Criminal Defense Practice Legal Intern - Spring 2019

Job Type

Full Time



Start Date


Application Deadline



Headquarters: 199 Water Street
New York
United States


The Legal Aid Society, the nation's oldest and largest social justice legal services organization, has non-paid, Spring 2019 legal internships for the Criminal Defense Practice throughout the city. The Criminal Defense Practice is the primary public defender in New York City, providing holistic, client-centered representation to over 200,000 people facing misdemeanor, felony, and homicide charges. Staff Attorneys will provide zealous advocacy and handle all aspects of criminal defense from arraignment through trial. We are seeking dynamic, passionate, and creative legal interns committed to our mission.

The Criminal Defense Practice is made up of the trial offices and specialized units including:

  • The Exploitation Intervention Project (EIP) provides direct representation and comprehensive services to individuals charged with prostitution-related offenses and survivors of trafficking facing prosecution for other offenses in New York City's criminal courts. Using New York's landmark Vacating Convictions law, EIP also represents trafficking survivors eligible to have their criminal records cleared. EIP is the first effort by a public defender program to address the systemic criminalization of victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation.
  • The Criminal Appeals Bureau (CAB) interns will represent felony defendants seeking sentence reduction and misdemeanor defendants seeking dismissal of the accusatory instrument; interns also provide parole advocacy for inmates serving lengthy (25+ yrs) prison terms. Interns may also have the opportunity to argue in their misdemeanor appeals in the Appellate Term and to second-seat at Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) hearings in the trial courts.
  • The Prisoners' Rights Project has served for decades as a leading advocate of humane and constitutional conditions in the New York City jails and State prisons, conducting federal civil rights litigation and engaging in legislative and administrative advocacy on behalf of persons in custody. Recent litigation addresses correction officer brutality in the City's Rikers Island jails; sexual abuse of women prisoners in State facilities; and the safety of transgender and gender non-conforming people in custody.
  • The Criminal Defense Practice Training Unit is widely regarded as among the best in the country. Our clients deserve no less. Along with a dedicated Training Unit, our training activities draw on the assistance of hundreds of attorneys and non-attorney professionals from our five borough offices and multiple specialized practice units. Our trainers regularly are invited to lecture throughout the state, the country, and internationally.
  • The Decarceration Project is a bail reform initiative fighting to end the illegal incarceration of New York's most vulnerable populations. The Project is dynamic, providing litigation support to trial staff, working on local and state policy, and running several separate initiatives aimed at reducing the Rikers population.
  • The Community Justice Unit (CJU) was established in 2011 as part of the New York City Cure Violence model by the New York City Council's Task Force to Combat Gun Violence. The CJU partners partner sites with provide robust legal services to enable healthier and safer communities.


Interns will work directly with supervising attorneys. Duties may include: drafting motions, conducting legal research, assisting with investigations, assisting with client interviews, reviewing and organizing discovery, and other duties as assigned.


Manhattan - Legal Aid Society Headquarters


* 2Ls and 3Ls are eligible to apply for the Spring 2019 term

* Relevant clinical program or work experience is preferred, but not required

* Demonstrated commitment or interest to indigent defense

* Demonstrated commitment and interest in serving racially and socioeconomically oppressed communities

* Ability to work collegially and collaboratively with all members of the staff

* Ability to manage multiple tasks and deadlines, and think critically

You will be asked to rank your unit preference when you apply. We will do our best to accommodate a preference, but placement is contingent on the availability of internship spots within a Unit. Our hiring process is extremely competitive so we encourage students to apply early. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Applicants will be notified by email whether or not they have been selected for an interview.


The leadership of The Legal Aid Society is committed to a working culture of zealous advocacy, respect, diversity and inclusion, client-oriented defense, access to justice and excellent representation. We are dedicated to building a strong professional relationship with each of our clients, to understanding their diverse circumstances, and to meeting their needs. Our ability to achieve these goals depends on the efforts of all of us.


You must apply online at the LAS Recruitment Portal.

The Legal Aid Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer -- Women, People of Color, Members of the LGBTQ+ communities, Veterans, and People with Disabilities are encouraged to apply.

For technical difficulties or questions regarding this posting, please email

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement