Criminal Law Externship Placements
Click on the accordion tabs below to learn more about the criminal law placements in capital, criminal, juvenile, or post-conviction defense or in prosecution listed in the chart.
|Other Specialty||Criminal Defense||Capital Defense||Prosecution|
|Innocence Project New Orleans||Jefferson Parish Public Defenders||Capital Appeals Project||Jefferson Parish District Attorney's Office|
|Louisiana Center for Children's Rights||Orleans Public Defenders||Louisiana Capital Assistance Center||U.S. Attorney's Office|
|The Promise of Justice Initiative (PJI)|
|Vera Institute of Justice|
Capital Appeals Project (CAP)
The Capital Appeals Project is a non-profit law office founded in 2001 to provide representation to capital defendants on direct appeal to the Louisiana Supreme Court and on certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. One of the leading death penalty appeals offices in the country, CAP has represented clients in several recent cases before the Supreme Court of the United States, including Kennedy v. Louisiana and Snyder v. Louisiana. CAP provides high-quality representation in the state and federal courts throughout Louisiana, and acts as a resource to public defenders and criminal defense lawyers across the state. Externs with CAP assist attorneys with all aspects of the office's capital appellate litigation.
Federal Public Defenders
The Federal Public Defender is an office of criminal defense attorneys representing individuals charged with federal crimes in the Eastern District of Louisiana. Externs at this placement gain an in-depth understanding of criminal law practice in federal court and the federal criminal justice system overall. In addition to extensive legal research and writing, externs observe criminal court proceedings and conduct jail house visits. This experience will also provide work experience and networking opportunities with other public defenders and federal practitioners.
Innocence Project New Orleans (IPNO)
Innocence Project New Orleans (IPNO) frees innocent, life-sentenced prisoners, supports its clients living well and fully in the world after their release, and advocates for sensible criminal justice policies that reduce wrongful convictions. Since 2001, IPNO has freed or exonerated 36 innocent prisoners who served over 830 years in prison between them in Louisiana and Mississippi.
Externs are paired with staff members to ensure close supervision and feedback, as well as a variety of assignments. Every externship is different, depending on the needs of current clients and cases, but externs generally assist with factual investigation and legal research and writing assignments related to the office's post-conviction litigation.
External Application Instructions & Deadlines:
- Term-Time Externships: Students interested in a term-time externship should follow the instructions and deadlines posted at https://ip-no.org/interning-at-ipno/. Past postings for term-time externships have included a December 1st deadline for spring externships.
- Summer Externships: Students interested in a term-time externship should follow the instructions and deadlines posted at https://ip-no.org/law-student-summer-clerkship/. Past deadlines for summer externships have been February 1st.
Location: 4051 Ulloa Street, New Orleans, LA 70119
Jefferson Parish Public Defenders (24th JDC)
The Jefferson Parish Public Defender's Office represents indigent defendants facing criminal proceedings before the 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna, Louisiana. Externs with the Jefferson Parish Public Defender's Office assist with all aspects of litigation, including client interviews, investigation, motions practice, and trial preparation.
Louisiana Capital Assistance Center (LCAC)
LCAC represents indigent individuals who are charged with capital crimes in Louisiana at the trial level, in both state and federal court. LCAC's representation at trial is client-centered, focused on its clients’ needs and expressed desires and the manner in which its clients view and understand their own cases. LCAC respects its client’s autonomy regarding the conduct of their case.
Externs at LCAC assist staff attorneys and staff mitigators/investigators in all aspects of its work, including the following types of assignments: locate, obtain, organize and process relevant records and other documents; conduct legal research and draft pleadings; read and digest transcripts; gather and analyze statistical data; conduct social science and other research; monitor court proceedings; participate in case strategy sessions; visit and interview clients; locate and interview witnesses; assist in locating and preparing expert witnesses.
Louisiana Center for Children's Rights (LCCR)
LCCR is a nonprofit law office that defends young people in Louisiana’s juvenile justice system through both direct representation and policy advocacy. LCCR serves as the juvenile public defender office for Orleans Parish.
Legal externs at LCCR assist attorneys in all aspects of litigation defending juveniles in delinquency proceedings in keeping with the organization's mission of providing holistic, skilled, and client-directed representation. Duties include including performing legal research, conducting factual investigation, drafting of memoranda and motions, analyzing discovery materials, preparing briefs, assisting with dispositional and community reentry advocacy and planning. Students may also assist in representation of juvenile clients in collateral areas impacting delinquency proceedings such as advocacy in the areas of school discipline, housing, government benefits and the mental health system. Externs will also be able to participate in LCCR's state and local juvenile justice reform efforts aimed at reducing juvenile incarceration and increasing opportunities for rehabilitation through developmentally-appropriate community-based services. This placement provides many opportunities to observe juvenile court proceedings, engage in client interaction, and develop a deeper understanding of both the juvenile and criminal justice systems.
Location: 1100-B Milton St, New Orleans, LA 70122
Orleans Public Defenders
OPD’s mission is to fight for its clients by providing excellent client-centered representation, reforming the system, and partnering with the community. The office represents nearly 20,000 people each year utilizing a client-centered, community-oriented defense model that puts the client first and takes a 360 degree approach to advocacy and representation. OPD recognizes its clients are unique individuals and works to address their needs both in and out of court. Its diverse staff includes adult and juvenile attorneys; social workers; client, youth and parent advocates; investigators and administrators all working together for equal justice for the office's clients, their families, the community and a better New Orleans.
OPD legal externs assist attorneys in all aspects of criminal litigation including performing legal research, conducting factual investigation, drafting of memoranda and motions, analyzing discovery materials and preparing briefs.
The Promise of Justice Initiative (PJI)
The Promise of Justice Initiative (PJI) is a New Orleans based nonprofit that works to create positive
change for people in the criminal justice at the intersection of direct services, impact litigation, and
community engagement. We believe in a world where our justice system values each person; a world where the system supports rehabilitation, and a world where we approach justice with a lens of healing and restoration for those who are harmed. This world will be safer and more secure for all people.
Vera Institute of Justice
Vera's work in New Orleans began in 2006, when the City Council invited us to assess the criminal justice system and propose reforms as part of post-Katrina recovery efforts. Since then, we have become a nexus for advancing evidence-based reform and have demonstrated that change is not only possible but within reach. In partnership with people leading and working in the local justice system, city leaders, and community organizations, we are working to end unnecessary detention and develop innovative, collaborative projects that improve the delivery of justice in New Orleans.
Voice Of The Experienced (VOTE)
Voice of the Experienced (VOTE) is a grassroots organization founded and run by formerly incarcerated people, their families, and allies. VOTE is dedicated to restoring the full human and civil rights of those most impacted by the criminal (in)justice system. VOTE members have the experience, expertise and power to improve public safety in New Orleans and beyond without relying on mass incarceration.Through civic engagement and policy reform, VOTE increasingly mobilizes a strong group of leaders to transform the movement for the elimination of the carceral state. Legal externs with VOTE assist with the legal policy work and community outreach, education, and organizing that is central to the organization's work.
Jefferson Parish District Attorney's Office
The mission of the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office is to ensure that justice is served by protecting the citizens of Jefferson Parish without regard to race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or socio-economic status. The office is committed to protecting Jefferson Parish citizens by fairly prosecuting those who commit crime and assisting those who are unfortunate victims. While the goal of the office is to vigorously prosecute violent and habitual offenders, JPDA is also committed to crime prevention through the implementation of innovative programs designed to break the cycle of crime. Externs assist the office's prosecutors with all aspects of their work.
Location: 200 Derbigny St, Gretna, LA 70053
Orleans Parish District Attorney's Civil Rights Division
The Jesuit Social Research Institute's new attorney fellow, Bidish Sarma, is working directly with the Orleans Parish District Attorney's Civil Rights Division and its director, Emily Maw, to identify and redress excessive sentences imposed on individuals prosecuted here. The need is substantial: Louisiana has punitive sentencing laws; Orleans Parish has long had one of the highest incarceration rates in the world; and the District Atoorney's office historically has often failed to meet its constitutional obligations to criminal defendants. The work will involve identifying incarcerated individuals who have already been imprisoned for decades. The fellow and students will gather and review individual case files to identify avenues through which the Division can address concerns about the constitutionality of certain existing sentences and convictions.
Location: 619 S White St, New Orleans, LA 70119
U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana
The mission of the USAO for the Eastern District of Louisiana is to protect and serve all residents of Southeast Louisiana through enforcement of the laws of the United States. The lawyers and staff work hard every day to defend national security, improve the safety and quality of life in all communities of the jurisdiction through enforcement of federal laws, and protect the public funds of the United States. The office also serves the community through a variety of outreach programs, community resources, and victim-witness services. Legal externs assist prosecutors in the office with all aspects of litigation.