2017 Summer Internship


The State Appellate Defender Office (SADO) is seeking first and second-year law students for full-time summer 2017 internships in the Detroit and Lansing offices. SADO provides representation to indigent clients who appeal their state criminal convictions.

The 2017 summer interns will work directly with the Juvenile Lifer Unit attorneys. SADO represents nearly two-thirds of Michigan’s 360 juvenile lifers currently serving unconstitutional sentences, and is responsible for developing mitigation and litigation strategies for resentencing hearings conducted pursuant to MCL 769.25a and Miller v Alabama, 567 US __ (2012). SADO seeks qualified interns to work collaboratively within Juvenile Lifer Unit teams.

Internship Description

  • The SADO summer internship program runs from late May 2017 through early August 2017.
  • Interns will be assigned to a staff attorney in the Juvenile Lifer Unit.
  • Interns will assist attorneys with some combination of client.
  • communication, investigation, legal research, and trial court hearings, as well as drafting legal pleadings and mitigation memos, depending on the needs of the individual attorney.
  • Interns will read trial transcripts and lower court records and will accurately summarize relevant testimony and procedural history and submit fact memos to attorney in charge of case.
  • Interns will engage in legal research projects covering novel and creative legal issues surrounding the constitutionality of life without parole sentences against individuals who committed crimes as juveniles.
  • Interns may have the opportunity to attend trial court hearings and Court of Appeals arguments.
  • The interns will accompany attorneys to visit and counsel clients in the Michigan Department of Corrections.
  • The internship includes a training program and networking opportunities.

Additional Information

  • The successful applicant should have an interest in criminal law and indigent defense, and strong research and writing skills.
  • This is an unpaid internship, but SADO will assist in securing course credit and will support intern-initiated applications for fellowship funding.
  • Must have own laptop and be familiar with Microsoft Word, Excel, and Adobe.

To Apply

Submit via email a cover letter including office location preference (Detroit of Lansing), resume, writing sample, and a copy of your law school transcripts in a single PDF to Jessica Zimbelman, Assistant Defender: jzimbelman@sado.org.

*Application wills be accepted until March 1, 2017*