More than 45% of all paralegal hires over the last three years have been former interns. The internship program also affords students the opportunity to get "real world" experience in their area of study, possibly for college credit. The program is intended to provide knowledge, skills, and experiences that an intern can apply to future challenges and professional pursuits, while giving back to the Philadelphia community.
Most students are assigned to one unit for the duration of the internship as determined by the current needs of the Office. Occasionally these needs may require a student to split time between units. Each student will have unique experiences and duties based upon unit assignment. Some students will closely assist paralegals and/or Assistant District Attorneys, while others will work more independently fulfilling unit tasks. Regardless of unit placement, all students will be given the opportunity to observe the various aspects of criminal case prosecution. To further enhance the experience, District Attorney's Office personnel will lead breakout sessions highlighting units and office initiatives during each semester.
Students are required to give the office a minimum of 15 hours per week during the spring and fall semesters and a minimum of 24 hours per week in the summer. If a student is performing the internship for academic credit, it is the student's responsibility to communicate the institutional requirements to the Office. All undergraduate internship positions are unpaid.
To apply for the Undergraduate Internship Program, students must submit a cover letter and resume by the deadlines listed below; extensions will not be granted. All applicants will not be interviewed for the program.
Spring semester - November 15
Summer semester - February 15
Fall semester - August 1
What are the requirements?
Above all interns must have a strong sense of integrity and hard work. We are looking to create an intern staff that is self-motivated and has some experience working with people. Also, the ideal person is ambitious, mature, personable, and flexible.
While academic excellence is sought in applicants, we look for a well-rounded critical thinking student who demonstrates leadership and an interest in community. Strong oral and written communication skills are also a plus.
Is there a criminal record background check?
Do I have to be a college student?
The program is designed for undergraduates and graduate students, however all applicants with the requisite qualifications are encouraged to apply. On occasion we accept a limited number of high school students.
Do I need to be a resident of Philadelphia, PA?
There is no Philadelphia residency requirement for interns.
Do you accept international students?
We cannot offer a visa to work in the internship program. You must be eligible to work in the United States in order to be considered.
Can I intern even if I am not a criminal justice major?
Accepted students come from a broad variety of schools, backgrounds, and academic majors. A specific major is not required to become an intern. We're interested in individuals who have demonstrated a desire to work hard in public service.
Is an interview required for an internship?
Yes. If you are selected for an interview, you will be contacted. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted. You will have an opportunity to visit the location and interview with the internship coordinator. In some instances when the travel distance is significant, a telephone interview will be conducted instead of an on-site interview. This determination will be made at the Office's discretion.
How competitive is the application process?
Because we receive applications from many qualified applicants, the application process is extremely competitive. However, our office always has a lot of work to do, which means we have many intern positions to fill.
How many internships are available?
There is no set number of internships offered for a given term. Unit needs can vary greatly from semester to semester.
How many hours per week are required?
Spring and fall semester interns are required to perform a minimum of 15 each week. In the summer students are expected to work at least 24 per week.
Are interns required to attend an orientation?
There is a mandatory orientation for all interns each fall, spring, and summer. If you become an intern, you will be notified of the dates.
What will I do as an intern?
The assignments given to interns vary from unit to unit. Students can expect to work closely with Assistant District Attorneys, paralegals, other staff members and interns doing substantive assignments, with plenty of mentoring. Assignments can include research and writing, assistance with trial preparation, victims/witnesses and administrative tasks. All assignments will provide hands-on experience that develops insight into how a big city prosecutor's office operates. All interns will be afforded the opportunity to observe in court.
How long do the internships run?
Generally internships last 12-16 weeks. At the District Attorney's Office discretion, some interns may have the opportunity to extend their internship beyond the established end date.
Are interns paid?
All undergraduate internships are unpaid.
Can I receive academic credit for completing an internship?
Awarding academic credit for an internship is at the discretion of your college or university. We will assist you in providing appropriate information as requested by your school to confirm the content of your internship.
Do your offer housing for interns?
No. Interns are responsible for their own housing.
Do you have on-site parking?
On-site parking is not available.
How should I dress?
The office has a business professional dress code, which will be distributed to interns. Women wear dresses, blouses with skirts or dress slacks, while men wear dress pants, shirts and ties.
I have a question that is not listed on this page. Who should I contact?
Email all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, religion, age or disability.