New Hampshire Public Defender employs legal interns who have completed their second year of law school. These full-time, ten-week internships usually run from the beginning of June until early to mid-August. These are unpaid positions, but many interns are able to secure grants or outside funding. Students are reimbursed for on the job mileage. All interns must have a driver’s license and insured vehicle.
Legal interns are treated like lawyers rather than “law clerks.” They handle misdemeanor and juvenile cases under attorney supervision. Interns have extensive client contact. They appear on the record and represent clients at bail hearings, scheduling conferences, review hearings, motion hearings, and trials. In addition, interns may have the opportunity to co-counsel a jury trial. By the end of the summer, interns entering their third year of law school have a firm understanding of what it is like to be a public defender.
Successful applicants for legal internship positions have excellent grades and have demonstrated their commitment to indigent criminal defense through volunteer, internship, or clinical experiences during law school. NHPD limits its intern class to insure that each intern is well-supported and supervised.