Interning at the San Diego County Public Defender

Date: January 15, 2016 | Posted By: USDBLS

My semester at the Public Defender’s Office was probably the best experience I’ve ever had. The El Cajon Courthouse is an awesome place to work—the attorneys are very friendly, the judges are so eager to teach, and the cases get really interesting.

My experience at the El Cajon office was a different one because the intern coordinator here conducts a Roundtable Discussion once a week and basically teaches us a mini trial advocacy course in the months that we interned here. We learned and practiced how to write opening statements, closing statements, and direct and cross-examinations. We learned how to brainstorm defense theories, and which motions to file in certain cases. The internship got us as prepared as possible for the actual Court appearances we were assigned to handle. This internship was so valuable because it was the first time I was able to apply everything I’ve learned so far in law school to real work.

In addition to the legal services provided by the Public Defender, the Office connects clients with services and resources to help them get back on track. The Public Defender is more than an Office of attorneys, rather, it is an organization that helps the San Diego community with housing, health services, job training, substance abuse, and much more.

I highly recommend that everyone take the opportunity to intern in a position that allows you to get real courtroom experience. Whether you plan on being a trial attorney or transactional attorney, real courtroom experience is necessary to help you think on your feet and have the confidence necessary to zealously represent any client you might have.

Author: Faryar Barzin

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