2020 Summer Internship


The Michigan State Appellate Defender Office (SADO) seeks first and second-year law students for fulltime summer 2020 internships, with placement in either its Detroit or Lansing offices. SADO provides representation to poor people who appeal their state criminal convictions and those sentenced to juvenile life without parole in resentencing proceedings pursuant SCOTUS decisions Miller v Alabama (2012) and Montgomery v Louisiana (2016).

Summer interns will assist staff attorneys as second chair with some combination of client counseling in prisons and jails, case investigation, mitigation, legal research, brief writing, and trial court hearings—depending on the needs of cases and individual staff attorneys. Because Michigan has a unified appeals system which requires extra-record claims to be raised on direct appeal, interns can expect to work in both trial and appellate courts, and to attend trial court hearings and Court of Appeals arguments. Interns will receive a one-day training, be paired with a supervisor(s), and also have the opportunity to network with other public interest lawyers and law students.

The internship will run from late May 2020 through early August 2020. The internship is unpaid, but SADO will assist in securing course credit or fellowship funding.

If you are interested in applying, please e-mail the following materials to internships@sado.org, in a single PDF file:

  1. A cover letter that explains your interest in public defense and whether you would prefer to work in Detroit or Lansing and in direct appeals or the juvenile lifer unit.
  2. Your résumé.
  3. Your law school transcript (official or unofficial).
  4. A writing sample that demonstrates your research and writing skills. Writing samples should not be more than 10 pages long. If your writing sample is taken from a larger piece, please provide a short explanation, for context.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis and accepted through Monday, February 3, 2020.

Questions? E-mail internships@sado.org.