Public Defenders

Minnesota Public Defenders Offices

State of Minnesota Board of Public Defense

http://www.pubdef.state.mn.us/
Public defense for all counties is done through the MN State Board of Public Defense.  There are no links/information about law clerking opportunities, but site has a lengthy staff directory and employment information section.

Hennepin County Public Defender Office

http://www.hennepin.us/portal/site/HennepinUS/menuitem.b1ab75471750e40fa01dfb47ccf06498/?vgnextoid=74751459e6954210VgnVCM10000049114689RCRD
No links/information about law clerking opportunities, but site has external links to MN PD Office and more.

State Public Defender’s Office Appellate Office

http://www.pubdef.state.mn.us/homepages/Appellate/
No links/information about law clerking opportunities, but site gives address for both offices (Minneapolis and St. Paul), and links to Poor Stuart’s Almanack, a criminal law newsletter from the Appellate Office of the MN Public Defender’s Office.

Nationwide Public Defenders Offices

National Legal Aid & Defender Association

This is a great resource!  The job section of the NLADA site includes positions in civil legal services, defender organizations, pro bono and public interest organizations, public interest law firms and academia.  This site is the best site for post-graduate jobs in civil legal services organizations and defender organizations.  Searchable by state. It is available at: http://www.nlada.org

Federal Public Defender’s Office

http://www.fd.org/odstb_EMPLOYMENT.htm
A listing of job opportunities, organized by circuit.

Clerking at a Public Defenders Office

Law clerk hiring at public defenders offices in Minnesota occurs in many ways.  First, if you are interested in clerking at a public defender office, consider volunteering first through the Minnesota Justice Foundation.  This will help you learn if the work is a good fit for you, show your interest to future potential employers and greatly increase your chances of getting a paid clerking position. 

When it comes time to apply for a paid law clerk position, you have several options:

  • The Minnesota Board of Public Defense hires summer law clerks for county PD offices throughout the state through its Community Clerkship Program every February. More information can be found at: http://www.pubdef.state.mn.us/.
  • The Minnesota Justice Foundation typically offers paid clerkships at two to three public defender offices in the metro area and outstate Minnesota. More information can be found here.  
  • The Hennepin County Public Defender’s Office accepts applications for summer law clerks every December. More information can be found here.  
  • It is also possible to volunteer to work at a public defender office and apply for funding through a summer fellowship.