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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.

Prosecution Other Specialty Criminal Defense Capital Defense
District Attorney's Office - 23rd JDC Innocence Project New Orleans Federal Public Defender - Eastern District of Louisiana Capital Appeals Project
District Attorney's Office - Harris County, TX Louisiana Center for Children's Rights Orleans Public Defenders Capital Defense Project of Southeast Louisiana
District Attorney's Office - Jefferson Parish The Promise of Justice Initiative (PJI) Public Defender's Office - 15th JDC Louisiana Capital Assistance Center
District Attorney's Office - Jefferson Parish Juvenile Division Vera Institute of Justice Public Defender's Office - Jefferson Parish  
District Attorney's Office - Monterey County, CA Voice of the Experienced (VOTE)    
District Attorney's Office - Ouachita Parish      
District Attorney's Office - Second Circuit Court, MS      
District Attorney's Office - Suffolk County, MA      
Orleans Parish District Attorney's Civil Rights Division       
U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana      

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.

Application Instructions:

  • Send cover letter, resume, writing sample, and three references to capvolunteer@thejusticecenter.org

Location: 1024 Elysian Fields Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117

Website: https://capitalappealsproject.org/

Capital Defense Project of Southeast Louisiana

The Capital Defense Project represents clients throughout Louisiana from its office in New Orleans. The Capital Defense Project is committed to provide high quality legal representation for its clients. Investigators, mitigation specialists, and administrative personnel support 11 attorneys at the Project. Staff is regularly trained in the latest developments of law, jury selection techniques, forensic sciences, the use of expert witnesses, and other pertinent areas. The Capital Defense Project is also committed to improving the quality of capital defense in Louisiana. Through training sessions and consultation, the Capital Defense Project staff shares its knowledge and experience with other capital defenders. Through recruitment, the Capital Defense Project is developing a new corps of well-trained capital defenders.

Application Instructions:

  • Prepare a cover letter, a resume, and a writing sample.

Location3801 Canal St # 325, New Orleans, LA 70119

Website: lpdb.la.gov

Federal Public Defender - Eastern District of Louisiana

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.

Application Instructions:

  • Prepare a cover letter, a resume, a writing sample, and your transcript.

Location: 500 Poydras Street, Hale Boggs Federal Building, Suite 318, New Orleans, LA 70130

Website: https://lae.fd.org

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.

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

Website: https://ip-no.org

    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.

    Application Instructions:

    • Send cover letter, resume, writing sample, and three references to capvolunteer@thejusticecenter.org

    Location:  636 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA 70113

    Website: http://www.thejusticecenter.org/lcac

    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.

    Application Instructions:

    • Prepare a cover letter, a resume, a writing sample, and your transcript.
    • OSEL will forward application materials to Externship Coordinator via email.
    • During Summer, only full summer, full-time placements accepted

    Location: 1100-B Milton St, New Orleans, LA 70122

    Website: http://www.laccr.org 

    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. 

    Application Instructions:

    • Prepare a cover letter, a resume, and a writing sample.

    Location: 2601 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans, LA  70119

    Website: https://www.opdla.org 

    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.

    Application Instructions:

    • Prepare a cover letter, a resume, and a writing sample.

    Location: 1024 Elysian Fields, New Orleans, LA 70116

    Website: https://promiseofjustice.org/

    Public Defender's Office - 15th JDC

    The Public Defender Program of the 15th Judicial District is a client centered public legal services program, created as a governmental subdivision devoted to the vindication of the Right to Counsel. The office will center upon what is best for the client, including the implementation of best practices of reform, supervision, and expanded vision of the Public Defender Profession, with a firm commitment to fiscal responsibility and respect for victims as well as other professionals in the Criminal Justice System.

    Application Instructions:

    • Prepare a cover letter, a resume, and a writing sample.

    Location: 516 NW Court Cir, Crowley, LA 70526

    Website: 15jdpdo.org

    Public Defender's Office - Jefferson Parish (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.

    Application Instructions:

    • Students can send cover letter and resume directly to Paul Fleming at:
    • Paul C. Fleming, Jr
      Attorney at Law
      Jefferson Parish Public Defender's Office
      848 2nd St
      Gretna, LA 70053
    • OR OR via email to: paul.fleming@mindspring.com
    • OR materials can be forwarded by OSEL

    Location: 848 2nd Street, Third Floor, Gretna, LA 70053

    Website: http://lpdb.la.gov/

    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.

    Application Instructions:

    • Prepare a cover letter, a resume, and a writing sample.

    Website: https://www.vera.org/centers/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.

    Application Instructions:

    • Prepare a cover letter, a resume, a writing sample, and references.
    • Apply directly to Professor Finger with materials addressed to Will Harrell

    Location: 2022 St. Bernard Ave, Suite 307, New Orleans, LA 70117

    Website: https://www.voiceoftheexperienced.org/

    District Attorney's Office - 23rd JDC

    The 23rd JDA has the responsibility and authority to investigate and prosecute crimes in the parishes of Ascension, Assumption and St. James. In addition, this office handles a wide variety of other matters within the district including child support enforcement, juvenile matters, and the civil representation of most of the public entities located in the 23rd Judicial District. Ricky Babin, who was elected twice by the residents of that tri-parish area, is the District Attorney. Joining District Attorney Babin is a team of Assistant District Attorneys, Researchers, Investigators and Administrative and Support staff, all focused on one common goal, – the full and effective prosecutions of criminals in order to keep our tri-parish area the safest it can be.

    Application Instructions:

    • Prepare a cover letter, a resume, and a writing sample.

    Location: 1028 W Worthey St, Gonzales, LA 70737

    Website: 23rdda.org

    District Attorney's Office - Harris County, TX

    The Harris County District Attorney's Office is dedicated to making its community safer through evidence-based prosecution and equal justice for all.  This means guaranteeing a fair process to obtain a just result for the victim, the accused and the community in every case. HCDAO is guided by a core set of principles that shape policy change and resulted in the implementation of new program initiatives. Because difficult decisions arise every day during the administration of justice, the District Attorney and staff rely upon these principles in seeking fair and equal justice for the people of Harris County.

    Application Instructions:

    • Prepare a cover letter, a resume, and a writing sample.

    Location500 Jefferson St Suite #600, Houston, TX 77002

    Website: app.dao.hctx.net

    District Attorney's Office - Jefferson Parish

    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.

    Application Instructions:

    • Prepare a cover letter, a resume, and a writing sample.
    • Address cover letter to: 
    • Mary Clauss
      Operations Manager
      District Attorney’s Office
      Jefferson Parish
      200 Derbigny St.
      Gretna, La. 70053
    • Mary prefers to receive the application via email at mvclauss@jpda.us

    Location: 200 Derbigny St, Gretna, LA 70053

    Website: www.jpda.us 

    District Attorney's Office - Jefferson Parish Juvenile Division

    The Juvenile Division handles all legal matters concerning juveniles. These cases include neglect and dependency, child status offenders, juvenile traffic offenders, as well as juvenile delinquency matters. Additionally, cases involving child support are filed and maintained pursuant to Section IV-D of the Social Security Act. The Juvenile Division handles both civil and criminal matters. The two types of civil cases include Child in Need of Care, which are submitted by the Department of Children and Family Services, and Families in Need of Services, which can be sought individually or pursued when referred by local law enforcement agencies or schools.

    Application Instructions:

    • Prepare a cover letter, a resume, and a writing sample.

    Location: 1546 Gretna Boulevard Harvey, Louisiana 70058

    Website: jpda.us/departments/criminal/juvenile/

    District Attorney's Office - Monterey County, CA

    The mission of the Monterey County District Attorney's Office is to promote justice, ensure that the rights of victims are upheld by treating them with dignity, respect and compassion, and aggressively and fairly prosecuting those who violate the law. This office provides an environment that is positive and courteous and employs individuals of high ethical standards, character and professional courage. The Monterey County District Attorney's Office maintains public confidence by providing efficient and effective services and encouraging open communication to promote the best interests of the community.

    Application Instructions:

    • Prepare a cover letter, a resume, and a writing sample.

    Location: 1200 Aguajito Rd.  Room 301, Monterey, California 93940

    Websitehttps://www.co.monterey.ca.us/government/departments-a-h/district-attorney

    District Attorney's Office - Ouachita Parish

    The mission of the District Attorney’s office is to ensure the ethical and efficient prosecution of criminal offenders in Ouachita and Morehouse parishes. These offices are staffed by 28 Assistant District Attorneys who handle matters varying from collection of child support obligations to prosecution of violent felonies. The District Attorney’s office has a team of more than 75 employees who work hard to prepare files for court and assist the public with various needs. Both the Morehouse and Ouachita parish offices have someone dedicated to assisting the public with filing for protective orders and seeking protection from abuse. There are Victim Assistance Coordinators in both offices who are ready to assist crime victims with understanding the court process and seeking restitution for financial losses. The juvenile office handles the prosecution of juvenile criminal offenders, as well as, working with families in need of care. The District Attorney’s office purpose is to see to the safety our of communities and families.

    Application Instructions:

    • Prepare a cover letter, a resume, and a writing sample.

    Location: 400 St. John Street, Monroe, LA, 71201

    Website: 4thda.org

    District Attorney's Office - Second Circuit Court, MS

    The mission of the District Attorney’s Office is to pursue justice and protect the people of Harrison, Hancock and Stone County by aggressively and fairly prosecuting those who violate the law. Our team is dedicated to providing the citizens of our community with a safe place to live by holding the guilty accountable, protecting the innocent, and safeguarding the rights and dignity of victims and their families.

    Application Instructions:

    • Prepare a cover letter, a resume, and a writing sample.

    Location: 1801 23rd Avenue, Gulfport, MS, 39502

    Websitehttps://harrisoncountyms.gov/goverment/district_attorney/index.php

    District Attorney's Office - Suffolk County, MA

    The key policies at the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office include Intervention and Prevention, Diversion, Specialty Courts, Firearm Rapid Indictment Program, The Boston FIRST Task Force, Programming for Returning Citizens, Police and Prosecutor Accountability and Transparency, The Services Over Sentences (SOS) program and Mass and Cass, and Suffolk Restorative Justice Program. Read more about these policies here.

    Application Instructions:

    • Prepare a cover letter, a resume, and a writing sample.

    Location1 Bulfinch Pl, Boston, MA 02114

    Website: suffolkdistrictattorney.com

    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.

    Application Instructions:

    • Prepare a cover letter, a resume, and a writing sample.

    Location: 619 S White St, New Orleans, LA 70119

    Website: https://orleansda.com/divisions/civil-rights/

    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.

    Application instructions:

    • Prepare a cover letter, resume, official law school transcript, and legal writing sample.
    • Date when you are available and provide telephone number(s) where a student can be reached in the day and evenings.
    • Address to: 
    • U.S. Attorney's Office Eastern District of Louisiana
      Operations Manager
      The Poydras Center 650 Poydras Street, Suite 1600
      New Orleans, LA 70130
      ATTN: Alana Chester, Human Resources Specialist
    • Email: USALAE.JobsLawClerks@usdoj.gov
    • Applications by e-mail highly preferred.

    Location: 650 Poydras Street, Suite 1600, New Orleans, LA  70130

    Website: https://www.justice.gov/usao-edla