LAW OFFICE OF THE PUBLIC DEFENDERCertified Legal Internship Program

Internship Opportunities

The Broward Public Defender’s Office offers two types of internships for law students and undergraduate students: Certified Legal Interns (CLI’s) and non-certified. Both programs afford invaluable experience working alongside Assistant Public Defenders.

NOTE:  We offer internships only to students. We do not accept law school graduates or attorneys as volunteers.


The Law Office of the Public Defender, 17th Judicial Circuit is committed to the hiring and engagement of law school students committed to upholding the Constitution, desirous of engaging in real-life criminal defense litigation, desirous of having practical courtroom exposure, with the willingness to zealously advocate on behalf of indigent criminal clients of the office. In recognition of this commitment, the office understands and appreciates the economic challenges faced by unemployed and aspiring attorneys, completing law school, but having to balance the need to focus on expenses and study for the Florida Bar.

As a response to many of these challenges faced by aspiring law school graduates, the Law Office of the Public Defender, 17th Judicial Circuit offers a paid opportunity as a Certified Legal Intern. A Certified Legal Intern (CLI) is a law student approved by the Florida Supreme Court to represent clients in Court under the supervision of an approved licensed Florida attorney. See Chapter 11- Rules Governing the Law School Practice Program of the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar:
Candidates for CLI, within the office must obtain approval from the Florida Bar and their respective law school.
The Law Office of the Public Defender, 17th Judicial Circuit, CLI opportunity is unique from other CLI opportunities, in that:

1. Selected CLl’s are immediately enrolled in the 17th Judicial Circuit (PD ACADEMY). This PD ACADEMY offers real-life and practical training amongst a class of additional CLI candidates. This PD ACADEMY bridges the legal education gained by students through law school with the practical real-life experience representation of criminal clients. CLI do not have to fear learning on their own. The PD ACADEMY offers CLIs the opportunity to work alongside Assistant Public Defenders, specifically assigned to them as a Trainer, who will work alongside the CLI on necessary skillsets. CLl’s in the PD ACADEMY will develop skills and obtain training in:
• Direct and cross examination;
• Jury selection;
• Opening and closing statements;
• Client representation and litigation defense;
• Court room demeanor;
• Speaking in open court on the record;
• Preparing Motions; and
• Conducting pre-trial discovery, including the taking of depositions.

PD ACADEMY activities are all completed in a supportive environment, under the close supervision of Legal Trainers within the office. This support and guidance will be ongoing through the PD ACADEMY experience and will continue if offered employment in the office, post-graduation. Administrators, trainers, staff, and colleagues within the office pride themselves on the success of the PD ACADEMY and the impacts made on future attorneys .

How to Apply

Human Resources Department
Broward County Courthouse
201 SE 6th Street, Suite 3872
Third Floor, North Wing
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301

Benefits of successful CLI candidates are ongoing.

In addition to the above, the Law Office of the Public is committed to hiring CLl's as conditional Assistant Public Defenders, while in law school subject to the following terms:

A. CLI working 30 hours a week: (*under an approved EXTERNSHIP from their respective law school) 2• Pay and benefits applicable.
1. $25 an hour in a state position;
2. PD ACADEMY training;
3. Paid holiday;
4. Benefits;
5. Handle cases and speak on the record for cases assigned.

The Law Office of the Public Defender, 17th Judicial Circuit offers valuable experience. You can learn more about the office, its mission, and opportunities of the office by visiting our website at: Watch how you can explore a career in the office by visiting:
For those interested in becoming a certified legal intern at the Law Office of the Public Defender, 17TH Judicial Circuit, please email your resume and interest to and/or contact Fabiola Marsan (954)831-8606.

Public Defender Logo
Law Office of the Public Defender, Broward County Judicial Complex 201 SE 6th Street, Suite 3872 Third Floor, North Wing Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
1 954 831 8650

Follow us:


Under Florida Public Records Law, e-mails directed to this office may become public records.

Copyright © Law Office of the Public Defender 2024 | All Rights Reserved

The owner of this website has made a commitment to accessibility and inclusion, please report any problems that you encounter using the contact form on this website. This site uses the WP ADA Compliance Check plugin to enhance accessibility.