Committee for Public Counsel Services

  • Internship - PDD Worcester District and Superior Court Office

    Job Locations US-MA-Worcester
    # of Openings
    Posted Date
    Unpaid Internship
  • Overview

    The Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) is Massachusetts’ state-wide public defender organization. The Worcester District & Superior Court Office defends people accused of crimes ranging from misdemeanors to serious felonies, including attempted murder in all 9 courts in the Worcester County: Clinton, Milford, Uxbridge, East Brookfield, Dudley, Leominster, Fitchburg, Gardner, Westborough and Worcester. We defend clients against a broad range of charges, including firearm offenses, sexual assaults, drug charges, minor and serious assaults, property offenses and theft offenses. We also advocate for clients in drug court.  


    Interns are an integral part of our office and work closely with our team of dedicated attorneys, social service advocates and investigators. Students qualified to appear in court under SJC Rule 3:03 will represent clients at arraignments, bail appeals, violation of probation hearings, and pretrial motions, all under the close supervision of experienced attorneys. Out-of-court work includes legal research and writing, case investigation, client meetings, and assisting attorneys with the preparation of trials. Students are also encouraged to attend court as often as they would like to observe motions and trials. Students will have the opportunity to produce a writing sample while working in our office.  The Worcester Court House contains both District and Superior Courts, which means students are able to observe trials ranging from OUI’s to murder.  


    Our office is committed to helping to prepare interns to be excellent public defenders. In essence, we treat our interns as new attorneys, and they are provided with their own caseload ranging from 6-12 clients.  They will research and write on potentially serious issues and assist more senior attorneys in preparation for trials, motions to suppress, motions to dismiss and more.     We offer a weekly “case crunch” for office attorneys and interns alike.  This is an opportunity for those with questions about how to tackle a case to present such questions to a group of attorneys within the office. Interns are also welcome to attend all office trainings and brainstorm sessions.  You will not just be a briefcase-carrying, copying intern in the Worcester office!


    Our office is easily accessible via public transportation, so students are not required to have access to a car; however, it is recommended to have one to be able to get to the jail and outlying district courts. 


    The Worcester District & Superior Court Office is currently seeking law students for 2018 internship positions. Summer interns should be available full time; however, given the right candidate and situation, we will entertain part time positions.


    All students who are at least in their 2L year and 3:03 certified are eligible to apply. Students who have successfully completed or are enrolled in an evidence or trial practice class, with the written approval by their Dean, may represent clients under the supervision of a staff public defender in court per SJC Rule 3:03.   


    Preferred qualifications:

    • Students who have taken classes in evidence, criminal law, criminal procedure, constitutional law, critical legal theory, and/or trial advocacy
    • Students with experience working with low income clients, people of color, immigrants, LGBT people, and other underrepresented groups
    • Students with experience working with clients with mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders
    • Students who speak a foreign language

    In order to apply, please submit a resume, cover letter, writing sample, and list of references. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.


    Deadlines to Apply:


                Spring 2018:    No later than December 31, 2017

                Summer 2018: No later than February 1, 2018

                Fall 2018: No later than July 15, 2018

                Winter 2018: No later than October 31, 2018


    Interns work directly with attorneys, investigators, and social service advocates on the following:

    • Representing clients at arraignment and arguing for their release from imprisonment  
    • Representing clients at pretrial hearings, including hearings on motions to dismiss and violation of probation hearings   
    • Meeting with and interviewing clients in the office and at various prisons, jails and hospitals
    • Conducting legal research
    • Drafting and writing pretrial motions and legal memoranda
    • Assisting attorneys to prepare for motions and trials
    • Investigating cases, including visiting the locations of alleged offenses and interviewing witnesses


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