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 summer and school-year internship positions to students in their first, second, and third years of law school. Our legal internship program provides law students a unique opportunity to learn substantive federal criminal law and how it operates in federal courts. Interns will have the opportunity to work directly with our dedicated and highly regarded Assistant Federal Defenders. Our summer interns will also participate in a bi-weekly lunch-and-learn session (summer) where they will learn about different aspects of the Federal Criminal justice system from our attorneys and staff. Each summer, we hire six legal interns – three in our New Haven office and three in our Hartford Office.  During the school year, we hire two legal interns – one in our New Haven office and one in our Hartford office.

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 Kelly_Barrett@fd.org. 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.

Non-Legal Internships

About our Office:

The Office of the Federal Defender for the District of Connecticut provides vigorous and high-quality representation to indigent defendants in the District of Connecticut. Our goal is to ensure that justice in the federal courts is administered to all persons on a fair and equal basis, regardless of race, creed, national origin or socio-economic status.

Non-Legal Internship Program:

The Office of the Federal Public Defenders for the District of Connecticut offers unpaid summer and school-year internship positions to students in college and in Master’s level programs, including Master’s in Social Work programs. Our internship program provides students a unique opportunity to learn how to interview clients and witnesses and draft social history memoranda; how to conduct social science research; how to review and analyze evidence; and how to navigate mental health and substance abuse treatment processes. Interns will have the opportunity to work directly with our dedicated and highly regarded Assistant Federal Defenders, paralegals, investigators, and mitigation specialist. Interns will be supervised on a day-to-day basis by the mitigation specialist. Each school-year and summer, we hire three interns – two in our New Haven office and one in our Hartford Office.

Responsibilities:

Interns will primarily assist the legal teams with their cases, from arrest to acquittal or sentencing, and appeals. Interns will have the opportunity to work with our Mitigation Specialist to interview clients and their friends and family members in order to develop a full social history of our clients. Interns will review and digest records and conduct social science research, as well as review and analyze substantive factual evidence. Interns will draft social history and collateral interview memoranda as well as record digests and other written material as needed.

How to Apply:

Interested students are invited to submit a cover letter, resume and writing sample to Maria_Sommer@fd.org. 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. A student interested in legal defense is encouraged to submit their application as early as possible.