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Internships

The ABA Death Penalty Representation Project provides unpaid internships for Fall, Spring and Summer semester undergraduate and law students. Previous experience with or knowledge of the death penalty is not required.

Our Summer 2020 legal and undergraduate intern positions have been filled. Thank you to all who applied for your interest.

We are now accepting applications for the Fall 2020 undergraduate and legal intern positions on a rolling basis until it is filled. 

If you have questions, please send an email to deathpenaltyproject@americanbar.org and a member of our staff will respond to you as soon as possible.  No phone calls please!

 

To Apply: 

Send cover letter, resume, writing sample, and 3 references to us at deathpenaltyproject@americanbar.org or the following address:

Deadline:
We accept applications on a rolling basis.

What We Do:
The ABA created the Project in 1986 in order to better inform the bar and public about the lack of representation available to death row inmates. We address this urgent need by recruiting competent, volunteer attorneys, offering counsel training and assistance, and working for systemic reform to ensure that individuals facing a sentence of death are represented at every stage of the proceedings by competent counsel.

Legal Internship

The Legal Internship is available to current law students for the duration of a semester or summer. Interns work a flexible part-time schedule during the fall and spring semesters (15-20 hours) and full-time (35 hours) during the summer. This is an unpaid position with the opportunity for a small stipend, and students may seek academic credit for their work. 

Legal research: Interns conduct research and respond to inquiries regarding current case law for amicus curiae briefs and attorneys with death penalty cases.

Policy research: The Project promotes systemic change in the capital defense system. Interns research state and federal statutory law in relation to the appointment of counsel, standards, compensation, and procedure.

Case summaries: The Project recruits volunteer lawyers to represent indigent inmates on death row. Interns research the cases of unrepresented inmates and help prepare case summaries provided to law firms considering pro bono cases.

Inmate letters: The Project receives hundreds of letters from inmates and their loved ones requesting assistance. Interns are responsible for researching the facts of the case and for responding to these inquiries.

Website: The Project maintains a website that contains resources for attorneys representing capital defendants. Interns are responsible for summarizing recent court opinions, training events and news to be posted on the site.

Undergraduate Internship

The Undergraduate Internship  is for a current college student or recent graduate for the duration of a semester or summer.  The intern will work a flexible part-time schedule during the fall and spring semesters (15-20 hours) and full-time (35 hours) during the summer.  This is an unpaid position, but students may seek academic credit for their work.

Newsletter: The Project publishes a quarterly newsletter called the Project Press that is distributed to thousands of contacts in the capital community. Interns propose and write death penalty-related content for the newsletter that includes state repeal efforts, Supreme Court decisions, and other noteworthy developments.

Prisoner letters: The Project receives hundreds of letters from prisoners looking for legal counsel.  Using materials provided, the intern will be asked to research the prisoners’ cases and determine whether the Project can help.

Website: The Project maintains a website that contains resources for attorneys representing capital defendants.  Interns are responsible for keeping the site records updated and posting new items.  A working knowledge of website maintenance and social media is helpful.

Editing: The Project maintains thousands of resource materials from both national and international sources.  The intern will be asked to edit and format these documents and keep detailed accounts of all files. Attention to detail is of the utmost importance.

Other duties as assigned: Interns are encouraged to explore areas of interest to them while interning at the Project, and creativity and initiative are highly valued.  Interns are expected to be self-starters, motivated, and interested in contributing significantly to the Project and its mission.

Social Media Internship

The Social Media Internship is available to current students for the duration of a semester or summer, who has an interest in the subject matter and is skilled with social media and communications. The interns will work a flexible part-time schedule during the fall and spring semesters, and during the summer (5-10 hours). This is an unpaid position, but students may seek academic credit for their work. 

Social Media: The Project maintains an active social media presence that is followed by reporters, lawyers, academics, advocates, and the public. Interns research and post content on the Projects social media pages and are encouraged to explore ideas that diversity content and increase the Project's online presence and exposure. 

Contact database: The communications intern will be asked to regularly review our database of volunteer lawyers and Project supporters and update contact information as necessary.