a background check as required under the current policy for the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.
The Oklahoma County Public Defender represents indigent defendants accused of capital murder. The Public Defender is accepting applications from first and second year law students for a summer legal clerkship position for Summer 2013. The legal clerkship requires a ten week commitment to work in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Interns will be asked to assist in case preparation for the guilt or penalty phase of a capital murder trial. This is an unpaid internship. To apply, please email a letter of interest and resume to Catherine Hammarsten, Assistant Public Defender, 320 Robert S. Kerr, #611, Oklahoma City, OK 73102 or email@example.com. You may also contact Catherine Hammarsten at 405-713-1550 for more information.
ACCR is a small, non-profit death penalty resource center serving Pennsylvania and Delaware. We offer individual case consultation to capital defense teams as well as run trainings around the state. We also engage in impact litigation and public education and advocacy. Please contact Dana Cook at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Federal Community Defender of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has a Capital Habeas Unit, located in Philadelphia, that handles federal habeas corpus and state post-conviction proceedings for individuals who have been sentenced to death. The office offers four to six full-time, unpaid, 10-week summer internships for law students. Preference is given to summer interns who will have completed their 2L year. Internships are also available on a limited basis year round. Applications should include a cover letter, resume, transcript, and writing sample and should be sent to David Zuckerman, Assistant Federal Defender via email at email@example.com or via regular mail at Federal Community Defender for the Eastern District of Pa., Capital Habeas Unit, 601 Walnut Street, Suite 545 West, Philadelphia, PA 19106. (Updated 10/6/2011)
The Capital Habeas Unit (CHU) of the Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh represents individuals in Federal court who have been charged with federal criminal offenses and who cannot afford to hire their own attorney. The office also represents indigent individuals who have been convicted of capital crimes and who seek post-conviction relief in Federal court. This office offers 10-week summer internships for law students who possess excellent research and writing skills and demonstrate an interest in indigent defense and/or capital litigation and indigent defense. The positions are not paid internships. Responsibilities may include legal research, assisting in drafting motions, reviewing records, documents and transcripts and assisting with investigations. Prior course work in criminal law and procedure would be helpful. To apply, please forward a (1) cover letter; (2) resume; (3) short writing sample; (4) completed list of law school classes; (5) current GPA and class ranking; and (6) references to Lynn A. Ellenberger via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via mail to Federal Public Defender, Western District of Pennsylvania, Capital Habeas Unit, 1500 Liberty Center, 1001 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-3714. Successful applicants will be subject to a background fingerprint check as required under the current policy for the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. This office also offers year-round externship opportunities for second and third-year law students, and inquiries can also be made regarding same to the above.
The Monroe County Public Defender Office is a general PD office located in a rural Pennsylvania area known as the Pocono Mountains. It is about 1 ½ hours directly west of New York City. We have six fulltime and three part-time lawyers. We currently have two pending capital trials. The first is scheduled for March, 2012, but that could get delayed. We will accept unpaid Berkley interns any time of the year, regardless of whether we have capital cases at the time. Interested students should email a resume, and specify when they desire to begin and end their internship, and the number of hours per week they could be in the office. Interns will be given as much responsibility as they are competent to handle. Send emails to email@example.com and copy mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
The Death Penalty Resource & Defense Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting a fair and just criminal justice system for capital defendants in South Carolina. The Center provides direct representation, consulting services, resources & training, policy reform advocacy, and public education. The Center seeks volunteer 1L, 2L, or 3L interns. Experience and references are available for motivated interns who do excellent work. Assignments will vary with the Center’s needs and students’ abilities and experience, but may include case work including: legal research; non-legal research; fact and mitigation investigation; interviews of clients’ families, potential witnesses or jurors; or visits with clients. Every capital case is unique. Assignments may also include research and writing toward the production of resource, consulting, public education, or advocacy materials. Law students are encouraged to apply early. We have completed hiring for the summer of 2013, however interested students should email Emily Paavola at firstname.lastname@example.org if they have any questions.
The Capital Trial Division of the South Carolina Commission on Indigent Defense is an office wherein three (3) attorneys are charged with meeting the high standards of capital defense demanded by the federal and state constitutions. We are looking for interns that are interested in criminal defense and working with client’s from all backgrounds who are indigent, come from family’s with the history of poverty, abuse, and mental health problems. Throughout the course of the summer you will be working directly with the attorneys in our office. You will be meeting and interviewing clients, making sure that they have all the necessary information to answer their various legal questions. You will be meeting with and interviewing potential mitigation witnesses to assist the defense team in putting together a comprehensive life history of the client. You will be researching and preparing memos for the attorneys concerning particular legal questions such as the viability of a particular defense or admissibility of a particular piece of evidence such as execution impact. You will at times also be doing investigation into data necessary for some systemic challenges to the Death Penalty which will include going to clerks offices around the state and gathering information on all jury strikes and or murder cases for the past decade. You will be expected to attend court and assist as necessary. You will be meeting with the attorneys on a daily basis to discuss what is to get done that day. You will receive an orientation manual to familiarize you with the office and the role we play in the Death Penalty in South Carolina. We will spend a day orienting you to your work space and the various data bases on which client files are stored. You have access to a computer, printer, scanner, fax, Word, Westlaw, Adobe, and Excel in order to complete your work. You will meet with the attorneys at the end of each week to discuss how the previous week went and whether any adjustments need to be made, in order to ensure that you are getting the maximum possible exposure while also being as productive as possible. This is an unpaid internship, but students will be reimbursed for all travel expenses they incur including mileage at the federal rate. Interested students should submit a cover letter and resume, by email to Natasha J. Holliday at email@example.com.
The Tennessee Office of the Post-Conviction Defender (PCDO) is a specialized state wide public defender office funded by the State. The PCDO represents indigent Tennessee death-sentenced inmates in post-conviction and other collateral proceedings. The job of the PCDO is to review and litigate the fairness and constitutionality of a capital defendant’s conviction and sentence. This entails an exhaustive review of the underlying capital trial and direct appeal. The PCDO is charged with thoroughly investigating the availability and strength of various defenses in both the guilt/innocence and penalty phases of the capital trial and evaluating potential post-conviction claims such as actual innocence, ineffective assistance of defense counsel at trial, and prosecutorial misconduct. This work requires client and witness interviews; forensic investigation; collection and review of all relevant records including trial transcripts, police records, defense attorney and prosecution files, and institutional records; development of client social histories; arrangements for medical and psychological evaluations; legal research; drafting of pleadings and briefs; and preparation for post- conviction trials and appellate arguments. The PCDO invites law students and recent law school graduates to apply for internships. Interns assist in legal research and writing and participate in other aspects of case preparation. Interns meet with clients on death row and often have opportunities to observe witness interviews and attend court proceedings. The PCDO cannot offer compensation to interns due to State budgetary constraints. Accordingly, the work of our interns is voluntary. The PCDO will assist interns seek funding from outside sources, and law school credit for internships may also be available. The PCDO is flexible in establishing intern work schedules that are tailored to the interests and availability of the individual applicants. To apply for an internship, please send a cover letter, resume, law school transcript, and writing sample to: Bradley A. MacLean, Director of the PCDO Intern Program, Office of the Post-Conviction Defender, 530 Church Street, Suite 600, Nashville, Tennessee 37243, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Capital Habeas Unit of the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Middle District of Tennessee in Nashville offers full-time, unpaid summer internships for law students. The CHU represents Tennessee death row inmates in federal habeas corpus proceedings. Interns will perform legal research, draft substantive legal documents, and assist in investigation. Interns will also have exposure to non-capital federal public defense work, in which indigent clients are facing federal criminal charges. Students may participate in pre-trial motion practice, trial assistance and observation, and legal work related to sentencing. Dates are flexible and we are willing to host students who intend to split their summers at other organizations. Assignments will vary with background and experience. Preference is given to students with a demonstrated commitment to indigent criminal defense and/or public interest work. Applications may be submitted at anytime, however, we encourage students to apply as soon as possible as we review applications on a rolling basis. To apply, please send a cover letter, resume, law school transcript, and writing sample to Alexis Hoag, Attorney, Capital Habeas Unit, Office of the Federal Public Defender, 810 Broadway, Suite 200, Nashville, TN 37203 or email@example.com.
The Bexar County Public Defender's Office represents clients on direct appeal and in petitions of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court. Student interns perform legal research and writing, and investigation. Interns also observe trials and hearings and visit the local jail and may have contact with clients. Year-round and summer internship opportunities are available. The internship is unpaid, but the office is flexible in the schedule and duration of the internship. Rising 2Ls are encouraged to apply; the office is looking for interns with a demonstrated interest in criminal law, indigent defense, or related areas. Applicants should send a cover letter, resume, recent writing sample, and a list of at least two references to Lori Olenick Rodriguez, Senior Assistant Public Defender, Bexar County Public Defender's Office, Heritage Plaza, 410 South Main, Suite 214, San Antonio, TX 78204. Applications are considered as received. For more information about the office or the internship, please feel free to contact Lori at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gulf Region Advocacy Center represents and assists in the representation of defendants charged with capital crimes. Most interns spend a large amount of time collecting records and digesting documents. More experienced interns may help with research and writing motions. If there is a trial during the internship, an intern will mostly likely be involved in preparing for trial and providing support for the lawyers and mitigation specialists. The office accepts rising 2Ls and 3Ls as interns. Internships are unpaid. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and may be submitted by email to email@example.com or by mail to Gulf Region Advocacy Center, 2307 Union Street, Houston TX 77007. For more information, contact Jeremiah Sierra at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (713)869-4722.
The Office of Capital Writs ("OCW"), located in Austin, Texas, is a capital post-conviction office charged with representing death sentenced persons in Texas post-conviction habeas corpus and related proceedings. The office is seeking volunteer 2L summer interns. The students will assist the attorneys and investigators in the preparation of state habeas petitions. There will be travel involved (to be paid for by the office) and client interaction. Interested students should email a resume and letter of interest to email@example.com.
Texas Defender Service (TDS) is a non-profit organization that seeks to establish a fair and just criminal justice system in Texas. TDS aims to improve the quality of representation afforded to those facing a sentence of death and to expose and eradicate the systemic flaws plaguing the death penalty system in Texas. TDS interns perform a variety of vital tasks. Interns do extensive legal research and writing in the areas of criminal procedure and habeas corpus. Interns may be asked to summarize transcripts of death penalty cases, check out and examine court records, travel to conduct research or to find and interview jurors or other persons associated with an inmate's case. Interns also travel to Death Row to interview clients. To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to Cathryn Crawford, Post-Conviction Director, Texas Defender Service, 510 S. Congress Avenue, Suite 304, Austin, TX 78704, Ph: (512) 320-8300, Fax: (512) 477-2153, firstname.lastname@example.org. TDS has internship opportunities in its Houston and Austin offices. When you apply, please indicate whether you have a preference for interning in the Houston or Austin office.
Stephen A. Doggett, an attorney in Richmond, TX, is looking for a student intern to assist with a capital case. The case is currently set for trial in February 2012, but there is a good chance the case will be continued into the summer. The co-counsel on the case is Katherine Scardino in Houston, TX. For more information, please contact Stephen A. Doggett at 201 South 11th Street, Richmond, TX 77469. His phone is 281-342-332, his fax is 281-341-8458, and his email is email@example.com.
The Regional Public Defender for Capital Cases represents clients charged with capital crimes at the trial level in approximately 171 counties throughout Texas. Currently we have offices in Amarillo, Kingsville, Lubbock, Midland, Burnet, Angleton, Wichita Falls, and will open Kaufman on March 1, 2013. Interns are utilized for a wide variety of tasks, including collecting and digesting records and documents; research; drafting motions; assisting attorneys, mitigators and investigators with client and witness interviews; trial preparation assistance; and, team support during trial. Internships are unpaid. Applications are accepted and reviewed at any time. Applications may be submitted by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to the Regional Public Defender for Capital Cases, P. O. Box 2097, Lubbock, Texas 79408. For more information feel free to visit our website at http://rpdo.org or contact Jack Stoffregen at (806) 775-5650.
The Federal Public Defender of the Eastern District of Virginia accepts summer interns to work on federal capital cases at the trial and appellate levels. Interns may work in the offices in Alexandria, Richmond, or Norfolk. For information about applying, please contact Kenneth Troccoli at the Alexandria office at 703-600-0800. The office is currently accepting applications and makes decisions on a rolling basis.
The Capital Defender Office of Northern Virginia (CDO) has been providing quality representation to impoverished defendants facing the death penalty since 2003. The CDO is charged with handling all facets of trial representation for capital cases arising in Virginia's 22 northern jurisdictions, comprising one of the most active death penalty regions in the Commonwealth. The CDO seeks highly motivated law students with a commitment to the zealous representation of capital defendants. Each year, students spend a semester or summer at the CDO completing a variety of assignments under the supervision of experienced staff. The tasks to be performed are limited only by the ability and willingness of the interns. Typically, CDO interns research criminal and death penalty law, write legal memoranda, assist in investigating and organizing mitigation evidence, and perform other tasks necessary to aid in the defense of capital clients. These internships provide an invaluable opportunity to receive direct experience working in the rewarding and challenging field of capital defense. Interested students should email a resume, transcript, writing sample, and list of references to Daniel Goldman, Assistant Capital Defender, at email@example.com and copy Xanthis Andino, Office manager at firstname.lastname@example.org. The CDO is an equal opportunity employer, equal without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, or political affiliation.
The Virginia Capital Representation Resource Center (VCRRC), located in Charlottesville, directly represents and assists attorneys representing inmates sentenced to death in Virginia. Virginia has a sordid history of capital punishment. Many people are surprised to learn that Virginia has executed more people than any other State in the nation. All persons executed for non-homicide crimes in Virginia were men of color. Since resumption of execution after Gregg v. Georgia in 1977, Virginia ranks behind only Texas in numbers of state killings. VCRRC is seeking qualified and committed interns willing and able to contribute at all levels of post-conviction litigation. Interns will help to identify, investigate, research and draft the factual and legal bases for the post-conviction claims in both state and federal courts. They will track down witnesses, meet with clients, research and draft federal and state pleadings and motions. Issues in Virginia cases often are at the cutting edge of capital litigation. Atkins v. Virginia prohibited the execution of persons with mental retardation. Terry Williams v. Taylor provided the first Supreme Court of new standards for granting habeas relief in federal courts. Michael Williams v. Taylor and Strickler v. Angelone addressed the manner in which information concealed by jurors or prosecutors should be handled in post-conviction proceedings. Budget restrictions limit our ability to supply funding for internships and applicants are strongly encouraged to seek grant or other financial support. Interested persons should inquire or apply by email to: Rob Lee, Executive Director, VCRRC, email@example.com
The Office of the State Public Defender handles capital cases on direct appeal and in state habeas corpus proceedings. The office accepts interns throughout the school year and during the summer. Internships are unpaid, although work study may be available, and 1Ls are welcome to apply. Students work closely with a team of lawyers and investigators, and perform research and writing and assist in investigation. Interested students should send a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to Alison Bernstein, Deputy State Public Defender, 221 Main Street, SF, CA 94105.
The Habeas Corpus Resource Center (HCRC) in San Francisco provides exciting opportunities for law students interested in post-conviction capital defense. The HCRC is a judicial branch entity that is appointed to directly represent death row inmates in habeas corpus and clemency proceedings. Depending on their work schedules, school year externs and volunteers are either assigned to work on specific cases or are assigned various discrete projects. Commonly assigned projects include: legal, non-legal, and factual research; drafting pleadings, memos, and other documents; assisting with investigatory tasks; and other critical projects. For students interested in obtaining clinical credits from their law school, HCRC will work with the student and the school in an effort to meet the school’s requirements. Start and end dates for externs and volunteers are flexible, as are the number of hours and days worked per week. HCRC accepts first-, second-, and third-year law students. Knowledge of substantive and procedural legal principles of criminal and constitutional law, criminal procedure, provisions of the United States and California Constitutions, and the rules of evidence and conduct of proceedings in California courts is preferred but not required. In addition, preferred applicants are typically those with a demonstrated interest in capital defense, post-conviction work, indigent criminal defense, psychology and mental health issues, and/or public interest work. To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, and a short writing sample via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Application materials may also be submitted by mail or fax to: Habeas Corpus Resource Center, 303 Second Street, Suite 400 South, San Francisco, CA 94107; fax (415) 348-3873. Applicants should specify for which semester(s) they are applying and indicate their proposed work schedule. Applications are accepted and considered at any time. For more information about the HCRC please visit our website at http://www.hcrc.ca.gov/. You may also contact us at (415) 348-3800 or email@example.com if you have any questions.
The California Appellate Project (CAP) in San Francisco assists in the legal representation of the currently more than 600 persons on California's Death Row. CAP is seeking law students to join us as clinical externs during the school year. We need highly motivated students with a strong commitment to vigorous advocacy on behalf of indigent defendants on death row. You will be come actively involved in supporting the litigation of their cases through fact investigation, legal research and drafting, development and coordination of litigation materials, and a variety of other tasks, under the supervision of experienced attorneys, mitigation specialists, and investigators. To apply please send us, preferably by email, a cover letter explaining your interest in our work, a resume, a writing sample, and the names and phone numbers of three references familiar with your skills and experience. Since nearly all of the men and women on California's death row are from deprived economic backgrounds, and the majority are people of color, we are interested in learning from your cover letter the aspects of your life experience, education, training, and work history that you believe have prepared you to understand and work well with the clients we serve and their communities. Please email these materials to firstname.lastname@example.org.