Alaska Department of Law Internship Program

Introduction

The Alaska Department of Law, under direction of the Attorney General, is the largest law firm in the state. The Alaska Department of Law has volunteer summer intern positions available for students enrolled in accredited law schools. Past interns have come from schools across the country, including University of California, Hastings and Berkeley, Columbia, Vermont, University of Oregon, McGeorge, Rutgers, NYU, Yale, University of Idaho, Stanford, Brooklyn, Boston College, Georgetown, Cornell, Emory and University of Washington.

The program includes round-trip airfare to Alaska, but offers no stipend or salary. Our preference is to ask students to commit to an internship of at least ten weeks. Check with your law school to see if financial aid is available to students who intern for public agencies such as the Department of Law.

Internships are available in both the Civil Division and the Criminal Division:

Civil Division Internships:

We have fourteen different sections in the Department of Law, all representing different agencies of the State and the Governor’s office. As an intern, you will be assigned to one of our sections and during your internship you may do legal research, writing, and courtroom work in the trial court under the direction of experienced trial lawyers. We also make available as many learning opportunities as possible, including attendance at depositions, client meetings, witness preparation and other day to day attorney activities. We place our interns in our Anchorage, Juneau and Fairbanks offices. Second and third-year students working in the Fairbanks office or in the Human Services section, who have completed at least one-half of the course work required for a law degree, are eligible for a "legal intern permit" under Alaska Bar Rule 44, allowing you to appear in court.

During the internship, you will receive feedback of both your written and courtroom work from attorneys who have supervised and observed you. We strive to provide every intern interested with a substantive writing sample at the end of the internship.

Criminal Division Internships:

The Criminal Division prosecutes violations of state criminal law committed by adults and a large percentage of the serious crimes committed by juveniles. The day-to-day prosecution services are carried out by thirteen regional district attorney’s offices. Our priority is to assign interns to Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau, but other possible locations include Barrow, Bethel, Dillingham, Kenai, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Kotzebue, Nome, Palmer, and Sitka.

Second and third-year students who have completed at least one-half of the course work required for a law degree are eligible for a “legal intern permit” under Alaska Bar Rule 44, allowing you to appear in court. You may also have the opportunity to travel to a court in an outlying area.

Intern Experiences

Read about the experiences of past summer interns at the Department of Law.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Alaska Department of Law pay its interns?

The internship program at the Alaska Department of Law is a volunteer program. An internship position includes round-trip airfare to Alaska, but does not pay a stipend or salary. Check with your law school to see if financial aid is available for students who intern for public agencies such as the Department of Law. We will also work with you if you would like to do a work-study program.

How long is the internship and when would it start?

Our preference is to ask students to commit to an internship of at least ten weeks. The exact start and end dates of your internship are flexible, but we prefer to have all interns start within a two week period which is established based on the internís school schedules.

How does the application process work?

See "How to Apply," below.

When should I apply?

The Department of Law has two divisions, one that handles the civil work of the State and one that handles the criminal work.

We accept applications for intern positions at any time. Acceptance is on a rolling basis but we typically fill our intern positions at the end of January. For web applicants, it is best to have your application materials in by the end of December.

What areas of law would I be working in?

Civil Division

The Civil Division of the Department of Law is divided into 14 statewide sections:

  • Child Protection
  • Collections and Support
  • Commercial and Fair Business
  • Environmental Law
  • Human Services
  • Information and Project Support
  • Labor and State Affairs
  • Legislation and Regulations
  • Natural Resources
  • Oil, Gas and Mining
  • Opinions, Appeals, and Ethics
  • Regulatory Affairs and Public Advocacy
  • Torts and Workers' Compensation
  • Transportation

Not all sections will necessarily take an intern for a given summer, but you should communicate your preferences in your cover letter. If you are interested in more than one section, list all of the sections in which you have an interest in the cover letter.

Criminal Division

The Criminal Division has District Attorney Offices in the larger cities of Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau as well as the smaller towns of Barrow, Bethel, Dillingham, Kenai, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Kotzebue, Nome, Palmer and Sitka. All offices handle the same types of criminal cases. Applicants may indicate a preference for location.

Where in Alaska would I work?

The Civil Division has seven offices throughout the state but internships generally are available only in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau. Where interns are placed depends on the needs of the sections in each city; however, the majority of our interns are in Anchorage.

What kinds of projects am I likely to work on?

Civil Division

As an intern in the Civil Division, you may do legal research, writing, and courtroom work in the trial court under the direction of experienced trial and appellate lawyers. Work projects will vary by section, but we want interns to get as many different legal experiences as possible, so if an opportunity arises in a different section, supervisors generally are willing to let interns participate. We also include interns in as many other aspects of attorney work as possible. In past years this has included having interns accompany attorneys in mediation, arbitration, depositions, witness preparation, motion practice and client meetings.

In addition, second and third-year student interns in the Fairbanks office, in the Human Services Section in Anchorage, and in the Criminal Division who have completed at least one-half of the course work required for a law degree are eligible for a "legal intern permit" under Alaska Bar Rule 44. This allows the intern to appear in court.

Criminal Division

An internship in a District Attorney Office provides the opportunity to do legal research, writing and courtroom work in felony and misdemeanor criminal prosecutions under the direction of experienced trial lawyers. With a legal intern permit you may expect to handle at least one misdemeanor jury trial, under supervision. Other duties include screening and charging cases, presenting cases to the grand jury and petit jury, writing and responding to motion work and appearing at evidentiary and sentencing hearings. Some travel may be required to cover court in outlying areas.

How do I find out about housing?

There are a number of places that advertise short-term housing, including the Anchorage Daily News and Craigslist. In past years, many interns have obtained housing at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. More information on this can be found at http://www.uaa.alaska.edu/ccs/guesthousing/

Do I need a car?

Not necessarily. Many housing options are within walking, bus or bicycling distance from the office. Many of our interns bring bicycles from home, and others have bought bicycles on Craigslist. Some interns have even bought older cars when they arrived and resold them at the end of the summer.

Can I get work study credit?

Check with your school to see whether it allows school credit for the internship. Interns have, in the past, earned credit toward school.

Can I take time off during my internship?

Some sections will approve leave in the middle of the internship (i.e. a one-week vacation) as long as the full term of the internship is ten weeks.

How to Apply

To apply for an internship in the Civil Division, send a resume, cover letter, writing sample, law school transcript, and three references to:

Civil Division
Jennifer Currie
Assistant Attorney General
Alaska Department of Law
1031 W. 4th Avenue, Suite 200
Anchorage, AK 99501
Jennifer.Currie@alaska.gov • (907)269-5280

Criminal Division
Susie Frenzel
Legal Administrator
Criminal Division Central Office
P.O. Box 110300
Juneau, AK 99811-0300
susie.frenzel@alaska.gov (907)465-3569

Please indicate in your cover letter which section(s) you are interested in, as well as your geographic preference or requirements.

Women and minority applications are encouraged. The Alaska Department of Law is an equal opportunity employer and complies with Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Applicants who need accommodation to apply may call Relay Alaska at 1-800-770-8973, or the Department of Law. For civil division positions, call Melanie Ferguson (907) 269-5102. For Criminal Division positions, call Susie Frenzel (907) 465-3569.

Applicants are encouraged to solicit information about the Department of Law from any of its employees. However, the state will not be bound by any offer of employment or any commitment as to terms and conditions of employment or as to the application of departmental policies, if not made in writing by an authorized representative of the Attorney General. Final hiring decisions are made by the Attorney General.

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