VOLUNTEER LEGAL INTERNSHIPS AND POST BAR PROGRAMS
Summer and Spring Legal Internship Programs
Our office is committed to providing the highest quality legal representation to our indigent population. Your desire to help us accomplish our mission is dearly appreciated. The primary goal of our summer and spring Legal Internship Programs is to utilize the skill of exceptional law students to protect and defend the rights of our indigent clients. To accomplish this goal, we provide training that focuses on the processes of our law office, ethics of legal practice, trial advocacy, and a general introduction to criminal defense. The Summer Law Clerk Program will commence on May 22, 2017, and run through August 11, 2017. The Spring Law Clerk Program starts on January 16, 2018, and ends on April 6, 2018. Positions are available in our Santa Maria and Santa Barbara offices. Participants who qualify will be certified pursuant to California Rules of Court, Rule 9.42(c), and, as such, will be permitted to make supervised appearances in the Superior Court. Students who do not meet the State Bar requirement for certification will assist attorneys with research and writing motions, Holistic Defense practice, post-conviction issues, trial preparation, and special projects. All participants in our Summer and Spring Legal Internship Programs are required to make a three-day-per-week commitment throughout the programs.
The Legal Internship Programs are designed to teach students the fundamentals of criminal defense practice. It is our expectation that upon completion of the Summer or Spring Internship Program, participants will have interacted with clients, participated in court hearings, researched and written (and potentially argued) legal motions for the benefit of our clients.
Our Public Defender's Office actively seeks law students from diverse backgrounds. This includes diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic class, physical abilities, religious beliefs, and political beliefs. We also value and seek applicants who are bilingual and bicultural.
Funding for Summer and Spring Legal Internships
Internships are, for the most part, unpaid positions; however, the experience volunteers receive is priceless. Applicants are encouraged to avail themselves to the many funding resources available for students interested in public interest internships including Federal Work Study, Public Interest Work Study, Public Interest Law Foundation Grants, and other grants or fellowships offered by law schools and private foundations. Please consult your school's Career Services or counselors to take advantage of the many grants and programs available.
Summer and Spring Legal Internship Application Process
Please review the above requirements for Legal Internship Program qualifications, including the time commitment to assure you are eligible for the program. The application deadline for the Summer Internship Program is April 6, 2017. The application deadline for the next Spring Internship Program is November 3, 2017. Please address your cover letter to Deputy Public Defender Michael Hanley and email your cover letter and resume to Jill Ricotta at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fall and Spring Post Bar Programs
Applicants for Post Bar Programs should be passionate about representing our low-income clients whose civil, statutory, and constitutional rights may otherwise be marginalized. We are looking for applicants with strong research and writing skills, a penchant for oral advocacy, a strong work ethic, and dedication to learning and applying the best evidenced-based practices in pubic defense advocacy. The goal of our Post Bar Programs is also to assist our attorneys in providing the best quality legal representation to our clientele. We also want to assist our Post Bar participants in their transition from the classroom to the courtroom. The program will commence with extensive trial skills training taught by experienced trial lawyers. Additionally, Post Bar participants are encouraged to attend our regularly scheduled high-level criminal defense litigation trainings taught by nationally recognized trial lawyers and highly respected experts. We seek to create an environment conducive to learning and gaining as much practical experience as possible. Our select group of Post Bar participants must be certified pursuant to California Rules of Court, Rule 9.42(c). Post Bar participants may be afforded the opportunity to work individually with misdemeanor clients in the trial courts under the supervision of seasoned trial deputy public defenders. Additionally, Post Bar participants may be paired with a felony trial attorney/mentor and work with that mentor on complex litigation issues in preparation for trial or other hearings.
The Fall Post Bar Program will start on August 14, 2017, and finish on November 17, 2017. The next Spring Post Bar Program will begin February 26, 2018, and complete on May 18, 2018.
Post Bar participants must attend and graduate from an ABA-approved law school, must be certified by the California State Bar for the Practical Training of Legal Students (PTLS) [link to PTLS section below] and must commit to at least four full days per week. Post Bar participants will not be permitted to work more than 40 hours per week.
Our Public Defender's Office is looking for Post Bar graduates from diverse backgrounds. This includes diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic class, physical abilities, religious beliefs, and political beliefs. We also value and seek applicants who are bilingual and bicultural.
While funding for the Fall and Spring Post Bar Programs is unavailable at this time, we encourage you to consult your school's Career Services or counselors to locate and take advantage of the many grants and public interest fellowships that may be available.
Post Bar Application Process
Please review the above requirements for the Post Bar Program qualifications, including the time commitment to verify you are eligible for the program. The application deadline for the Summer Post Bar Program is June 9, 2017. The application deadline for the Spring Post Bar Program is November 3, 2017. Please address your cover letter to Deputy Public Defender Michael Hanley and email your cover letter and resume to Jill Ricotta at email@example.com.
California State Bar PTLS Certification
The California State Bar permits law students to speak on behalf of clients in court as long as they qualify for "Practical Training of Legal Students" (PTLS) certification. This is accomplished by applying to the California State Bar. A student must have completed one full year of law school (270 hours) at an American Bar Association (ABA) or State Bar of California accredited law school or passed the First Year Law Student's Exam (FYLSE).
The student must also be enrolled in, or completed, Evidence and Civil Procedure courses. If you are accepted into the program, our office will assist you in submitting the paperwork for PTLS certification to the California State Bar. Students must be enrolled with Calbar before applying for PTLS. More information on the requirements and certification process can be found at www.calbar.ca.gov .