Employment & Internships


Internship Program

The Office of Washtenaw County Public Defender (OWCPD) conducts a very popular internship program for the best and brightest students from law schools and colleges throughout the country that enables them to voluntarily apply for unpaid positions within the Office that frequently carry course credit at their schools. Applicants who are selected become an integral part of high volume trial lawyer teams where they gain practical experience as student lawyers and investigators interacting with all components of the criminal justice system to include "hands on" courtroom experience, one on one client contact, plus research and writing. Student Lawyers, under direct supervision of an experienced trial attorney, are able to appear on the record within the actual courtroom arena. In-depth and comprehensive program orientations and reviews are conducted for the Winter/Spring, Summer and Fall terms during the months of January, May and September, respectively.

This program is mutually rewarding for the student intern and the Office of Public Defender in augmenting its capacity to consistently provide top quality legal representation while also reducing the cost of doing business. The program averages approximately 60 to 80 interns during the fall, winter/spring and summer terms.


For more information to apply for this practical experience internship as a member of a governmental trial lawyer team, please email the Internship Coordinator, Stephon Downes or call him at 734-222-6970. You can also contact the County Public Defender, Delphia T. Simpson, at 734-222-6970. To be considered please submit your cover letter and resume to Stephon Downes. 

Program Scope

The Washtenaw County Public Defender Internship Program is a unique opportunity for students to represent real clients. As an intern, you will have the chance to experience the criminal defense of indigent persons in a "hands on" environment. You will:

  • Interview, counsel, and represent indigent defendants.
  • Engage in the practice of law under the supervision of experienced attorneys.
  • Have an opportunity to appear in court frequently.
  • Work with a highly skilled group of attorneys who have been trained to be outstanding supervisors and mentors.
  • Have opportunities to polish your public speaking skills.
  • Have an opportunity to work in a collegial, cooperative atmosphere with other students.
  • Have an opportunity to apply the legal theories you have learned in the classroom in your real cases with live clients.
  • Have an opportunity to engage in negotiations/conversations with prosecuting attorneys in the community.

Photo Gallery

View photos of past interns.