Internship Overview

Internship Overview

In 1996, Chief Public Defender Lynn Pride Richardson started the Dallas County Public Defender Internship Program. The Internship Program was initiated with students from the University of Texas – Arlington, Southern Methodist University, Texas Wesleyan, Paul Quinn College and Townview Law Magnet. Since then, the Dallas County Public Defender’s Office has trained students from high schools, colleges, universities and law centers throughout the country and even abroad.* The office is an approved organization where law students and college students may receive school credit and/or complete their public service requirements.

Although most law schools require only 30 hours of public service, we request a minimum of a 60 hour commitment. Internship opportunities are available year round, including the summer and post graduate. Additionally, we have limited internships for newly licensed attorneys. The interns in our program do much more than library research. They are given the opportunity for hands-on involvement and are expected to fully participate in the preparation of cases from the date of appointment until the date of disposition.

Our comprehensive internship program has trained law students from more than 40 law schools across the country, including Southern Methodist University, Texas Tech, Texas Southern University, Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Howard University, Boston University School of Law, Wake Forest University, Case Western Reserve, William & Mary, Vanderbilt, Columbia, Tulane, University of Texas, University of Florida, University of Oklahoma and Bayreuth University in Germany.

Our office has recently established an Innocence Project Internship Program with Southern Methodist University and the University of North Texas, in which students receive law school credit towards graduation for their work with this program. The office is also expanding its internship program to encompass a lawyer on loan exchange program. In the lawyer on loan program, associates in a firm will be partnered with an Assistant Public Defender and allowed to handle cases in the criminal courts as the lead attorney to gain valuable trial experience.

We are proud to say, after working with our office, many of our interns decided to pursue a career in indigent defense.

*Our interns are alumni of various high schools, colleges, universities and law centers.

* Law Centers:

American University Washington College of Law
Baylor University Law School
Bayreuth University – Germany
Boston College Law School
Boston University School of Law
Case Western Reserve University School of Law
Columbia University School of Law
Creighton University School of Law
Concord Law School
Fordham University Law School
Howard University School of Law
Indiana University School of Law
Loyola University School of Law - New Orleans, Louisiana
Oklahoma City University School of Law
South Texas College of Law
Southern Methodist University, Dedman School of Law
St. John’s University School of Law
St. Mary's School of Law
Texas Southern University, Thurgood Marshall School of Law
Texas Tech University School of Law
Texas Wesleyan University School of Law
Thomas M. Cooley Law School
Tulane Law School
University of Alabama School of Law - Tuscaloosa
University of Arkansas School of Law
University of Florida Levin College of Law
University of Houston Law Center
University of Illinois College of Law
University of Kentucky College of Law
University of Miami School of Law
University of Michigan School of Law
University of Mississippi School of Law
University of Nebraska College of Law
University of Oklahoma College of Law
University of Oregon School of Law
University of Texas School of Law
University of Texas School of Law at Austin
Vanderbilt University Law School
Wake Forest University School of Law
Washington University School of Law – St. Louis, Mo.
Wayne State University School of Law
William & Mary School of Law
*Colleges and Universities:

Brown Mackie College
Brown University
El Centro College
El Centro Community College
Emory University
Hamilton College
Hampton University
Howard University
Kaplan University
Northwestern University – Evanston, Ill.
Paul Quinn College
Prairie View
Southern Arkansas University
Spelman College
Texas Christian University
University of North Texas
University of Texas at Arlington
University of Texas at Austin
Yale University

*High Schools:

Bishop Dunne
Duncanville High School
Highland Park High School
James Bowie High School
Mansville Summit High School
Trinity Christian School
Ursuline Academy
Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Law Magnet