Criminal Law Internship Program

by Matthew Hanna

Welcome to the Criminal Law Internship Program (CLIP) Blog!

Here at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS), we pride ourselves on being one of the most prestigious public defender offices in the nation. PDS provides and promotes quality and zealous legal representation for our clients – representation that is greatly assisted by our Interns.

As an Intern you don’t just sit around making copies and doing coffee runs. You work directly with Staff Attorneys and Staff Investigators completing various investigative tasks out in the District of Columbia community. Each and every day of the 12-Week Program is a new and unique experience, spent advocating for your clients. CLIP is the best internship opportunity bar none.

Don’t just take it from me, the Internship Supervisor (and former Intern from 2006), take a look at what Jacob, an Intern from Summer 2014, had to say:


“I just wanted to inform you that I have been selected as a Rhodes Scholar for the 9th District. I really wanted to communicate that my experience at PDS really fueled my desire to apply for the scholarship, and I am sure it was a reason why the committee chose me. I utilized the stories I heard and people I met to craft an application that aimed to persuade the committee to believe that I (and others) can change the conversation of justice in our society.

I will be FOREVER indebted to the internship program. My life will never be the same. I wish that I could communicate in words how thankful I am, but unfortunately I cannot.

So, please know that I am overwhelming thankful and honored to have taken part in CLIP.”


During your time here as an Intern, you can take part in various tours and presentations on daily work related topics. CLIP also takes the ‘work hard, play hard’ approach, putting on fun events such as trivia night, cookouts and group sporting events as well.

Here are some of the events we organized for our 2015 Summer Interns:

-Intern Appreciation Trivia Night Party (March)
-US Capitol Tour (June)
-LSAT 101 Testmasters Presentation (June)
-Office of Chief Medical Examiner (DC) Presentation (July)
-Summer Cookout at Hains Point (July)
-Supreme Court Tour (July)
-Washington Nationals Baseball Game (August)

Part of the CLIP Blog will also answer any questions you (future CLIP applicant) may have about the program. We’ll also have guest writers and topic discussions similar to a mailbag format.

Feel free to contact the Internship Office ([email protected]) with any questions. You can also apply for CLIP online HERE.

Thanks for reading the blog and I hope to review your application in the near future!


Matthew Hanna
Criminal Law Internship Program Supervisor
Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
633 Indiana Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 824-2375
(202) 824-2101 (fax)