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Intern Position Description
Position Title: Legal Assistant/Law Clerk with the Alternate Defenderís Office (unpaid internship)
Name and Location of Agency/Department Requesting Intern:
Law Offices of the Orange County Alternate Defender
Superior Court Office
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Functions of Agency/Department:
The role of the Public Defenderís 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).
Work with trial attorneys and support staff in the Superior Court office in Santa Ana. 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 assisting trial attorneys in all facets of case preparation, including legal research and drafting of memoranda and motions, organizing trial discovery, assisting with creation of PowerPoint presentations for opening statement and closing argument and logistical support for counsel in the court room during trial.
Educational Requirements: Only law students will be considered for placement. Because of the high volume of serious felonies, second- and third-year law students are preferred for legal externships.
Skills, Training or Qualifications:
Computer skills are necessary and foreign language skills especially Spanish and Vietnamese are a big plus. This internship is not for the squeamish or faint hearted, but for the big hearted, intelligent and compassionate.
Minimum 12 hours per week for at least one semester or quarter. Hours may be scheduled Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Applicants willing to schedule additional hours or extend the duration of their internship typically gain a more in-depth experience.
Benefits Available to Intern:
Although this is an unpaid internship, law students are offered an excellent opportunity to explore career options, build resumes, network with professionals in their fields of interest and gain hands-on experience. The office has been approved for externships for credit by most local law schools.