Interested in Criminal Defense Work? Consider the Law Student Volunteer Internship Program With the State Attorney’s Office for the 17th Judicial Circuit in Fort Lauderdale

About the Office:

Did you go to law school to make a difference? Then our office is for you. The State Attorney’s Office for the 17th Judicial Circuit in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is the chief prosecuting officer for crimes occurring in Broward County, Florida. The office is at the forefront of making sensible reforms to our criminal justice system. The mandate for our prosecutors is not to win at all costs, but to seek justice by standing up for what is right. The office is comprised of several units prosecuting a wide range of criminal cases including: misdemeanors, felonies, juvenile, economic crime, domestic violence, sexual battery, career criminal, 10-20-life, organized crime, drug trafficking, traffic homicide, homicide and appeals. Interns will be assigned to one of the various units within the office for the duration of their internship. Within their assigned divisions, interns will have the opportunity to work with assistant state attorneys on a variety of assignments.

Job Description:

Interns will assist with legal research, pre-trial motion practice, trial preparation, discovery, and drafting of court pleadings. Interns will also work with assistant state attorneys on a variety of other subject matters and issues arising within the respective divisions to which they are assigned. Interns may attend and observe depositions and pre-trial conferences, and are strongly encouraged to attend and observe all court proceedings and inter-office training sessions to enhance their understanding and experience.

Time requirement:  240 hours, 8-12 weeks

Internship location:  201 SE 6th Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301


First-year (second semester), second-year and third-year students who demonstrate a strong academic record. Applicant must be enrolled in an accredited law school at least half time. Due to the nature of the work done at the Office of the State Attorney, 17th Judicial Circuit, applicants who are offered an internship with the office must pass a required background investigation before beginning employment. This background check can take up to three months to complete. Applicants must be able to commit a minimum of 240 hours over the course of the semester.


Interns are not compensated for their work with the Office of the State Attorney, 17th Judicial Circuit. School credit is possible at the discretion of the law school. Parking is available and costs are covered by the office.

Application Process:

Applicants are required to submit the following documents via e-mail.

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Current law school transcript
  • Legal writing sample (max. 5-7 pages) All documents should be sent in PDF format.

The subject line of the e-mail should specify that the applicant is applying for the Law School Volunteer Internship Program and indicate the semester and year for which the student is applying (e.g., Summer 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, etc.). The cover letter should be addressed to the Director of Training, Tania Williams, and should indicate the applicant’s top three division preferences.

Incomplete applications and applications received after the application deadline will not be considered.

Application Deadlines / Start Dates:

Application deadlines and start dates for each semester are as follows:

Semester Applications due by Anticipated program start date

Fall August 1st Begins after Labor Day

Spring November 1st Begins mid-January

Summer April 1st Begins after Memorial Day

Number of Positions:

Typically, the office will accept up to 20 students for each semester. However, the number of interns accepted will vary depending upon the anticipated needs of the office.

See website here.