State of Alaska

Department of Administration

Public Defender Agency

Alaska Department of Administration, Public Defender Agency
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Intern Program

The Alaska Public Defender Agency provides an exciting and challenging internship experience for students who have completed their second year of law school (or, half the coursework required towards graduation).  Students must also have completed a course in evidence prior to their internship.  Students are placed in one of our thirteen offices, located in:  Anchorage, Barrow, Bethel, Dillingham, Fairbanks, Juneau, Kenai, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Kotzebue, Nome, Palmer and Sitka.  Under our state’s student practice rule, students can receive a permit to appear in court and represent clients in misdemeanor matters.  Interns in each of our locations represent clients, in court, in bail hearings, arraignments, and misdemeanor sentencing.  They may also represent clients in evidentiary hearings, trials, juvenile delinquency hearings, and other hearings.  They may negotiate cases, visit clients in jail, write motions, and help staff attorneys as needed.

In addition to representing indigent persons in criminal cases, the Public Defender Agency also handles certain civil matters.  The Agency represents parents in child in need of aid cases, juveniles in delinquency cases, and persons in mental health commitment proceedings.  Interns may work on these civil cases.  Additionally, there is one summer internship in Anchorage for a student who solely works in the civil section. There is also one position each summer for a parole intern.  This student works in the Anchorage office, with the parole attorney, and represents clients charged with violating their parole.

The Agency also has an opening for an intern or extern to work in the Anchorage office from roughly January 15 to April 15 as a legislative intern; these dates are somewhat flexible.  The intern works closely with the Public Defender and advises the Public Defender on proposed legislation affecting the work of the Agency.  The position involves legal and policy research.  The intern also attends legislative hearings either in person or telephonically.

We require a 12-week work commitment from our interns, although the actual dates a student works is dependent on their own academic schedule.  The Agency employs summer interns and interns or externs during the academic year.  Externs may receive academic credit under the guidelines established by the sponsoring law school.  Student interns are not paid a salary, but do receive round-trip airfare.  Interns and externs may be placed in any of our 13 office locations.

Summer intern hiring begins in September, and extends until all of our positions are filled, which can be until the end of March or beginning of April.  Interested students should send to the Anchorage office address, or e-mail, a cover letter, resume, reference, and writing sample to Sharon Barr, sharon.barr@alaska.gov (907-334-4461).