Legal Intern-Extern

The City Attorney's Office hires three legal interns each summer. The office also offers externships during the summer or semester-in-practice student externships during the school year. Interns/Externs are trained and mentored by a senior attorney and are given their own caseload to handle, from arraignments and pre-trial conference to court trials and jury trials. Interns/Externs spend as many as three days in criminal court each week.

We strive to get trial experience for our interns/externs and allow them to work with an experienced trial attorney on as many jury trials as possible - often interns/externs are able to handle a jury trial during the summer or semester, although they will prepare for and observe many. We ensure that by the end of their term, interns/externs have had plenty of experience conducting bench/court trials on their own. They may also be given civil projects to handle, such as legal memos, research for municipal ordinances, outlining training sessions for City departments, and other necessary civil work, depending on the need.

If an extern prefers to experience more civil-oriented experience, then they are assigned to the Civil Division. They are provided the opportunity to attend public meetings such as the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Historic Preservation Commission, the Design Review Committee, the Parks & Recreation Commission, the Impact Fee Advisory Committee, the Foothills Conservation Advisory Committee, and the Arts and History Commission. Externs typically do legal research and writing on specific legal topics assigned by their supervising attorney.

Typically, we travel to several law schools in the fall to interview second year law students interested in obtaining a limited license during the following summer for a legal internship. They generally make their selections by the middle of October.

As mentioned above, working under the direction of a supervising attorney, interns/externs appear in court to prosecute misdemeanors and infractions and/or participate in hands-on civil legal assignments involving legal research and writing. Interns receive a competitive monthly stipend for the three-month summer period, while externs receive law school credits, depending on their school's requirements.

If you have an interest in this type of a legal internship or externship, please contact:

Kourtney Fairchild
Administrative Assistant
Boise City Attorney's Office
Email:   Kfairchild@cityofboise.org
208/388-4716

Past Intern/Extern Experiences

Kayla Spain
University of Idaho, School of Law
Summer 2014

Interning at the Boise City Attorney's Office was a remarkable experience and I am extremely grateful to have been provided this opportunity. The experience I gained this summer was invaluable.  I appeared in court up to four days a week and interacted with defendants, public defenders, private attorneys, judges, and court staff on a daily basis.  I gained confidence in my abilities that I will carry with me for the rest of my legal career.  Additionally, the friendly and helpful attorneys and office staff at Boise City Attorney's Office were fantastic to work with. 

 

Christopher Horras
Lewis & Clark Law
Summer 2013

My extern experience over eight weeks was better than I ever could have imagined.   I was impressed with the collegiality, support, and cooperation among the attorneys here at Boise City. I had heard stories from externs in other places that they often felt like they were "on an island" in their externship position. Many of these students complained about either having too few assignments or too many assignments with little direction or support. I never felt this way in my time at Boise City. I loved how I was eased into court with a week or so of observation, and I also loved getting the opportunity to be trained by so many attorneys at different times. This really gave me a range of styles to observe, and I realized that there are so many ways to approach a problem, all of which can be successful. I feel quite lucky to have had so much in-court experience in a short time. I know this will benefit me greatly in future endeavors.  While I had a single attorney assigned as my official mentor attorney, I actually had about ten attorneys that mentored me directly, and I had a whole office full of attorneys that I could turn to with questions.  I cannot count the number of times I popped into an attorney's office and asked him or her a random question. The amazing thing was, I was NEVER told to come back or check with someone else because the attorney was too busy to help me. I expected to be turned away from time to time this summer, but it never happened.  Also, the support staff here is outstanding. I cannot count the number of questions all of the support staff answered for me in my short time here.  I never felt like I couldn't ask a question, and I was constantly impressed with the staff's prompt responses to my requests. The attorneys here are blessed to have such dedicated support.

 

Shayne Nope
University of Idaho School of Law
Summer 2013

The experience I had as a summer prosecuting intern with the Boise City Attorney's Office was fantastic. From day one of orientation, the attorneys in charge of training were prepared to answer my questions and provide me with the tools to be successful. Every senior attorney in the office seemed to have the same goals in mind for interns: help them learn and have fun, give the interns the opportunity to handle a jury trial, and ensure the intern's success on the record in court on a daily basis.

One of the reasons I wanted to work at the City Attorney's Office was to obtain courtroom experience, which soon became a reality. I worked on over 200 cases during the summer including: arraignments, court trials conferences, court trials, sentencing hearings, bond reviews, no contact order hearings, and jury trials. I was able to prepare six (6) cases for jury trial and successfully second chaired a DUI jury trial with a senior attorney sitting first chair. My internship with the Boise City Attorney's Office has been by far the best experience I've had during law school.

 

Nicole Hermann
University of Oregon School of Law
Summer 2011

When looking for a summer internship, I knew I wanted to work at an office that gave me immediate, hands-on experience in trial work with as much exposure to the courtroom atmosphere as possible.  As an intern with the Boise City Attorney's Office, I was thrilled to find the experience and exposure to criminal trial work I had been looking for.  The Boise City intern program is structured to allow the interns to do essentially the same criminal work that most of the first year attorneys in the office do.  During your internship you will get to handle your own caseload, covering everything from video arraignments and pre-trial conferences to probation and sentencing hearings.  In addition, you will have the opportunity to try several cases in court (bench) trials, and hopefully sit second chair in a jury trial as well. The experience and confidence I gained from prepping and trying my own court trials, and getting to work on two different jury trials, was invaluable.  Not only are you being trained and guided by a number of incredibly skilled and dedicated attorneys, but you quickly develop a rapport with the judges and build a lasting confidence in your abilities.  The entire focus of the Boise City program is to get the interns as much exposure to every aspect of criminal prosecution as possible, and that is exactly what you will come away with.  In addition to the incredible job experience, the learning environment at Boise City is truly fantastic.  The group of attorneys and staff that you will work with as an intern are an amazing group of people with a wealth of experience and advice that they are all incredibly eager to share with you.  Anytime you have a question about a case file, need help with court or jury trial questions, or just need some general advice about whatever, you won't find an attorney in the office who isn't immediately willing to help.  From your first day of training throughout the entire summer, you will find everyone at the Boise City Attorney's Office invested in making sure you succeed both in and out of the courtroom.

 

Brandi Archer
University of Idaho, School of Law
Intern, Summer 2008

When deciding where to intern I knew that I did not want to sit in some back corner and research and write all summer just to watch someone else take that research to court. I wanted to do trial work, possibly be a trial attorney and get some courtroom experience to see if I liked it as much as I thought I would. This is what led me to interviewing, and eventually interning for, the Boise City Attorney's Office.

When I got to the Boise City Attorney's Office I was pleased to find a friendly, laid-back atmosphere with great importance placed on helping each other and educating the interns. I don't think a day went by without at least one attorney stopping by my desk to ensure everything was going alright. As far as courtroom experience, I got all that I could ask for. After a training period during the first weeks, I was given my own caseload and handled everything from video arraignments to jury trials. There was a great emphasis put on getting the interns as much experience in every phase of a trial as possible.  After a summer at the Boise City Attorney's Office I feel much more prepared to be a lawyer. I now have a better understanding of what goes into preparing a case and getting it into a courtroom. I also had an enjoyable experience working with people who valued the work of interns, trying to teach them as much as possible. I felt everyone at the City Attorney's Office wanted the interns to succeed and worked to ensure this happened.

 

Jeff Conner
Gonzaga University Law School
Intern, Summer 2008

In looking for an internship, Boise City offered just what I was looking for, and when I actually took the job, they delivered even more. 

Where the office really sets itself apart is the amount of discretion they give to interns in handling cases. As an intern with Boise City you will have the opportunity to negotiate with pro se defendants, public defenders and private defense counsel. You will find yourself working with witnesses and police officers to reconstruct events that may have happened months ago. You will find yourself balancing out the interests involved in deciding whether to amend a charge, up or down, in order to achieve the desired effect of a sentence. Ultimately, you will find yourself making the call on whether to settle a case or take it to trial. There is no greater tool in the criminal justice system than prosecutorial discretion, and having the opportunity to learn to use that judgment responsibly and appropriately is an experience that an attorney will carry with them throughout their career no matter what kind of law they decide to practice. For many soon to be attorneys the idea of being in court, in front of a judge, with a real live defendant across the aisle can be a little overwhelming, and nerve-racking, but that is what made my experience that much more valuable. I learned to deal with the anxiety and stress of being in court, and that would not have been possible without the learning environment of the office. First, the supervising attorneys do a great job of making sure that each intern has enough work to keep them busy, but never so much work that they are going into the courtroom ill prepared to handle their cases. Second, the resources that are available to interns at Boise City are invaluable and endless. From practitioners with years of experience in trial and appellate work to new attorneys fresh out of law school, there is never a shortage of places to turn for guidance and reassurance, or even just to have a chat about an interesting file. The attorneys go above and beyond making themselves available to an intern in need of help and are always willing to give you the kind of work you are looking for including cases that are likely to go to a jury trial, and most importantly they will never force you to do anything you feel you can't handle. Finally, as if all that isn't enough to make Boise City an excellent choice for a summer job, there is one more thing that is the cherry on top if you will… the people that work for the Boise City Attorney's Office are second to none. The camaraderie within the office is unreal, they love and believe in the work they do, they go out of their way to make sure you feel like you are part of the team, and they genuinely care about your development both professionally and personally. You honestly can not find a more ideal place to work!


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