Law Student Intern Program
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan offers intern positions to law students during the spring, summer, and fall semesters. Students typically work 16 hours a week for a total of 200 hours during the spring and fall semesters. Students participating in our summer program work 40 hours a week for 8 to 10 weeks.
Our intern positions are uncompensated and only offered to students who are enrolled in law school. Some schools offer work study programs whereby students may receive money from their schools or through grants they apply for through their school. Some schools offer class credit for participating in our intern program. Students should check with their schools for this information. The United States Attorney’s Office will work with the schools by providing any required information or evaluations.
We are committed to principles of diversity and inclusion and encourage law students from all backgrounds to apply to our intern program. In recent years, we have had interns from the following law schools: University of Michigan Law School, Michigan State University School of Law, Harvard Law School, Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Stanford Law School, Notre Dame Law School, Indiana Law School, William and Mary Law School, the University of Virginia School of Law, Case Western Reserve University School of Law, George Washington University Law School, and Boston College Law School.
The work of law student interns includes assisting in all aspects of trial preparation, legal research, writing memoranda of law, and assisting in the drafting of district court and appellate briefs. Examples of assignments recently given include drafting a response to a motion to suppress evidence in a firearms and narcotics case, drafting a section of an appellate brief addressing changes in federal sentencing law and assisting in oral argument preparation, researching legal issues and drafting a response to a post-conviction motion in a federal program fraud case, researching a jurisdictional issue in a murder case, participating in a mock cross-examination of a key government witness in preparation for trial, and drafting a memorandum concerning the extent to which certain claims are dischargeable in a bankruptcy proceeding.
Students also have the opportunity to observe depositions in civil cases and courtroom proceedings in both civil and criminal matters. Interning at a United States Attorney’s Office affords law students unique opportunities to observe federal trial practice, as Assistant United States Attorneys are in court every day litigating cases on behalf of the United States. If students have completed two years of law school, they may appear in court under the supervision of an AUSA. In the past, students have questioned witnesses at suppression hearings, and handled initial appearances, arraignments, detention hearings, and sentencings in criminal cases.
Recent comments received about the intern experience at our office:
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan provided a balanced and enriching summer internship program. In addition to giving me the opportunities to argue a sentencing hearing, to examine a witness, to draft substantial briefs in criminal cases, and to play on the softball team, the AUSAs generously provided personalized legal training that many students hope for, but few find, in an internship.”
–Former Stanford Law School 2L Intern
“My summer internship at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan set me on a path of public service. I witnessed the exemplary and tireless efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorneys to promote case efficiency, transparency, and justice. I still rely on this spirit of public service to help me overcome the many difficulties I face in promoting the rule of law and legal development in Afghanistan, one of the most challenging operating environments in the world.”
–Former Michigan State College of Law 2L Intern
“I had a great experience working as a summer intern at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Michigan. I was able to do interesting legal work, gain exposure to a wide variety of federal practice areas, and develop lasting relationships with attorneys who provided invaluable career advice.”
–Former University of Michigan Law School 1L Intern
“Volunteering at the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Western District of Michigan as a summer intern was the highlight of my law school career. I had the opportunity to represent the United States at a sentencing hearing as well as write briefs to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Not only were the experiences invaluable, but I made many connections and friendships with staff and attorneys that endure today.”
–Former Michigan State College of Law 2L Intern
“Overall, I had a great experience; I learned a lot of substantive law from the program and improved my legal writing skills. I was impressed by how committed the AUSAs were to helping the interns learn. I remember being a little nervous when I started the internship program, but it turns out I never needed to be. Everyone was eager to help me understand the background law, as well as the law relevant to individual cases. The AUSAs prepared lectures on criminal procedure and practice areas, so I had a steady framework when I was researching cases and writing briefs and memos. The detailed feedback I received on my briefs and memos helped me improve my legal writing skills. I learned how to organize my writing concisely and how to make my arguments more persuasive. The interns were frequently invited to observe trials and sentencing proceedings. Getting to observe AUSAs in court was exciting and informative, because the cases were interesting and we got to learn about the practical factors lawyers take into consideration when in court. On a personal level, everyone at the U.S. Attorney's Office was friendly and approachable, so I never felt any hesitation to ask questions. It was a great experience.”
–Former Harvard Law School Intern