Internship Opportunities

Legal Internships

About our Office: The Office of the Federal Defender for the District of Connecticut provides zealous and comprehensive legal representation for our clients, protecting their rights and their dignity by raising vigorous legal and factual defenses and telling their unique stories in the most compelling way. In addition to representing individual clients, our office provides ongoing education and training to the criminal defense bar based on our experience and legal scholarship. We promote the ideals established by the Bill of Rights and the Criminal Justice Act to ensure the fair, impartial, and equal administration of justice.  We have two office locations, one in Hartford and one in New Haven.

Legal Internship Program: The Office of the Federal Public Defenders for the District of Connecticut offers unpaid internship positions to students in their first or second year of law school. Our legal internship program provides law students a unique opportunity to learn substantive federal criminal law and how the federal court system operates. Interns will work directly with our dedicated and highly regarded Assistant Federal Defenders. Our summer interns will also participate in bi-weekly Lunch-and-Learn sessions on different aspects of the federal criminal justice system with our attorneys and staff. Internships are available for either one or both semesters in a given school year or during the summer; students are eligible to take both internships if desired. We will work individually with students whose law schools offer credit for internships.

Responsibilities: Legal interns will primarily assist Assistant Federal Defenders with their cases, from arrests to acquittals or sentencings, and appeals. In addition to conducting legal research, drafting motions and reviewing discovery, legal interns will have opportunities to attend court proceedings and visit clients in detention. Legal interns will also have the opportunity to work with our Mitigation Specialists and other professionals to interview clients, their friends and family members in order to develop full social histories of our clients.

How to Apply: Interested students are invited to submit a cover letter, resume and writing sample to with “Law Student Internship” in your subject line. We will notify you to confirm receipt of your completed application. After reviewing your application, you may be contacted to schedule an interview. Interviews are conducted over the phone, unless you are located near our Hartford or New Haven offices, in which case, we may request an in-person interview.

The Office of the Federal Defender for the District of Connecticut is an equal opportunity employer and we encourage people from all backgrounds to apply. Applications are reviewed on a rolling-basis. Students interested in legal defense are encouraged to submit their application as early as possible.