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Start your legal career in Texas public defense

 

This page provides a list of public defender offices in Texas that have legal internship programs for law school students.

If you are a public defender office that would like to add your office to the page or update any of the information on this page, email info@tidc.texas.gov with the office's information.

Apply for a Legal Internship

Available Periods: Spring; Summer; Fall; Post-Graduation
Experience: Client interviews; Research and writing; Court observation; In-court representation; Identification of social/medical services for clients; Policy
Training: Mixture of both formal and informal/ad hoc training.
Court/Oral Advocacy Experience: Between 25%-35% of their time is spent on this
Timeline: No specific deadline
How to Apply: https://www.dallascounty.org/government/public-defender/application.php
Contact: Paul Blocker, Paul.Blocker@dallascounty.org

Available Periods: Spring; Summer; Fall; Post-Graduation
Experience: Client interviews; Research and writing; Court observation; Investigation; In-court representation; Mitigation; Identification of social/medical services for clients; Policy; Administrative tasks
Training: No formal trainings for interns. The intern’s supervisor trains on an ad hoc/needed basis.
Court/Oral Advocacy Experience: Between 25%-35% of their time is spent on this
How to Apply: https://epcounty.com/hr/careers/internships.htm
Contact: Frank Chelly, Fchelly@epcounty.com

Available Periods: Post-Graduation; Fall; Summer; Spring
Experience: Research and writing; Court observation; Administrative tasks; They observe all aspects of our work, but they have no primary responsibilities over clients and cases.
Training: No, there are no formal trainings for interns. The intern’s supervisor trains on an ad hoc/needed basis.
Court/Oral Advocacy Experience: Between 25%-35% of their time is spent on this.
Timeline: Rolling deadlines. Summer usually picked in Spring.
How to Apply: http://harriscountypublicdefender.org/internships/
Contact: Sarah Wood

Available Periods: Summer and Spring
Experience: Client interviews; Research and writing; Court observation; Investigation; Mitigation
Training: Formal trainings for interns
Court/Oral Advocacy Experience: None
Timeline: Begins recruiting in the Fall of the year prior.
How to apply: http://www.rpdo.org/summer-internship/
Contact: Ray Keith, Chief Public Defender, rkeith@rpdo.org

Available Periods: Spring; Summer; Fall; Post-Graduation; Law grad program pays new graduates while they study and take the bar and they do not have to report to work until after they take the bar. They get paid solely to study and take the test (starting paid fellowship in 2022).
Experience: Client interviews; Research and writing; Court observation; In-court representation; Investigation; Mitigation; Identification of social/medical services for clients; Policy; Administrative tasks
Training: Mixture of both formal training and ad hoc/supervisor training.
Court/Oral Advocacy Experience: Between 35%-50% of their time is spent on this.
Timeline: Fellowships will be posted in Feb 2022
How to Apply: https://www.trla.org/clerkships-internships
Contact: Adriana Rodriguez (adrianarodriguez@trla.org), Director of Recruiting for all of TRLA

Available Periods: Spring; Summer; Fall; Post-Graduation
Experience: Client interviews; Research and writing; Court observation; In-court representation; Investigation; Mitigation; Identification of social/medical services for clients; Policy
Training: No formal trainings for interns, but supervisors train on an ad hoc/needed basis.
Court/Oral Advocacy Experience: Under 25% of their time is spent on this
Timeline: Apply anytime.
How to Apply: Reach out to the contacts below.
Contact: David Bost, david.bost@co.wichita.tx.us, Jarret Noll, jarret.noll@co.wichita.tx.us

Available Periods: Spring; Summer; Fall
Experience: Research and writing; Court observation; Policy
Training: Mixture of both formal and informal/ad hoc training.
Court/Oral Advocacy Experience: None
Timeline: TIDC participates in the annual Public Student Career Fair at Texas Law to recruit summer interns. Interns for Fall and Spring are considered on a rolling basis. TIDC also accepts student in externship placements.
How to Apply: Fill out this application form.
Contact: Nicolas Sawyer, nsawyer@tidc.texas.gov
Pay: Texas Law students may receive up to $6,000 for a full summer internship or $3,000 for a half summer internship (or other amount subject to TIDC's agreement with Texas Law).

Available Periods: Summer (9-weeks)
Experience: Research and writing; Court observation; Client interviews; In-court representation and potential trial experience
Training: Rural criminal practice bootcamp; mixture of formal training and supervisor training
Court/Oral Advocacy Experience: Depends on student's eligibility for Texas student bar card
Timeline: Begins recruiting in the Fall of the year prior
How to Apply: https://www.smu.edu/Law/Centers/Deason-Criminal-Justice-Reform-Center/Work/Action/Rural-Summer-Externship-Program
Contact: Kenitra Brown, Engagement Director, kenitra@mail.smu.edu

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