Summer Law Clerk

Summer Law Clerk
The Gideon’s Promise Summer Law Clerk Program introduces future public defenders to the rewards of practicing in an office that is on the front line of making the promise of the United States Supreme Court decision Gideon v. Wainwright a reality. It also introduces public defender offices leading this charge to a pool of highly qualified applicants.

The Summer Law Clerk Program is designed specifically for law students who are interested in indigent defense, display characteristics of promising future public defenders and have completed at least one year of law school. Since the program's inception in 2010, the demand for it has increased steadily. Potential law clerk candidates must submit the following: resume, writing sample, and two letters of recommendation.

Applicants who display a strong public interest academic curriculum and exhibit involvement in law clinics and volunteer groups associated with public interest work are ideal candidates for this program. Up to 20 candidates may be selected to move forward into Round 2, which consists of a 30-minute interview. Typically, Gideon’s Promise will notify interviewees of its final decision within two weeks.

Our current partner offices serve as internship sites. These offices either have fulltime attorneys who have gone through our training program or public defender chiefs who have worked with our programs.
We understand the value of an amazing internship experience and how that experience can impact one’s career aspirations. Therefore, we host a mandatory three-day orientation for our law clerks prior to the internship in Atlanta, GA in late spring.

All law clerks are required to create weekly journal entries of their experience, maintain a weekly activity timesheet log, and complete an evaluation. The completion of these assignments is required for academic credit and contributes to the overall experience. The assignments allow interns to be more actively engaged in their experience and make it easier for them to recall memorable experiences.
“Overall, my experience with the Augusta Circuit Public Defender’s Office through the Southern Public Defender Training Center [Gideon's Promise] will be something that I carry with me through the rest of my legal career. I now have a better understanding of the criminal justice system, and what an integral part the public defender’s office plays in fighting for the rights of indigent clients.”

– Jessica McArdle, Roger Williams University School of Law, Clerk 2011