The New Jersey Office of the Public Defender (NJOPD) provides representation to indigent clients throughout the state of New Jersey on the trial level in the following advocacy categories: 1) adult criminal defense; 2) juvenile defense; 3) representation through our Special Hearings Unit (SHU) of those who have been convicted of sex offenses and face Megan's Law tier classification; 4) representation in Family Court through our Office of Parental Representation (OPR) of parents accused of abuse and/or neglect of their children or who face termination of their parental rights; 5) advocacy in Family Court through our Office of Law Guardian (OLG) for children whose parents are alleged to have abused and/or neglected them and/or face termination of parental rights, and 6) advocacy on behalf of individuals subject to institutionalization in the mental health system through our Division of Mental Health Advocacy. We also represent clients of the NJOPD in all of the above case types in the state appellate system, in post-conviction relief (PCR) criminal proceedings, and in other miscellaneous hearings including Drug Court and Intensive Supervision Program matters.

The NJOPD has regional offices in all 21 New Jersey counties for criminal and juvenile trial matters; magnet OPR and OLG offices around the state for all abuse and neglect and termination matters on the trial and appellate levels; magnet offices around the state for mental health advocacy; a central appellate office for all criminal/juvenile cases located in Newark, NJ; and a central management office in our headquarters based in Trenton, NJ.

The NJOPD welcomes applications for public interest internships in its various regional offices. Interns may potentially be placed in any of our offices. Students who are currently enrolled in law school are given priority. Occasionally, opportunities arise for internships for paralegal students, social work majors and college juniors and seniors. While most interns serve on a voluntary basis, applicants are welcome to apply funding obtained from other sources, make work-study arrangements, or possibly receive school credit if applicants are able to make arrangements with schools for this purpose. We can fill out any needed paperwork presented by interns to us to comply with such arrangements.

The deadline for priority consideration of internship applications is April 15th for summer placements, July 15th for fall placements, October 15th for winter placements, and January 15th for spring placements. Applications received after the priority deadlines may still be considered but will have less chance of succeeding than those submitted by the priority deadlines. To apply for an internship with the NJOPD, please e-mail a copy of your resume and information regarding your specific area of interest, availability, preferred work location, and - most importantly - why you would like to work in this area of law to:

Renee Herron-McKithen
Intern Placement
New Jersey Office of the Public Defender
Hughes Justice Complex
25 Market St P.O. Box 850
Trenton, NJ 08625
(Phone) 609-292-7089
(Fax) 609-777-1795