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Law Internships

About HCRC

Located in San Francisco and established in 1998, the Habeas Corpus Resource Center (HCRC) is a state judicial branch entity that provides direct legal representation to death row inmates in post-conviction proceedings in state and federal courts in California. Litigation of a capital habeas corpus proceeding is a complex and time-consuming undertaking. Counsel appointed to represent death-sentenced prisoners in these proceedings review extensive trial records, conduct and supervise new investigation, and research and prepare voluminous petitions and briefs based on state and federal statutory and constitutional law. The HCRC has an authorized staff of 86 people, including 34 attorneys.

HCRC's Internship Program

Interns assist case teams in all facets of the HCRC's representation of death row inmates in post-conviction proceedings. Knowledge of substantive and procedural legal principles of criminal and constitutional law, provisions of the United States and California Constitutions, and the rules of evidence and conduct of proceedings in California courts is helpful but not required. Aside from a strong set of communication and analytical skills, applicants should possess intellectual agility, excellent writing abilities, acumen for research, and cultural sensitivity, and must be appropriately discreet with confidential information. If you speak a language other than English, particularly Spanish, please note the language in your resume. The HCRC generally accepts up to eight interns per internship period. Both rising 2Ls and 3Ls are considered for summer internship positions. Pursuant to California judicial branch policy, interns must be eligible to work in the United States.

Because we are unable to provide compensation to interns at this time, we will work with applicants in obtaining academic credit through their schools for internships. Applicants may also seek funding through their law school and other sources. Our summer internship is full-time (40 hours per week) for 10 weeks, beginning -- in either the last week of May or the first week of June -- with an integrated training with other Bay Area capital defense offices. Interns are involved in trainings and other opportunities for skill development throughout their internships.

Application Deadlines

Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until all positions are filled. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their materials as soon as possible after the application period begins.

  • Summer internship: Applications are accepted beginning September 1 for the following summer term.
  • Fall/Spring internships: Interested applicants are encouraged to send inquires about the Fall/Spring internship program to intern-committee2@hcrc.ca.gov.

How to Apply

The Habeas Corpus Resource Center is an equal opportunity employer. The HCRC believes that a diverse workforce and inclusive workplace culture enhances the performance of our organization and the quality of representation that we provide to a diverse client base. The HCRC welcomes all applicants, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.

Applicants are encouraged to apply via e-mail by submitting the following documents combined into one PDF with the title format "Your Last Name, Your Year in Law School" (e.g., Smith, 2L): (1) a cover letter, (2) your resume, (3) a writing sample (a legal memorandum or excerpt that is no more than seven pages), and (4) the names and telephone numbers of three references familiar with your skills. In the cover letter, please explain how your life experiences, training, and work experience have prepared you and enhance your ability to work with teams litigating capital habeas corpus proceedings and to work with and understand our clients and their communities.

Please e-mail your completed application to internapplications@hcrc.ca.gov with your last name in the subject line. Qualified candidates whose backgrounds best meet the needs of the HCRC will be invited to an interview either in person or via telephone depending upon the applicant's location. Questions regarding the HCRC Internship Program can be submitted to intern-committee2@hcrc.ca.gov.

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