How to Become a Law Student Intern

    Law student interns at the Ventura County Public Defender’s Office are selected based on their passion for public defense and demonstrated commitment to excellence. Students may expect to be tasked with criminal research and motion writing, as well as trial preparation and casefile review including watching body camera footage, audio file review and spotting and exploring legal issues. Student clerks work closely with attorneys on assignments, contacting clients and observing court procedures. Students will be assigned to either our general litigation practice, Appeals, Juvenile Unit, Veteran’s Treatment Court, Mental Health Diversion Court or our Immigration Unit. 

a group of people sitting in a room      Law student interns must be enrolled in Law School or be Post Bar. To apply, please send a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to The cover letter should convey why the applicant wants to clerk for the Ventura County Public Defender’s Office and why the office should select the applicant. If the applicant appears to be suited for the program, they will be called for a further interview. Law student internships are unpaid and carry no guarantee of future employment with the office.

    Law student interns are encouraged to become “certified law clerks” pursuant to California Bar Rules Governing the Practical Training of Law Students, Rule 3.4 before the clerkship begins. Only certified clerks may appear on the record in case proceedings. The Ventura County Public Defender’s Office will assist qualified clerks to become certified.

Direct Applications to:

Our Intern Program is supervised by:

Ayala Benefraim,
Chief Deputy Public Defender
Damon Jenkins,
Senior Deputy P.D.
Bailey Fowler,
Senior Deputy P.D.


Suggested Application Times

  • Spring Post-Bar (for those taking a February bar exam) – November of the preceding year.
  • Fall Post-Bar (for those taking a July bar exam) – July of the same year.
  • Spring Internship for Second- or Third-Year Law Students – November of the preceding year.
  • Summer Internship for Rising Second- and Third-Year Law Students* – February of the same year.
  • Fall Internship for Second- or Third-Year Law Students – July of the same year.

* Clerk will have completed one or two years of law school before beginning summer clerkship.