Welcome Back to the CLIP Blog!

by Matthew Hanna, Criminal Law Internship Coordinator

It has been quite an eventful year for the Criminal Law Internship Program here at PDSDC. So, let’s take a look back to see what happened in 2016 and look ahead to 2017!

We have had eight outstanding classes across our three sessions (Winter/Spring, Summer and Fall), that included over 100 students from all over the country. Our Interns helped support and work cases across several divisions within our office, including Trial, Parole, Civil and Special Litigation.

We had several events and presentations throughout the year as well. Interns had an opportunity to tour the US Capitol, as well as the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office – including an in-depth look at the rooms where autopsies are conducted. The Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop came to PDS to discuss their work that inspires young inmates to read books and write new chapters in their lives. Interns heard from some of the apprentices and participated in a mini “Write Night,” which offered the opportunity to provide encouraging comments on inmate poems and stories. There was also a Summer Cookout at Hains Point as well as an Intern Appreciation Party, where we played a version of live-action Clue (with some trivia incorporated in the game as well).

CLIP Summer Sessions Group Photo (7/7/16)

Our Interns from 2016, whether they have already completed their 12-week session or are currently working now, all continue to carry out the PDS mission of zealously representing clients. Don’t take my word for it, read what Phoebe, a Summer 2016 Intern, had to say:

2016 Intern Reflection

I am so grateful to be working as an intern investigator the Public Defender Service this summer. In a given week I might be taking crime scene photos, serving subpoenas, finding witnesses and getting written statements, visiting clients in jail, and sitting in on hearings in court. I am more often out in the community than I am in the office and I get to meet someone new almost every day. I have an intern partner and we work with one attorney and his staff investigator who have both been so generous with their time and have given us plenty of opportunities to challenge ourselves. The commitment to a fair and equal justice system demonstrated by everyone in the office is nothing short of inspiring.

I would recommend this internship to anyone who is interested in criminal justice, outgoing, and wants to see more of the city than they would on their commute to and from a desk job. With more than 60 other interns in the summer, even time spent in the office is anything but dull. This internship has exceeded my expectations in every way and I know I am going to be talking about everything I learned this summer for a long time to come.

The CLIP Blog is here to answer any questions you (future CLIP applicant), may have. The CLIP Blog will feature guest writers and topic discussions, similar to a mailbag format.

Feel free to contact the Internship Office ([email protected]) with any questions. Apply for CLIP online here: http://www.pdsdc.org/careers/criminal-law-internship-program.

Thanks for reading the CLIP 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)