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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS!

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I would like to volunteer to work in the Public Defender's Office. How do I go about doing that?

The Los Angeles County Public Defender's Office provides College and High School Volunteer Programs. Volunteer college students are selected from those students who have an interest in the legal field. Assignments given to college students are matched with their abilities.

The Public Defender's Office has a commitment to teach high school students the role of the Public Defender in the criminal justice system and in the community. To that end, the Public Defender's Office works with students from many high schools, including those enrolled in Law Magnet schools because of those students' demonstrated interest in the legal arena.

Applications for college and high school volunteer programs may be made by submitting a letter setting forth your educational background, interest, and experience addressed to: Volunteer Coordinator, Office of the Los Angeles County Public Defender, 210 West Temple Street, 19th Floor, Los Angeles, California 90012.

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I am a law student. Does the Public Defender have a law clerk/internship program?

Click here for information regarding the Law Clerk Program.

Instructions, qualifications, and applications for the Senior Law Clerk Program, Exam Number L9242A, may be downloaded from http://hr.lacounty.gov.

I have just graduated from law school and am studying for the California State Bar exam. How do I apply for a position as a attorney?

The requirements for employment as an attorney are as follows:

  • You must be a citizen of the United States (resident alien status does not qualify).
  • You must be currently licensed to practice law in the state of California.
  • You must take a Civil Service Exam for the position. The Exam is graded in three categories:
    • The applicant's Communication Skills.
    • The applicant's Understanding of the Role of the Public Defender.
    • The applicant's Legal Knowledge.

The Civil Service Examination is an interview with two senior attorneys within the Office. The interview lasts approximately 30 minutes and usually involves the use of two hypothetical situations that an attorney might encounter in his/her work. The hypos usually involve ethics and evidence but are not limited to those topics. Your score is the average of the scores assigned by the two interviewers.

We conduct job interviews throughout most of the year. To determine whether interviews are being conducted, call our Human Resources Division at (213) 974-2821. In order to obtain an interview date, you must complete an application form. (A copy of the form is available for download by clicking here.) PLEASE NOTE: the application form must be completed and be filed in person in the Public Defender's Personnel Office located at 210 West Temple Street, 19thFloor, Los Angeles, CA 90012. (If you reside a great distance from Los Angeles, please call our Personnel Office at 213-974-2821.) You will have to present two copies of your resume and a copy of your Bar membership card. (If you have been admitted to the Bar, but have not yet received your membership card, you will have to provide your membership number.) You will then be given an interview date. (For information on Public Defender Clerkship programs click here.)

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