Intern Program

Intern Program

The Office of the State Public Defender offers bright, energetic, and committed law students the opportunity to participate in a 10-week summer internship from June until August or during a semester of the academic year. The Office of the State Public Defender (OSPD) has an exclusive focus on death penalty cases, and represents more than 130 people on California’s death row. OSPD litigates these cases both on appeal and habeas corpus. The work of the office is often at the cutting edge of criminal law. We have appeared in the California Supreme Court in over 250 cases and in the United States Supreme Court in a half dozen cases where certiorari review was granted. We have been responsible for major developments in the areas of capital litigation, due process, right to counsel, confessions, jury selection, search and seizure, sentencing and many other issues. The work of the Office of the State Public Defender is complex and challenging, and presents a unique personal and professional opportunity for those interested in criminal defense.

Summer interns assist with preparing appeals or habeas corpus petitions to the California Supreme Court. Responsibilities may include: legal and factual research on guilt/innocence, forensic, mental health, client social history and other issues; collecting or summarizing documents, investigation and field work (expenses paid); drafting memos and legal pleadings; preparing for hearings and other tasks. Students participate in team meetings. Summer students attend a week’s worth of formal training at the beginning of the summer, in addition to informal training offered throughout the summer.

The internship is unpaid.

Please include in the application:

A letter of interest,
a resume,
and writing sample.

Two references must be provided upon request.

Address applications to:

Office of the State Public Defender
Intern Program
1111 Broadway, 10th Floor
Oakland, CA 94607

or submit via e-mail to internprogram [at] ospd [dot] ca [dot ] gov

Qualified applicants will be contacted for an interview. Call (510) 267-3300 with any questions.
Interns during the academic year must make a minimum commitment of 16 hours per week.

The Office of the State Public Defender is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, disability, religious or political affiliation, age or sexual orientation.