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Legal Internship Program
The Office is managed by the Federal Public Defender, who oversees offices located in Alexandria, Richmond and Norfolk, Virginia. Each of these offices is staffed by, among others, Assistant Federal Public Defenders (“AFPD”), research and writing attorneys, sentencing specialists, investigators, paralegals, and various support personnel. The AFPDs, together with the above staff, handle caseloads comprised of federal misdemeanors, felonies, probation and supervised release violations, grand jury representations, direct appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and petitions for writs of certiorari to and arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Each office also has a limited number of placements for non-salaried legal interns. Interns have the unique opportunity to receive hands-on experience in the preparation of the defense of criminal cases in federal court. Interns may be asked to conduct legal research, draft motions, memoranda, and appellate briefs and/or habeas corpus petitions. They also might be asked to assist with trial preparation and investigation, including client/witness interviews, visiting the crime scene, and helping the attorneys in planning case strategy. Moreover, interns are encouraged to observe court proceedings.
Interns are assigned to work directly with one or more AFPDs, who along with the Federal Public Defender, will supervise their work. Interns will receive informal feedback from their attorneys, and if requested, a formal evaluation of their performance at the end of the term. Interns also may be invited to attend informal lectures on criminal practice in federal court.
All interns are expected to commit to working a specific number of hours per week. Approximately twenty hours per week is the norm during the school year, and approximately forty hours per week for the summer months. Law students of any year may apply for an internship, but preference will be given to second and third year students. Interns will be selected on the basis of their past work or school experiences, their desire to work in this Office, their demonstrated level of maturity and competence, as well as the level of commitment they are prepared to make to the work of the Office.
Persons interested in applying for a legal intern position must complete the internship application and submit it, along with: (1) a current resume, (2) a writing sample, (3) an official or unofficial law school transcript, and (4) a cover letter (as described in the application).
There is no application deadline for school-year internships. The application deadline for summer 2022 internships is February 25, 2022. All application materials should be forwarded to the office (or offices) in which the applicant is interested in working.
For the Alexandria Office, materials and inquiries should be directed to AFPD Elizabeth Mullin (703-600-0879 Elizabeth_Mullin@fd.org).
For the Richmond Office, materials and inquiries should be directed to AFPD Mary Maguire (804-565-0860; email@example.com).
For the Norfolk Office, materials and inquiries should be directed to AFPD Amanda Conner (757-457-0816; firstname.lastname@example.org).
Applicants and inquiries should indicate in which office or offices you would be willing to work, and the amount of time (twenty hours per week, forty hours per week, or more) to which you are able to commit. Intern positions are filled on a rolling admissions policy.