Closing Date: 23rd October, 2022


About the Position
The Department of Public Defense (DPD) is actively recruiting 2nd year law students to participate in a 10-week internship beginning in June 2023. This is an excellent opportunity for students considering a career in public defense. It is a rolling application – internship positions will remain open until filled.

The internship is contingent on funding, and we anticipate filling between 15 - 20 internships.

About the Department of Public Defense
DPD represents indigent clients in several practice areas: criminal defense (felonies and misdemeanors), juvenile defense, family defense, involuntary commitment, sex offender commitments, and contempt of court. The department also works to address racial disproportionality, the collateral consequences of system involvement, and other structural and/or systemic issues that undermine the rights of our clients. DPD employs skilled investigators, mitigation specialists, paralegals, and other support staff. Expert services are regularly funded, in keeping with state court rules. Students will be offered an internship in a single practice area and should express any preference in their cover letter.

King County is an excellent place to work in public defense. In criminal cases, our state has robust discovery rules, requiring compulsory discovery of all materials held by the prosecutor; the Washington State Constitution's exacting standards for search and seizure extend well beyond the Fourth Amendment; public defense attorneys have the ability to retain top expert witnesses; and, particularly in King County, comparatively more of our cases go to trial. Further, we are an institutional provider of family defense representation, which allows for specialization in that area.

Employment at DPD offers the chance to practice public defense at a very high level while living in a vibrant urban environment surrounded by unparalleled natural beauty.

Job Duties
  • Assist attorneys at arraignment hearings; pretrial hearings; motion hearings; sentencing and probation review; or other types of hearings in our civil practice areas.
  • Assist with trial preparations (DPD makes an effort to provide but cannot guarantee trial experience).
  • Communication with social workers, service providers, and other individuals involved in a client's case.
  • Other duties as requested.

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills
  • By June 2023 the student will have completed two years of law school and be enrolled and in good academic standing at an American Bar Association approved law school.
  • Able to qualify as a Rule 9 Licensed Legal Intern.
  • A demonstrated interest in representing indigent persons.
  • Possess good moral character and fitness to practice law (APPs 20-24).
  • Effective writing and communication skills.
  • Organizational and problem-solving skills.
  • Initiative and accountability for work product or service.
  • Ability to follow oral and written instructions.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality.
  • Knowledge of the operation of standard office equipment that may include personal computers, copiers, and fax machines.
  • Ability to multitask and self-direct in a fast-paced environment.

Also desired:
  • Multilingual skills are a plus.
  • Completed at least one of the following courses: evidence, criminal procedure, and a clinical or trial advocacy course.