The Federal Defender Program offers students the opportunity to get legal experience throughout the year. We have two programs: (1) a ten-week summer internship program; and (2) the extern program affiliated with the University of Georgia, Georgia State University and Emory University.

Summer Internship Program:

The Federal Defender Program offers non-funded positions for a ten-week period during the summer to law students. Representatives of the Federal Defender Program will conduct interviews at the Equal Justice Works Conference and Career Fair (late October, 2016) and the Public Interest Legal Career Fair at New York University (early February, 2017). For students not attending either job fair, applications will be accepted via email from September 1, 2016 to February 1, 2017 and can be sent to To be considered, applications must include a resume, writing sample and a cover letter. The Federal Defender Program will not be interviewing at the Georgia Public Sector Career Fair at Georgia State University in Atlanta. Interested applicants from Georgia law schools should apply via email.

There are two divisions within the Federal Defender Program, the Trial Unit and the Capital Habeas Unit. The Trial Unit does traditional criminal defense of indigent people charged with federal crimes. Students participating in this program will be assigned to one or two attorneys and likely will afford considerable courtroom observation as well as legal research and writing. Trial Unit interns will be expected to attend a weekly “Group Meeting” on Tuesdays, where attorneys brainstorm and discuss their cases. The Capital Habeas Unit represents indigent defendants sentenced to death in the state courts of Georgia. Students participating in this program will focus on investigation and legal research. Both the Trial Unit interns and the Capital Habeas Unit interns will have the opportunity to attend an in-house brown bag lecture series, featuring presentations by various attorneys in the office on topics relevant to federal and capital legal practice. Students can apply to either unit but will not be permitted to split time between the two.

The summer program will run from Tuesday, May 30, 2017 through Friday, August 4, 2017.

Extern Program:

The Federal Defender Program, in conjunction with the law school faculties of Emory, Georgia State and the University of Georgia, offers externships to students during the school year. The students are expected to work ten hours per week in exchange for credit. There is a mandatory writing component. The students, through their law schools, apply for a position with the Federal Defender Program by submitting a resume and cover letter to their school which the school then forwards to the FDP. Students who are selected for interviews will be contacted to arrange a time for the interview. The Federal Defender Program will notify the applicants who are accepted either through their school or directly.

Any additional questions regarding the Federal Defender Program's internship or externship programs may be directed to Jeff Ertel at