Skip to main content
King County logo

The Department of Public Defense offers full-time summer internships to law students who have completed their second year of law school. We're looking for students with a demonstrated commitment to social justice and advocacy on behalf of indigent persons. In return, students receive courtroom experience, excellent training, and mentoring by skilled public defenders. When possible, our summer interns appear in court (under close supervision) and represent clients at bond hearings, motion hearings, even at trial. All this, while living in or near Seattle, a lively city surrounded by mountains and water. It's a great place to spend the summer.


Staff attorneys Reid Burkland and Lauren Conner recently met with potential interns in Los Angeles.

Application period is now open

DPD is actively recruiting second-year law students for our 10-week paid internship program that begins in June 2020. To be considered, second-year law students need to apply through the listing on the King County employment websiteBe prepared to include a cover letter, resume, transcript, a three-page writing sample, and at least three references. In your cover letter, please indicate if you want to work in a particular practice area: criminal, juvenile offender, involuntary treatment (mental health), sex offender commitments, and/or family defense.

Applications will be accepted starting Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, and will close on Monday, Oct. 21, 2019. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, and the selection process will conclude in December 2019. Summer internships at DPD are paid according to King County’s highly competitive salary scale. Interns will be placed with career public defenders in one of our four divisions. Our offices are located in Seattle and Kent. Some practice areas require travel within King County. We cannot guarantee placement in a particular division or a particular location.

Because we offer meaningful, individualized internship opportunities, we can select only a limited number of students. Accordingly, the program is extremely competitive. We will do our best to inform students who have not been selected as quickly as possible.

To be considered for an internship at DPD, applications must be received through the King County employment website, even if you participated in an on-campus interview with a DPD representative. 

Read about DPD's 2019 class of interns on our blog For The Defense.