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Volunteer Opportunities - Legal

Child Support Services

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Support the department’s mission of enhancing the lives and well-being of children and promote family self-sufficiency by establishing and enforcing support orders. Volunteers are legal interns and must be in law school.

Volunteer Coordinator:
Maria Pacheco
(619) 578-6931
_dcsshr@sdcounty.ca.gov

Office of the Public Defender

Legal Internships and Post Bar Clerkships

Internships are, for the most part, un-paid positions; however, the experience volunteers receive is priceless.   There are many funding resources available for students interested in public interest internships including Federal Work Study, Public Interest Work Study, Public Interest Law Foundation Grants, and other grants or fellowships offered by law schools and private foundations. 

The Post Bar Clerkship affords a select group of students the opportunity to experience the demanding yet highly rewarding practice of a public defender.  Our nationally recognized program is designed to give students not just an understanding of the criminal justice system, but hands-on experience with trial advocacy and representing misdemeanor clients.

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Legal Internships - Alternate Public Defender

​Internships are, for the most part, un-paid positions; however, the experience volunteers receive is priceless.   There are many funding resources available for students interested in public interest internships including Federal Work Study, Public Interest Work Study, Public Interest Law Foundation Grants, and other grants or fellowships offered by law schools and private foundations. 

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Investigative Internships - Public Defender (PPD, APD, MCO)

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Investigative Interns are accepted as volunteers while enrolled in college-level coursework in Criminal Justice, Sociology, Psychology or a related field. Our teams of professional defense investigators are critical to the protection of civil liberties for those accused of crimes.  

All Investigative Interns are volunteers who receive invaluable on-the-job training. Interns assist defense investigators in visiting crime scenes, interviewing witnesses, observing court hearings, conducting research and background investigations, gathering confidential records, and serving subpoenas. 

The volunteer program provides exposure to adult criminal or juvenile delinquency cases, as well as providing practical investigation experience.  Some students may receive academic credit for the internship program from their school. PPD, APD, and MCO are independent and ethically separate divisions of the Department of the Public Defender. 

Volunteer Coordinator:
pdi@sdcounty.ca.gov

For further questions you may also call and ask for a Investigative Internship coordinator at

PPD (619) 338-4700
APD (619) 446-2900
MCO (619) 446-2909

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