Mitigation Intern - Fall and Spring 2021-2022


SADO is an appellate public defender office working statewide to address injustices and disparities in the criminal legal system based on race, class, ability, and other characteristics. SADO’s Juvenile Lifer Unit (JLU) is accepting applications for Mitigation Interns for the 2021-2022 fall and spring semesters. The JLU represents individuals who were sentenced to life in prison as children and are now entitled to resentencing hearings as a result of Supreme Court decisions in the cases of Montgomery v Louisiana, and Miller v Alabama. Mitigation interns will be supervised by a JLU mitigation specialist or attorney. JLU mitigation specialists develop mitigation and life history evidence to seek reduced sentences and second chances for the people we represent. This involves regularly meeting with clients; interviewing witnesses, such as family members, teachers, prison staff, neighbors, friends, doctors, and counselors; and collecting records from places such as schools, courts, police agencies, employers, hospitals, doctors, and social services. We compile this information into humanizing, compelling narratives about our clients’ life stories and their growth over time. The primary role of the mitigation intern will be to assist JLU staff by synthesizing data collected through mitigation investigation and conducting research on relevant mitigation subject areas. 

Intern responsibilities may include:
  • assisting with collecting, reviewing, summarizing, and synthesizing mitigation records;
  • synthesizing life history information into timelines, spreadsheets, visual aids, and summaries; 
  • writing research memos on mitigation-related topics, such as trauma, child development, race and class dynamics, and local history;
  • interviewing witnesses; and;
  • drafting social history narratives.

Additional information:
  • This internship is open to undergraduate and graduate-level interns from a range of disciplines such as social work, anthropology, psychology, creative writing, criminal justice, and sociology
  • The internship will likely be entirely remote due to COVID-19 
  • Interns must have a computer and reliable internet access
  • Internship hours can be part-time or full-time (minimum of 15 hours per week) and interns can apply for the fall, spring, or both semesters 
  • This internship is not paid
  • Interns are encouraged to seek course credit or external funding for their internship and their supervisors will provide necessary documentation and materials to do so

Please submit a resume and cover letter (in a single PDF) explaining your interest in mitigation, public defense, clients serving juvenile life without parole sentences, and/or the criminal legal system to: Chelsea Richardson at crichardson@sado.org with the subject line ‘Mitigation Intern Summer 2021.’

SADO is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We recognize people of color are disproportionately impacted by the criminal legal system and actively seek to employ staff with backgrounds representative of its clients and the defense community. We strongly encourage people of color, first generation college students and professionals, people with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ people, and people directly affected by the criminal legal system to apply. A felony conviction does not prohibit employment at SADO.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Final date to apply is July 26, 2021.