The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office Externship Program offers unpaid extern opportunities for law students. Externs gain hands-on experience in the various areas of law practiced in a municipal law office, rotating between the Civil Liability, Municipal, Public Rights, and Criminal Divisions.
In each rotation, externs are provided an overview of the work conducted in that division, assigned projects arising from the areas of law specific to that division, and given the opportunity to gain practical experience by shadowing and/or participating in activities central to that division’s practice.
The Criminal Division rotation gives law students the opportunity to experience the everyday practice of misdemeanor prosecution. Under the skilled supervision of our Deputy City Attorneys, externs review police reports, make criminal filing recommendations, request and review discovery, draft motions and pleadings, conduct novel research, and assist in trial preparation. Externs who obtain State Bar certification are also able to make supervised court appearances.
“My externship was a very rewarding opportunity to immerse myself in the field of criminal law during my 1L summer. All of the externship assignments that I did, whether they were writing, research or listening to court proceedings and interacting with the judge, were engaging and challenging in the best way. My supervisor met with me regularly to discuss the latest work that the CAO was doing, gave me very helpful feedback on my own projects and made sure that I met and worked with different lawyers on the team. Overall, I really felt like my work was appreciated and that I got to experience new aspects of criminal legal work. Having gone through this externship, I have a better sense of the kind of work that I want to do when I graduate from law school and I feel better equipped to dive deeper into the field of criminal law." – Summer 2021 Externship Participant
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