FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER’S OFFICE – Southern District of Florida


The Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Southern District of Florida represents indigent defendants in federal criminal cases and is managed by the Federal Public Defender, who is appointed by the Eleventh Circuit. The office is staffed by Assistant Federal Public Defenders (“AFPDs”), investigators, and support personnel.

The AFPDs, together with the rest of the staff, handle all aspects of criminal defense in the federal court system, primarily felony indictments, probation and supervised release violations, direct appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, habeas corpus petitions and petitions for writs of certiorari to and arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court.

We have a limited number of placements for non-salaried legal interns. Legal interns are law students who are currently in law school. Legal interns have the unique opportunity to receive hands-on experience in the preparation of the defense of criminal cases in federal court. Interns may be asked to conduct legal research and to assist in drafting motions in limine, memoranda, and appellate briefs and/or habeas corpus petitions. They also might be asked to assist with trial preparation and case investigation, including reviewing discovery, meeting with clients, assisting with witness interviews, visiting the areas of importance to the case, and helping the attorneys plan case strategy.   Interns are encouraged to observe the attorneys at the office in court proceedings, including at magistrate duty court, detention hearings, pre-trial motion hearings, trials and oral argument in appellate cases.

Interns are typically assigned to work directly with one or more AFPD, who will assign and supervise their work. We request a minimum of 12 hours per week during the school year and 40 hours per week for summer interns.

We are happy to work with students who wish to receive school credit for the internship with whatever requirements their school needs met to ensure the student receives appropriate credit for their work.

Interested students should submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample and transcript (unofficial is fine) via email to [email protected]If you have a preference for a specific office location (i.e., Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach or Ft. Pierce), please indicate it in your submission to assist us in placement.”

For the Spring semester, applications should be received by November 15th, for the Fall semester, applications should be received by July 15th.   For summer interns, please apply by March 15th. All applications are accepted on a rolling basis until the positions are filled.  Because we accept applications on a rolling basis and the available placements are limited, submitting materials in advance of the priority dates is advised.