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Legal Internships

General Information – Legal Internships

The Iowa Attorney General’s Office (“Office”) values the contributions made by legal interns (in some cases referred to as “externs”). The Office benefits substantially from the work done by interns and from the contributions these students make to the vitality of the office.

 The Office works with the law schools at the University of Iowa and Drake University, as well as law schools outside the state, to ensure that interns are given the best experience possible and receive appropriate academic credit for their work.  

Unpaid internships are available to 1st and 2nd year law students – during the academic year and during the summer.

Internships are available in the following areas of practice:   Licensing and Administrative Law Division, Area Prosecutions Division, Consumer Protection Division, Criminal Appeals Division (2nd year students), Human Services Division, Environmental Law Division, Revenue Division,  

Special Litigation Division, Prosecuting Attorneys Training Coordinator, and the Office of Consumer Advocate (Utilities).

2024 Fall Internships

The Office is seeking 1st and 2nd year law students for unpaid 2024 fall internships.  The Office has slots for 10 - 15 summer interns.

JOB DUTIES

1st year students.   Interns who have just completed their first year in law school commonly are involved in the following types of projects:

  1. Traditional legal research memoranda.
  2. Drafting pleadings and briefs for filing with administrative bodies, district courts, and appellate courts.
  3. Organizing files for criminal, district court, or administration proceedings, including spotting legal and factual issues, related research, and collaborative work with the attorneys in charge.
  4. If possible, working with lawyers during hearing preparation and the hearing.
  5. Research in connection with drafting proposed administrative rules or laws.
  6. Observing appellate arguments, with prior attendance at the “mock argument” when possible.
  7. Observing hearings, trials, depositions, client meetings, depending on interest and availability.
  8. Drafting administrative rulings.

 2nd year students.   In addition to the work described above, interns in a clinical program after their second year are also allowed to participate in hearings and arguments under the supervision of a lawyer.

SUBJECT MATTER AREAS

Summer internships are available in the following divisions of the Office: 

SG/Farm and Special Litigation Division: The Solicitor General and Special Litigation Divisions are looking for interns interested in appeals and high-impact litigation. The Divisions seek interns with excellent legal research and writing skills. These divisions defend state laws in both state and federal courts. The Solicitor General Division also oversees the Attorney General’s Office appeals, with a particular focus on civil suits. The internship in these divisions will have a focus on substantive brief writing, legal research, and the potential for observing or participating in oral argument.

Criminal Appeals: Criminal Appeals seeks an intern with superlative writing and research skills.  This division, as the name suggests, handles appeals from criminal proceedings, but also from other criminal-adjacent areas as well. From taking a “state’s appeal” to motion practice before the Iowa Supreme Court to defending district court rulings, this division deals with a vast array of issues that affect every-day Iowans.  By virtue of their unique experience, attorneys from this division also help local prosecuting attorneys with uncommon issues, advise on extradition matters, review legislation, give legal training, and speak at conferences.  Interns in this division will work with two mentor-attorneys briefing cases, participating in moots, and hopefully giving an argument.

Statewide Prosecution: Statewide Prosecutions is looking for interns interested in the prosecution of complex district court level criminal cases.  The typical case within Statewide Prosecutions involves either sexual assault or homicides. Interns will receive the opportunity to assist with case review, motion and trial preparation and observe jury trials. There will be multiple opportunities to learn from seasoned career prosecutors. Cases are across the State of Iowa so some travel will be expected.

Agency: The Agency Counsel Division is looking for interns interested in administrative law, agency litigation, and related appeals representing Iowa state agencies, boards, and commissions. The division defends state agencies in both state and federal courts and pursues administrative and civil remedies against violators of state law. This includes a wide variety of legal practices, working with, e.g., the Department of Natural Resources on environmental law, the Department of Public safety on policing law, the Department of Administrative Services on state contracting, and state licensing boards (e.g., the Board of Medicine) on professional regulation and discipline, the Department of Transportation on construction and transportation law (located at the Ames office), just to name a few. This internship will include legal research, substantive writing, and, potentially, participation in court and administrative hearings and meetings with senior state officials.

HHS: The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is dedicated to offering top-tier programs and services that bolster the health and resilience of individuals, families, and communities. The Assistant Attorneys General working within the HHS division manage a broad range of issues, from Child Welfare and Medicare to Gun Restoration Rights and Juvenile Appeals, among others. As the largest state agency, HHS also stands as the most expansive division within the Attorney General's Office. The diversity of our work ensures a stimulating environment, providing continuous opportunities for learning and broadening legal expertise. We invite proactive interns who are passionate about making a significant positive impact on the lives of many to consider working with us. Interns will support attorneys through legal research, brief writing, and hands on practical court experiences.

Consumer Protection: The Consumer Protection Division is dedicated to protecting the public from fraud, deception, and unfair business practices and ensuring a free and fair marketplace.  The division helps accomplish those goals through the enforcement of “unfair and deceptive acts and practices laws” and antitrust laws (in both cases, Iowa and federal laws).  The area of consumer protection is vast, but among others, attorneys in the division work on cases regarding false or misleading advertisements, deceptive sales practices, adequate consumer disclosures, unfair debt collection practices, financial scams, home improvement scams, health fraud, elder abuse, data privacy, social media platforms, and antitrust issues.  Division attorneys also get the chance to work with other states’ attorney general offices, federal agencies, other divisions within the Iowa Attorney General’s office, and other Iowa agencies.  We invite interns who are passionate about public service and positively affecting the lives of Iowa consumers.  Interns will work with attorneys and division investigators to determine cases to bring.  Additionally, interns will support attorneys through legal research, writing (e.g., compliance agreements, settlement agreements, and/or briefs), and hands on practical experiences as they become available (e.g., interviewing Iowans, participating in calls with attorneys general’ offices and federal agencies, or aiding in preparation for trial).     

Civil Litigation Division: The Civil Litigation Division primarily defends the State and its employees on claims seeking money damages in federal and state court. The Division is looking for interns who are interested in gaining experience with high-profile civil litigation. Excellent legal research and writing skills, along with strong oral advocacy, are desired. The internship in the Division will have a focus on substantive brief writing, legal research, and attending hearings and depositions. 

Interested students should send cover letter, resume, and transcript (when available) to AG Human Resources, not later than July 1, 2024.  Selection decisions are made on a rolling basis.

For more information or to apply, contact:

AG Human Resources
Office of the Attorney General of Iowa
1305 East Walnut St.
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
AGHumanResources@ag.iowa.gov

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