Legal Internships and Post-Bar Clerkships
Summer Internships: Every summer, our office welcomes a class of 20 to 25 full-time volunteer interns. Summer interns are imbedded into one of our 3 offices for a ten-week program that provides an in-depth experience of the day-to-day life of a public defender. Summer internship classes are hired by early spring semester. To apply, send your resume and cover letter by January 31 to Jonathan.Laba@pd.cccounty.us.
Externships: Each semester, our office hosts law students from around the country for course credit. In addition to our general criminal justice externships, we offer specialized programs in racial justice, reentry and juvenile practice. To apply, send your resume and cover letter to Jonathan.Laba@pd.cccounty.us.
Graduate Law Clerkships: Our office offers several compensated post-bar clerkship positions for law school graduates. The one-year clerkship term begins in August. Hiring begins in the fall of the preceding year. Applications are due by the 3rd Monday in October. To apply, send your resume and cover letter to Robin.Lipetzky@pd.cccounty.us.
CCPD’s interns, externs and graduate law clerks receive a comprehensive orientation at the beginning of their clerkship, which covers the substantive areas of law most frequently encountered in a public defender office. Each law clerk is paired with an attorney mentor who assures the clerk’s individual goals are met and provides guidance and advice to further the clerk’s professional development.
Clerks work closely with attorneys on their cases. A typical clerkship involves:
Interviewing clients and visiting them in jail
Researching and writing pretrial motions
Providing trial support to attorneys
Litigating motions in court
Working on a variety of cases including misdemeanor, felony and juvenile
Many of CCPD’s attorneys have previously clerked or externed for the office.
Social Work Internships: CCPD Social Work staff regularly serve as internship field instructors to first and second year MSW graduate students or fourth year BASW students from local Bay Area universities interested in Forensic Social Work field placements. Interns work under direct supervision of the social work staff and will gain experience with interviewing clients, referring clients for services, producing social history reports for the court, advocating for treatment and learning more about the criminal justice system and its impact on individuals and communities. Applications are accepted during the months of February through April. To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to Angelene.Musawwir@pd.cccounty.us.
Investigation Internships: Each summer, two investigator interns are hired to collect and organize data to enhance the office’s investigation efforts. Interns may also be tasked with serving subpoenas for records, scouring and copying social media content, and assisting or accompanying investigators on other investigation assignments. The intern positions involve part-time work from June to September. Those interested should email Chief Investigator Sylvia Palma at Sylvia.Palma@pd.cccounty.us with details about your education and interest in criminal defense investigation.
High School and Undergraduate Summer Internships: A limited number of internships are open to energetic, achievement-oriented students interested in law and justice issues. Interns will gain an understanding and appreciation of the role of defense attorneys in the criminal justice system. Internships may focus in either of the following areas, depending on the student's interests and capabilities:
Attorney Support: Shadow defense lawyers to observe court proceedings, assist with case file preparation, organize case notes, provide general office support (filing, photocopying and redaction of documents)
Administrative Intern: Learn a variety of administrative functions within CCPD and assist with document filing, scanning, record-keeping and reporting.
This is an unpaid internship. A minimum ten (10) week commitment, three (3) days per week, is required. To apply, please send your resume and cover letter beginning March 1st through April 30 to Joanne.Sanchez-Rosa@pd.cccounty.us.
Equal Opportunity Employer Statement
CCPD is an equal opportunity employer; we actively seek diversity among our staff. CCPD does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, gender, age, medical condition, physical or sensorial disability, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation or veteran's status. CCPD seeks to hire, develop and advance, on the basis of professional ability, attorneys of varying backgrounds in sufficient numbers to ensure that the composition of the firm at all levels reflects the diversity of the communities we serve.