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Orleans Parish - Orleans Public Defenders

Field Placement Supervisor

Field Placement Office
2601 Tulane Avenue
New Orleans, LA  70119

Field Placement Website

Description of Field Work
Law clerks assist attorneys in all aspects of criminal litigation including performing legal research, conducting factual investigation, drafting of memoranda and motions, analyzing discovery materials and preparing briefs. Law clerks are required to abide by OPD's confidentiality policy, and to act at all times in the best interest of OPD's clients. This opportunity enables students to gain a better understanding of criminal procedure. Students will assist attorneys by conducting legal research relevant to a case proceeding. This opportunity provides students experience in a criminal justice setting to understand the many issues criminal defense attorneys handle in various proceedings. In addition to legal research and writing tasks, students will begin to learn the importance of factual investigation and building the theory of the case. This placement provides many opportunities to observe criminal court proceedings, possibly attend client interviews in a jail setting with the attorney and begin to understand the pace of practice.  This is a collaborative work environment and students will receive assignments from multiple attorneys. Students should be ready to receive assignments, show initative, perform task in a timely manner and understand the chronology of a criminal proceeding. This is a great opportunity as a primer for Loyola's criminal defense clinic available to 3L's.

Externship Requirements
Students interested in criminal law and criminal procedure are encouraged to apply. Interested applicants should send a cover letter, resume, a writing sample, three references, and transcripts (unofficial transcripts are accepted) to   

Course recommendations:
Students may want to "tether" a doctrinal upper level elective to this externship experience.  For a tethered experience, the Office of Skills and Experiential Learning recommends students enroll in any of following courses the same semester as enrolled in this externship:  Constitutional Criminal Procedure,  Criminal Law Seminar. 

Application Process
Don't delay as opportunities will fill fast. Apply in early January through early April for a summer placement. The Office of Skills seeks to place all summer extern applications in by April 20th with finalized placements set by May 1st. Apply in early March through June for a Fall or Spring placement. All externship applications for Fall should be submitted by July 31st. Externship applications are processed on a first come first serve basis.