Public Defense 10 Week Summer Legal Intern (Rule 9 Licensed)

King County   Seattle, WA   Full-time     Legal
Posted on August 1, 2022
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About the Position
The Department of Public Defense (DPD) is actively recruiting 2nd year law students to participate in a 10-week internship beginning in June 2023. This is an excellent opportunity for students considering a career in public defense. It is a rolling application – internship positions will remain open until filled.
The internship is contingent on funding, and we anticipate filling between 15 - 20 internships.
About the Department of Public Defense
DPD represents indigent clients in several practice areas: criminal defense (felonies and misdemeanors), juvenile defense, family defense, involuntary commitment, sex offender commitments, and contempt of court. The department also works to address racial disproportionality, the collateral consequences of system involvement, and other structural and/or systemic issues that undermine the rights of our clients. DPD employs skilled investigators, mitigation specialists, paralegals, and other support staff. Expert services are regularly funded, in keeping with state court rules. Students will be offered an internship in a single practice area and should express any preference in their cover letter.

King County is an excellent place to work in public defense. In criminal cases, our state has robust discovery rules, requiring compulsory discovery of all materials held by the prosecutor; the Washington State Constitution's exacting standards for search and seizure extend well beyond the Fourth Amendment; public defense attorneys have the ability to retain top expert witnesses; and, particularly in King County, comparatively more of our cases go to trial. Further, we are an institutional provider of family defense representation, which allows for specialization in that area.

Employment at DPD offers the chance to practice public defense at a very high level while living in a vibrant urban environment surrounded by unparalleled natural beauty.

To learn more about DPD, visit our website at:
Who May Apply
Second year law students in good academic standing at an American Bar Association approved law school may apply. Proof of full-time or part-time enrollment in school is required upon hire and throughout employment on a recurring schedule for the regular school year (e.g. quarterly or on a semester basis) in advance of the commencement of the next period of enrollment.
DPD seeks to hire interns with a wide range of life experiences. We particularly welcome applications from those who have personal experience in navigating the criminal legal system or child welfare (family regulation) system or come from communities most impacted by these systems.
Interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis. All candidates selected for an interview will be interviewed using videoconference technology.
First consideration will be given to candidates who apply prior to 
September 30, 2022. Once all positions are filled the posting will be closed.
Work Locations
Positions may be assigned to work at the following locations:
  • Dexter Horton Building, 710 Second Avenue, Seattle;
  • 1401 E. Jefferson, Seattle; or
  • 420 West Harrison Street, Kent.
Work Schedule
The normal work schedule is Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Specific schedules may be discussed with supervisor.
Forms and Materials Required
  1. An online employment application completed at The employment history should go back long enough to include all relevant experience.
  2. A cover letter no more than two pages summarizing your experience and how you meet the required qualifications, knowledge, and skills for the position.
  3. A resume.
  4. Transcript.
  5. A three-page self-authored writing sample.
  6. At least three references.
For more information regarding this recruitment, please contact:
Cassandra Montgomery
Human Resource Analyst 

Job Duties

  • Assist attorneys at arraignment hearings; pretrial hearings; motion hearings; sentencing and probation review; or other types of hearings in our civil practice areas.
  • Assist with trial preparations (DPD makes an effort to provide but cannot guarantee trial experience).
  • Communication with social workers, service providers, and other individuals involved in a client's case.
  • Other duties as requested.

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills

  • By June 2023 the student will have completed two years of law school and be enrolled and in good academic standing at an American Bar Association approved law school.
  • Able to qualify as a Rule 9 Licensed Legal Intern.
  • A demonstrated interest in representing indigent persons.
  • Possess good moral character and fitness to practice law (APPs 20-24).
  • Effective writing and communication skills.
  • Organizational and problem-solving skills.
  • Initiative and accountability for work product or service.
  • Ability to follow oral and written instructions.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality.
  • Knowledge of the operation of standard office equipment that may include personal computers, copiers, and fax machines.
  • Ability to multitask and self-direct in a fast-paced environment.
Also desired:
  • Multilingual skills are a plus.
  • Completed at least one of the following courses: evidence, criminal procedure, and a clinical or trial advocacy course. 

Supplemental Information

Special Note Regarding COVID-19 
DPD is following Public Health and CDC guidance regarding social distancing. Interviews for this position will be conducted remotely. Successful candidates may be required to telecommute and appear in court, the jail, or other areas as directed during the County's pandemic response.
Application Process
Interested individuals should submit a complete online King County application (all blanks must be filled out and may not direct the reader to reference an attached resume or other document. Answers that say "see resume" will be considered as incomplete), a cover letter (no more than two pages) summarizing how you meet the experience, qualifications, knowledge and skills for the job, a resume, transcript, a three-page self-authored writing sample, and at least three references.
Selection Process 
Applications will be reviewed and screened for clarity, completeness, and competitiveness. Applicants may be required to demonstrate their qualifications at the time of the interview and/or skills assessment. All materials will be evaluated for spelling, grammar, and punctuation usage. The most competitive candidates will be invited to interview.

Please note:  Students offered paid internship positions at DPD will be asked to forgo other outside funding opportunities to ensure that all our summer interns are compensated the same amount for the same work.
Union Membership
This position is not represented by a collective bargaining agreement.

Forbes recently named King County as one of Washington State's best employers.

Together, with leadership and our employees, we're changing the way government delivers service and winning national recognition as a model of excellence. Are you ready to make a difference? Come join the team dedicated to serving one of the nation's best places to live, work and play.

Guided by our "True North", we are making King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive. We value diversity, inclusion and belonging in our workplace and workforce. To reach this goal we are committed to workforce equity. Equitable recruiting, support, and retention is how we will obtain the highest quality workforce in our region; a workforce that shares and will help advance our guiding principles--we are one team; we solve problems; we focus on the customer; we drive for results; we are racially just; we respect all people; we lead the way; and we are responsible stewards. We encourage people of all backgrounds and identities to apply, including Native American and people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ+, people living with disabilities, and veterans.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement
King County Executive Branch employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are the successful candidate for the position you applied for, the County will send you a conditional offer letter.

As a condition of employment, prior to a final offer of employment, you will be required to:

  • submit proof of vaccination, or
  • have an approved request for medical or religious exemption and an approved accommodation. Philosophical, political, scientific, or sociological objections to vaccination will not be considered for an exemption or accommodation.
People are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after receiving the final dose of a vaccination approved by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Executive Branch includes employees in the Executive branch, the Assessor's Office, Elections, the King County Sheriff's Office, and the Executive Office.

King County is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Employer
No person is unlawfully excluded from employment opportunities based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation and pregnancy), age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, or other protected class. Our EEO policy applies to all employment actions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, selection for training, promotion, transfer, demotion, layoff, termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation.

To Apply
If you are interested in pursuing this position, please follow the application instructions carefully. If you need this announcement in an alternate language or format, would like to request accommodation or assistance in the application or assessment process or if you have questions please contact the recruiter listed on this job announcement.

King County offers a highly-competitive compensation and benefits package designed to meet the diverse needs of our employees and support our employees' health and well-being.  Eligible positions receive the following benefits and have access to the following programs:

  • Medical, dental, and vision coverage: King County pays 100% of the premiums for eligible employees and family members
  • Life and disability insurance: employees are provided basic coverage and given the opportunity to purchase additional insurance for both the employee and eligible dependents
  • Retirement: King County employees are eligible to participate in a pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems and a 457(b) deferred-compensation plan
  • Transportation program and ORCA transit pass
  • 10 paid holidays each year (plus 2 personal holidays)
  • Generous vacation and paid sick leave
  • Paid parental leave, family and medical leaves, and volunteer leave
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Wellness programs
  • Onsite gyms and activity centers
  • Employee giving program
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Flexible schedules and telecommuting options, depending on position
  • Training and career development programs
For additional information about employee benefits please visit our Benefits, Payroll, and Retirement Page.

This is a general description of the benefits offered to eligible King County employees, and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy.  If any information on this document conflicts with the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the CBA prevails.  Also, in the event of any incorrect information in this document, applicable laws, policies, rules, CBAs, or official plan documents will prevail.
NOTE:  Benefits for Term Limited Temporary (TLT) or Short Term Temporary (STT) positions, including leave eligibility and/or participation in the pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems, will vary based upon the terms and details of the position. Short Term Temporary positions are not eligible for an ORCA transit pass.
For inquiries about the specifics of this position, please contact the recruiter identified on this job posting.

This recruitment requires that you submit ALL of the following materials with your online application in order to be considered for the internship: cover letter; resume; transcript; three-page self-authored writing sample, and a minimum of three references. Did you attach all of the required documents to your application?
  • Yes
  • No
Students offered paid internship positions at DPD may be asked to forgo other outside funding opportunities in order to ensure that all of our summer interns are compensated the same amount for the same work. Please acknowledge that you have read and understood this possibility by filling in your name in the box provided.
Are you applying to this position as an eligible current or previous King County Employee Priority Placement Program Participant? Is this position the same or lower percentage of full-time when compared to the position held at the point of the notification of layoff? Do you possess the skills and abilities to qualify for this position?
  • Yes, I was given a layoff notice from my role at King County and I am within two years of the effective date of my layoff. Additionally, the position I was laid off from was the same or a higher percentage of FT status when compared to this one.
  • No.
If you answered yes to the question above and you are applying for this position as a Priority Placement Participant, to be considered, you must provide the following three pieces of information in the space provided: 1. The title you held when you received your layoff notice 2. The department you worked in 3. The effective date of your layoff

Required Question