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What is your internship this summer, Sam?

This summer I am working as an Investigator Intern with the Orleans Public Defenders. Public defenders are essentially a law firm that provides legal representation to indigent (poor) people accused of crimes. The Supreme Court, interpreting the Constitution has ruled that all people are entitled to a lawyer. Think about in cop tv shows/movies: when police arrest people and say “you are entitled to a lawyer…. if you cannot afford one, one will be appointed to you…..” the appointed lawyer is a public defender.

What are you internship responsibilities?

I am an investigator for the actual public defenders, the attorneys. I act as an investigator/detective in order to gather information that will prove our clients (those accused of crimes) innocent. My investigating includes talking to witnesses, reviewing security footage, and other activities. Often, I speak to the complaining witnesses, or alleged victims. Finding witnesses is frequently quite difficult, as many witnesses may lack permanent addresses or phone numbers, and some may even be homeless. This means I must canvass (search for witnesses by talking to other people in the area). I may go door-to-door in neighborhoods, or apartment complexes, or businesses and attempt to find some elusive witness.

At my internship I also perform legal administrative tasks. I serve subpoenas, submit records requests to court/hospitals, and perform jail visits to receive signatures from inmates.

How did you find and secure your internship?

I found this internship through word of mouth from previous Tulane students. I secured it by applying through the normal application process.

Thank you for reading. I look forward to posting more about my internship in the coming weeks. For now, more information can be found at the OPD website: