Internship Summer 2023

Washtenaw County Office of the Public Defender Internship Program 

The Washtenaw County Office of the Public Defender offers a highly acclaimed and dynamic internship program aimed at attracting exceptional students from law schools and colleges. This program provides a unique opportunity for the best and brightest minds to apply for unpaid positions within the Office, which often qualify for course credit at their respective educational institutions.

Join Us for a Transformative Internship

The Washtenaw County Office of the Public Defender's Internship Program presents an exceptional Opportunity for aspiring legal professionals to delve into the world of criminal defense, gain valuable hands-on experience, and contribute to the pursuit of justice within the community. We invite talented and dedicated student to join us for an enriching and transformative internship experience.  

Program Highlights:

  1. Engaging Legal Experience: Selected applicants will become integral members of high-volume trial lawyer teams, immersing themselves in the practical aspects of the legal profession. As student lawyers and investigators, they will actively participate in all facets of the criminal justice system, including "hands-on" courtroom experience, one-on-one client interactions, and extensive research and writing opportunities.
  2. Courtroom Exposure: Under the direct supervision of experienced trail attorneys, student lawyers may have the chance to appear on the record within the actual courtroom, gaining valuable real-world experience and confidence in their legal abilities. 
  3. Comprehensive Orientations and Reviews: To ensure a rewarding experience, the program conducts in-depth orientations and comprehensive reviews for the Winter/Spring, Summer, and Fall terms, scheduled in January, May, and September, respectively. These sessions are designed to prepare interns for their roles and to address any queries they may have throughout their internship.
  4. Flexible Terms: The program offers internships during the Winter/Springs, Summer, and Fall terms, catering to the availability and academic schedules of potential interns.
  5. Win-Win Collaboration: The internship program proves mutually beneficial for both the student intern and the Washtenaw County Office of the Public Defender. Interns gain practical exposure, honing their legal skills and understanding of the criminal justice system, while the Office benefits from augmenting its capacity to consistently provide top-quality legal representation. additionally, the program aids in reducing operational costs for the Office.

Internship Areas:

Programs Offered:

  • Legal Internships
  • Social Work Internships
  • Investigation Internships
  • Finance and Business Internships

Eligibility and Application Process:

Applicants must be enrolled in law school or an accredited college. They should possess a strong academic record and demonstrate a genuine passion for criminal law and public defense. The application process is competitive, with successful candidates displaying a commitment to justice, integrity, and a desire to make a positive impact in the lives of those they represent. 

Program Capacity:

Each term, the program accommodates an average of approximately 40 interns. This ensures a manageable and enriching experience for each intern, allowing them to receive individualized attention and guidance from experienced attorneys.

Internship Schedules:

Our Internship Program requires that all interns commit to minimum of two days per week, dedicating 4-6 hours each day, resulting in a weekly total of 8-12 hours. for social work and investigator interns, schedules may be subject to variations based on school requirements and the prevailing caseloads at the office.

Interns enjoy the flexibility of coordinating their schedules within our operational hours, which run from Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. Moreover, student lawyers may have the exciting opportunity to collaborate with our Arraignment Division on weekends for weekend arraignments, subject to availability.

Earing Course Credit

At the Washtenaw County Office of the Public Defender, we fully support out Student interns in acquiring course credit through their universities using our Internship Program. Students interested in seeking course credit must take responsibility for coordinating the necessary arrangements with their respective universities, which may involve providing any required documentation or verification.

In cases where students are required to complete a fixed number of volunteer hours as part of their course credit requirements, they must communicate this need to our program coordinators and their assigned supervisors. Our team is committed to assisting students in meeting these requirements, and we will address such situations on a case-by-case basis, ensuring successful and fulfilling experience for all interns. 

Internship Start Date(s)

The Washtenaw County Office of the Public Defender requires all interns to be available to start their internship within one week of their designated orientation date. we understand the importance of a timely commencement to ensure a smooth transition into the program and maximize the learning experience. 

For Interns who are unable to begin within the specified one-week timeframe, we offer the option of being placed on our waitlist for the respective term. While we prioritize accommodating interns who can start on time, we also recognize that circumstances may arise that could affect the start date. by joining the waitlist, interns express their commitment to participating in the program, and we will make every effort to accommodate them as soon as possible if openings become available. Rest assured that we value the dedication of all our interns and strive to create a rewarding and impactful experience for each individual.

The Washtenaw County Office of the Public Defender offers three sessions year-round. 

Tentative Program Dates*
Application Deadline
Orientation Date
WINTER 202301/05/24 - 05/10/2412/15/202301/05/24

*Program dates subject to change

How to Apply

Interested candidates can apply by submitting their updated resume, a compelling cover letter detailing their interest in the program and public defense, short essay, and any other relevant documents. The Office of the Public Defender will review all applications and conduct interviews to select the most qualified candidates for each term. For the link to application process please click: Intern Application.

Our dedicated team is here to assist and guide you through the application process.

Need More information?

If you have any questions or need further information, feel free to reach out to us vis email at [email protected] or call our Program Manager Darren Davis at 734-222-6872. 

We look forward to receiving your application and welcoming you to our esteemed internship program and the Washtenaw County Office of Public Defender.