Seeking Legal Interns for Summer 2021

Applications accepted on a rolling basis through December 28

The Michigan State Appellate Defender Office (SADO) seeks first and second-year law students for Summer 2021 internships and externships, working with attorneys based in its Detroit office. 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).

Students 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. Students will receive training and will be paired with a supervisor. Currently, we anticipate that all work will be conducted remotely.

The program will run from May to September 2021; precise dates are flexible and can be arranged to coincide with students’ academic calendar. The program 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, in a single PDF file:

  1. A cover letter that explains your interest in public defense.
  2. Your résumé.
  3. 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 should be submitted by December 28th at 5 PM. Decisions will be made on a rolling basis.

Questions? E-mail