Law School Student Internship Opportunities

The Federal Public Defender’s Office is a friendly and social community with hardworking attorneys from a wide variety of backgrounds. Internships for law school students are available during the summer. The summer program lasts for up to fourteen weeks. Splitting summers is discouraged. Fall and spring semester externships for law students are also available during the school year and must be done for externship credit from an accredited law school.  Through these programs, law students gain a vast array of experience in criminal defense law. Students have the opportunity to write motions and briefs, and to follow up on that work with visits to jail, client interviews, and court appearances (through the North Carolina Third Year Practice Rule) throughout North Carolina’s Eastern District. They also work one-on-one with attorneys and investigators and gain exposure to all stages of criminal cases including initial appearances, plea negotiations with the U.S. Attorneys Office, trials and appellate work.  The types of crimes the FPD’s clients are charged with include:

1. firearms offenses - felon in possession of a firearm 2. drug trafficking crimes - cocaine, crack, and marijuana possession, distribution, & multi-state drug conspiracies 3. immigration violations - illegal reentry 4. white collar crimes - fraud and tax evasion 5. child pornography - possession, manufacture, and interstate trafficking

The FPD office represents indigent clients against convictions at trial, or where appropriate, by bargaining for plea agreements, and if a client is convicted, by obtaining a just and fair sentence. As interns, students work on cases dealing with hot new topics and help shape criminal and sentencing law in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. For more information on summer internships or fall/spring semester externships with the Federal Public Defender’s Office, please contact Vidalia Patterson at 919-856-4236. Students who wish to apply for an internship or externship with our office should mail a resume, transcript, and cover letter to: Vidalia V. Patterson Research and Writing Attorney Office of the Federal Public Defender 150 Fayetteville St., Suite 450 Raleigh, NC 27601

For an intern's perspective of a summer internship with the FPD, please read FPD Model Intern Program.

NOTICE: The summer 2018 recruiting season is currently closed. We will start accepting applications from law school students for unpaid volunteer positions for the summer 2019 program in August. If you have questions, please contact Vidalia Patterson