Certified Legal Internship Opportunities
1.Circuit Court - Juvenile Division:
Assignment to this division involves complete handling of both misdemeanor and felony crimes in a non-jury setting. Trials are set during the mornings in this Division; but are often heard in the afternoon. Your school schedule should, therefore, allow you to be in our office at least 3 full mornings each week; however full days are best.
This experience will involve the handling of criminal traffic and misdemeanor cases under the supervision of the County Court Division Chief. Trials are set during the mornings in this Division. Jury trials, however, will carry over into the afternoon. Your school schedule should ideally allow you to be in our office at least 3 full, back-to-back days each week.
2. Domestic Crimes
The Domestic Violence Division of County Court is comprised of three courts of special jurisdiction. These 3 courts handle all misdemeanor battery, violation of injunction, assault and stalking charges in Miami-Dade County that occur between people who are married, separated, living together as a family, have children together or are related.
Practice in this division requires exceptional communication skills, as there is intense and substantial victim and witness contact. There is special emphasis on case investigation and preparation due to the nature of the crimes committed and the relationship between all parties involved. In addition to jury trials, Certified Legal Interns will be able to participate in bench trials, report calendars, probation violation hearings and motion practice. Interns must possess exceptional organizational and analytical skills. Ideal candidates are those who are sensitive to domestic violence issues.
Trial calendars are Mondays through Thursdays at 8:45 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Probation violation hearings are held on Fridays. Ideal schedule should allow interns to work two consecutive days.
3.Circuit Court - Criminal Division
This experience will involve research and assistance in trial preparation for one of the felony division level attorneys. While the student may sit as second counsel of most cases that go to trial; he/she may serve as lead counsel on certain cases designated by his/her supervising attorney. Calendars are heard at 9:00 a.m. and trials can be heard in the late morning or in the afternoon on any day of the week. It is, therefore, not possible to recommend a schedule for students. However, a combination of mornings and full afternoons is usually best. In order to be able to participate in trials as much as possible, it is also necessary that students assigned to the Felony Division have some flexibility in their scheduling. Assignment to this division will not afford as much courtroom time as County Court or Juvenile, since trial weeks for the respective supervising attorneys are scheduled every three weeks. There will be more case preparation time in this division than in County Court or Juvenile.
The Child Support Division of the State Attorney’s Office handles paternity, child support establishment, and enforcement cases. Responsibilities for clinical interns will include preparing and making appearances at bench trials; researching family law issues; drafting motions; coordinating hearing dates with opposing counsel; calculating child support guidelines and arrears; reviewing discovery requests and responses; and helping the Assistant State Attorneys with case management.
Interns must work a minimum of 20 hours per week. Cases are generally scheduled in the mornings; therefore, interns’ schedules should permit them to work at least 3 mornings per week.
To some extent, the experience the students can expect to receive will depend upon the particular assignment. In general, however, the student will receive experience in the following areas:
- Investigation and filing of cases;
- Pre-trial procedures, including motion practice, discovery, depositions, legal research, and trial preparation;
- Participation in the trial of a variety of cases