Legal Internships

Where can I find opportunities for volunteering or interning with a law firm or agency?

  • Use SlugQuest to view internship and job listings (you can search for your interests by keyword). Some local Santa Cruz attorneys and other employers, such as Plantronics, occasionally post legal intern or legal assistant part time jobs in SlugQuest.  
  • Check the Career Center's Events Calendar to find dates and times for our Internship Workshop, which covers finding established internships or starting your own.

Santa Cruz Area Opportunities:

Barrios Unidos, Santa Cruz

A youth violence prevention organization dedicated to providing alternatives to at-risk youth and re-entry opportunities to former prisoners. Volunteer interns can work in a variety of programs including: kids clubs, youth groups, juvenile hall, and the prison project.

California Rural Legal Assistance (Santa Cruz)

Legal Aid Interns handle client intakes, preparation of legal documents, and work closely with attorneys
. Contact program through this page:

CASA Volunteering

CASA – Court Appointed Special Advocates (Santa Cruz) select “Ways to get involved” button and then “Volunteer”

Friends Outside (Santa Cruz and Watsonville)

Need volunteers for weekly visits to adult county jails; work with prisoners and families
- Call or email the the program coordinator at 831-427-5070 or

Santa Cruz County Volunteer Initiative Program

Helps link volunteers to various county government agencies that need people. There are usually a variety of opportunities available. Contact the Volunteer Initiative Program Coordinator at (831) 454-2987 or

Helps link volunteers to various county government agencies that need people. There are usually a variety of opportunities available. Contact the Volunteer Initiative Program Coordinator (831) 454-2987  

Santa Cruz County Law Library,

Provides legal information service to Santa Cruz county residents, lawyers, judges and government officials. Volunteers help patrons, answer the phone, and file documents. For more information call (831) 420-2205 or email

Santa Cruz County Probation Department

Interns work in the adult division, juvenile division, or the juvenile hall to gain practical experience in the criminal justice field working with other probation staff, partnering agencies, and clients. If you have any questions please contact: Peter Grassi at (831) 454-7318/ or Karla Wade at (831) 454-4992/

Santa Cruz County Public Defender's Office

Volunteer Interns will be assigned to the Investigations Bureau of the Public Defender’s Office. You will work with investigators and trial attorneys. Areas of law include the defense of misdemeanor charges from driving under the influence or domestic violence, to felony charges such as assault with a deadly weapon or murder. Duties include writing letters to request records from law enforcement agencies, medical facilities, and other businesses. You will also be asked to prepare and serve subpoenas, locate and interview witnesses, and write reports based on those interviews. Interns are often asked to take pictures of physical evidence and photographs and measurements at the scene of the alleged crime. You will also be exposed to various resources and databases commonly used to locate witnesses and gather background information. Spanish-speaking interns will also be asked to interpret for attorney/client meetings in the office and in the Santa Cruz County Jail facilities. You will also be asked to translate written documents.
Interns will participate in a 16 hr. training prior to starting, and will receive on the job training from the Chief Investigator. They will also have the opportunity to observe court proceedings and attend investigator training sessions.

Internship is open to Juniors and Seniors only.
This internship requires a 6-month minimum commitment.
16-24 hours a week to be completed Monday-Friday between 8-5pm.
A reliable vehicle is required.

Please email your resume and cover letter to the Supervising Investigator at:

Senior Citizens Legal Services (Santa Cruz)

This agency provides free legal services to elderly residents of Santa Cruz county. Volunteer interns interview clients, contact agencies, write letter/documents
and interact with local attorneys and judges. 

Watsonville Law Center

Volunteers interview clients, prepare fact summaries, various tasks related to client cases
. Bilingual in Spanish helpful. 

UCSC Psychology Field Student Program – Legal Related Placements

If you are a Junior or Senior Psychology major the three opportunities below are through the Psychology Field Study Program 
Contact Program Coordinator, Donna Baldini, (831) 459-4410

  • Public Defender Investigator Intern: Public Defender's Office (Santa Cruz)
-Locate, interview witnesses; prepare reports for court trials
  • Investigation Intern: Santa Clara County Public Defender's Office (San Jose)
-Assist with legal process, crime scene evaluation, locating and interviewing witnesses
  • Juvenile Court Intern: Public Defender's Office (Santa Cruz)
-Interview minors regarding crimes; prepare reports
  • Advocate for local abused and neglected children
  • Volunteer/Intern: Santa Cruz District Attorney’s Office (select the “employment” button then volunteer)
  • Variety of duties but mostly in victim witness unit and prosecution units

Regional Volunteer/Internship Opportunities:

Superior Courts of Santa Clara County

East Bay Community Law Center

East Bay Sanctuary Covenant (Immigrant rights)

San Francisco District Attorney’s Office Internships

IRS including IRS Criminal Investigation

Student Volunteer and paid intern programs with the IRS.  

Contact IRS office in San Jose (408) 283-1569, Oakland (801) 620-7195, or San Francisco (415) 553-8990

Legal Assistance for Seniors - Alameda County

Bay Area Legal Aid

For more information on volunteer internship to assist attorneys visit

Office of the Public Defender - Santa Clara County

Superior Court of California – County of Santa Clara

The following two types of positions are available:

Self-Help Center Assistant Volunteers provide information to self-represented litigants. Attorneys, law students and paralegals are encouraged to apply. Contact Human Resources (408-882-2725 ) for more information.

Judicial Interns work with or provide research support for a judge or court program (law students and selected college students). To qualify candidates must be enrolled in a college degree program that is related to the internship. Interns must have the required skills and educational background for the position. In many cases, interns will receive credit toward their degree, but in all cases the internships are designed to provide relevant experiential learning in one or more of the courts program departments.

Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (San Francisco)

California County Public Defender

California County Public Defender or County Web Sites

Legal Aid Intern Position: California Rural Legal Assistance (Santa Cruz)

  • Client intake, preparation of legal documents, work closely with attorneys

  • Contact Intern Coordinator at 831-724-2253 or

  • Limited number of internships for undergraduates in legal research, brief writing, interviewing

California Opportunities:

ACLU of Northern California

California Justice Corps Program

Recruits and trains 250 diverse university students annually to serve in overburdened legal self-help centers throughout California.

State of California Department of Justice

Judicial Administration Fellow: Center for California Studies (San Francisco and Sacramento)

Walt Disney Studios (Burbank/Glendale)

Sony Pictures Entertainment: Legal Intern

Sony Pictures Entertainment internships are based on sponsoring departments request

National Opportunities:

Job listings target legal professionals but include other resources including temporary legal staffing agencies.

Public Affairs Council

Job listings in public affairs, mostly in Washington D.C.

Union Jobs Clearinghouse

Positions in organized labor searchable by state and by union name

Charles G. Koch Summer Fellow Program

American Bar Association – Summer Research Diversity Fellowships in Law

US Supreme Court - Internships

Other Legal Assistant/Law Position Resources