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Student Internships
Intern Position Description:
Position Title: Investigative Law Intern with the Alternate Defender’s Office   (unpaid internship)

Name and Location of Agency/Department Requesting Intern:
Law Offices of the Orange County Alternate Defender
600 West Santa Ana Boulevard, #600
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Functions of Agency/Department:
The role of the Alternate Defender’s Office is to provide quality representation to clients in an efficient and cost-effective manner.  People who cannot afford to hire a lawyer have the right to a court-appointed lawyer, which in most cases is the Public Defender with a deputy public defender handling the case.  The Alternate Defender is the office that handles cases if the Public Defender is not available for appointment (typically if there is a legal conflict of interest). 

Intern Duties/Responsibilities:
Interns will be assigned to the department’s Investigative Unit and will work with trial attorneys, investigators, paralegals and secretaries.  Areas of law include the defense of all felonies with emphasis on serious or violent felonies, including a high volume of cases involving gang enhancements.  Duties include organizing discovery and assembling trial notes.  Interns will also observe client and witness interviews and take part in case strategy discussion. Interns will be exposed to various resources and databases commonly used to locate witnesses and gather background information.  Interns may assist in preparing subpoenas for police and other agencies.

Educational Requirements:
The internship is best suited for undergraduate students or recent graduates majoring in Criminal Justice, Forensics, Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, Social Ecology, Government Studies or related fields.  In addition, students or recent graduates contemplating law-school or studying for the LSAT will find this internship extremely valuable.

Skills, Training or Qualifications:
Computer skills, especially Microsoft Office Suite, andforeign language skills (Spanish and Vietnamese) are a plus.  Applicants with previous experience working with at-risk populations such as the poor and downtrodden are highly desirable.  This internship is not for the squeamish or faint hearted, but for the philanthropic, intelligent and compassionate.

Time Commitment:
Minimum 12 hours per week for at least one semester or quarter.  Hours may be scheduled Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.  Applicants willing to schedule additional hours or extend the duration of their internship typically gain a more in-dept experience.  Summer internships are available.

Benefits Available to Intern:
Although this is an unpaid position, interns are offered an opportunity to explore career options, build resumes, network with professionals in their fields of interest and gain hands-on experience in a legal setting.  The internship offers students and recent graduates an opportunity to experience real-life situations within a legal office that complement their academic studies and career goals.

Internship Application Process Questions