WI State Public Defender Internship

2100 O'Neil Rd
Hudson, WI 54016
715-386-4375

website: http://www.wisspd.org/html/pub/aboutus2.asplink

Interns indicate duties performed:
  • Intake inmate interviews, financial eligibility forms (E-Forms), Legal briefs/ letter briefs, errands - subpoenas, documents etc., trail observation, witness interviews (2009)

Students identified positive aspects of this placement:

  • Great first- hand look at how a high caseload law office operates. Many opportunities to observe courtroom proceedings. Great opportunities to talk/ work with highly experienced defense attorneys. (2009)
  • Wide variety of duties and contact with many different people within the CJ profession. You will be seeing different people everyday and doing a lot of different tasks. (2006)
  • Everyone in the office is friendly. This is a great experience if you want to go into law. (2005)
  • A student intern will be able to see a criminal case from the initial appearance to the final resolution. Interview potential clients in jail to see if they qualify for a public defender. Also able to work with an investigator to interview witnesses and victims in criminal cases. (2005)
  • Seeing how the criminal law system works including the courts and law processes of court from initial appearance to sentencing, having an inside look at many county jails. (2004)
  • I got a ton of responsibility starting on day one. (2002)
  • Interns get the chance to work with attorneys as well as the investigator and social worker. Flexible scheduling. Everyone is helpful as long as you're not afraid to ask. (1999)

Students identified difficulties typical in this placement:

  • The biggest bridge to cross is not having formal legal training prior to placement. (2009)
  • In order to perform well, you must be very knowledgeable in criminal justice practices and concepts. Must be able to work in fast paced environment. Must be willing to fill out extensive paperwork and read many pages of case information and police reports. (2006)
  • Need to be willing to do anything. Need to put in a lot of work and be confident in your ability. Need to be able to work on your, under pressure and be comfortable in an uncomfortable setting. (2005)
  • Being a student intern and lacking the knowledge of the law, there is only so much a student can do. I was only able to do certain things in this internship and I did them very well, so after a few weeks, the internship got monotonous. (2005)
  • Very busy schedule and many people are slightly unorganized, not always told what to do each day or given something to do. (2004)
  • Sometimes I was thrown into a task with little instruction on how to do it. (2002)
  • Interacting with inmates can sometimes be stressful. The work environment within the law office is sometimes unstructured. The pace of the attorneys' schedules can sometimes leave the intern in the dust. (2002)
  • Not always working with desirable people - sometimes difficult to keep an open mind and put personal opinions away. (1999)