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Federal Community Defender Office-Eastern District, The Capital Habeas Unit

The Capital Habeas Unit (CHU) of the Federal Community Defender for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania is pleased to accept applications for our summer internship program from undergraduate students. The CHU represents death-sentenced prisoners in post-conviction proceedings in Pennsylvania and other jurisdictions. Through a multi-faceted and interdisciplinary team approach, the Capital Habeas Unit provides its clients with the highest level of legal representation and zealous advocacy. The CHU seeks students who are interested in pursuing careers in public service and criminal law, social justice, mental health advocacy, or social work.  The internship is located in Philadelphia, PA. 

Over the course of the summer, students will assist teams by:

  • Analyze medical and institutional records to build multi-generational life histories.

  • Review discovery files, including police reports, ballistics evidence, forensic testing, and witness statements as part of assessing the guilt phase defense.

  • Research issues including DNA, fingerprints, hair and fiber, and ballistics.

  • Digest records and transcripts of prior proceedings.

  • Observe hearings, participate in moots, and observe oral arguments.

    To apply, submit a cover letter, resume, transcript (unofficial is satisfactory). A short writing sample of 3-5 pages in length is optional. Please send your application to Ms. Sonali Shahi atPAE_InternshipCHU@fd.orgStudents who plan to pursue careers in social justice, law school, or graduate school in psychology or social work, should highlight this in their application. Interviews and hiring will be on a rolling basis. Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Positions are limited, and we aim to fill them by March.

    The internship is unpaid; however, we will work with schools and other resources to meet the criteria for work study, course credit, or other support. Students are expected to devote 40 hours per week for a ten-week program beginning May 26, 2020.

    The Capital Habeas Unit is an equal opportunity employer and complies with all applicable laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital/parental status, gender identity, gender expression or any other status or classification protected by federal law.We encourage students of all backgrounds to apply.