× Close
303-764-1400 Applying for a Public Defender

2L & 3L Positions

2L/3L Certified Internship

Do you want to represent clients in court? Do you want to be paid to do it? After your second year of law school, you will have the exciting opportunity to serve our clients directly.

The Colorado Supreme Court certifies law students interning for our offices to practice in court as if they were licensed attorneys. Under the supervision of a licensed public defender, certified interns prepare cases outside of court and conduct pre-trial and post-trial hearings and sometimes jury trials. This demanding internship is an extraordinary opportunity to receive intensive courtroom advocacy experience. Summer certified interns participate in a weeklong rigorous training program before they begin their internship. Certified interns are assigned a caseload of misdemeanor, traffic or juvenile delinquency cases.

OSPD Offers 24 Paid Certified 2L Positions Each Summer

While our offices host 2L and 3L students throughout the year, we offer 24 paid positions each summer to certified interns, and another 30+ unpaid spots. Our appellate division also offers paid summer internships.

Getting Certified

Certified intern positions are available for law students who have completed their second year of 60 credit hours at an accredited law school, are eligible for certification under Colorado’s student practice rule, and have submitted the Certificate of Eligibility Form to the Colorado Supreme Court Attorney Registration Office.

How to Apply for a Summer Internship

For summer trial positions, please submit a resume and cover letter to Blanca Macias, Blanca.Macias@coloradodefenders.us. Include in your email a list of trial offices where you are willing to be assigned next summer. Flexibility in office assignment, particularly availability to be assigned outside of the Denver metro area, is an important factor in being selected for a paid position.

How to Apply for Fall and Spring Semester Internships

Off-summer semesters are perfect times to engage in a certified internship with any of our offices. These semesters are longer than the summer session and therefore provide you with an opportunity to establish and exercise a new set of skills that you will use in your future public defender career. Many summer interns choose to stay on to see out their clients’ cases.

To apply, submit a resume and cover letter directly the offices of your preference. Contacts for each office are listed here. If you apply to more than one, please indicate that in your applications.

Appellate Internships

Applying for Appellate Internships Interns in the Appellate Division work on a variety of research and writing projects for attorneys in the Division under the direction of the intern coordinator. Qualified applicants must possess excellent research and writing skills and have successfully completed courses in criminal law and criminal procedure. The Appellate Division typically hosts interns after their second year of law studies.

Learn More