Testimonials from Previous Interns

2012 interns

"As a soon to be law graduate, I was able to see first hand what it would be like to be a practicing attorney. The realization that I could practice criminal law and enjoy it stems from the underlying legal philosophy in which the WCPD practices law. Instead of simply addressing a client's legal problem, this office takes a holistic approach in which they treat their clients as individuals who likely need more than legal help. If you want to experience a legal office that is full of hardworking people who enjoy what they do this is the place for you." Kenton Karrasch, Mississippi College School of Law, 2012

"I must begin by pointing out that in all honesty I did not think about criminal law as a future option at all. My internship with WCPD changed my mind. I found myself learning so many new things from this internship. From the way the legal process in the criminal justice system works to the many different people involved in the system from a personal aspect. My mentoring attorney was really good at making sure I got a good experience since I could not yet represent clients in court - I got to talk to clients, negotiate with the DA, meet judges and clerks, and go to the state prison." Carolina Wu, Widener University School of Law, 2012

"I had a great time interning with the WCPD. Though my time here was short, it was probably the best legal experience I have ever had. At first, I had a few reservations because I did not know what to expect or what kind of work I would be doing. Fortunately, the intern program is very well structured, and I still had the freedom to observe hearings, trials, and other unique court proceedings. The attorneys and support staff made this internship even more enjoyable. I was always greeted with a smile and everyone treated me with respect. The practical skills I have learned will last for the rest of the my legal career." Richard Viloria, Lewis & Clark Law School, 2012 

"The highlight of my experience with the WCPD was getting to conduct my own jury trial. After working on the case for several months, researching the laws and meeting with the client, I was able to do voir dire, cross exams, and closing arguments in front of the judge and jury. I also did all the objections and attenuating work that went along with the trial. Afterwards, both the judge and jury members told me I did an amazing job which was wonderful to hear." Elena Pernice, McGeorge School of Law, 2012


"I could not have had a better summer job experience between my second and third year of law school than the internship here with the WCPD. At first I thought it would be difficult to get any realistic courtroom experience prior to taking the bar exam, but this internship provided me with the most experience I could in a little more than two months. I was certified by the Nevada Supreme Court to represent clients in court. This allowed me to participate representing clients in hearings. I was also able to learn things outside the courtroom through legal research, motion writing, evidence examination, and negotiating deals with the DA. It was an enjoyable and enlightening experience." Galen Carrico, University of Oregon School of Law, 2011

"I came into law school knowing I wanted to be a public defender. I interned in a big city office during my 1L summer. I am so glad I made the decision to take a position with WCPD during my 2L summer. I was able to act as lead counsel for a bench trial, in fact each intern in my summer class was able to conduct a trial. Anyone looking to gain substantive criminal defense experience would do well to consider an internship with the WCPD. As a result of my work with this office, my skills as an advocate have been developed far beyond those of my peers. For a person, like me, who knows he/she wants to go into defense work after graduation ... this opportunity is too good to pass up." Ted Hastings 2011

"An internship with the WCPD is an amazing opportunity. Every attorney's dedication and passion for equality, fairness, and constitutional rights was contagious throughout the office. Additionally, while I was only an intern at the WCPD, all of the attorneys and staff made me feel like an important part of the team from day one. Although every attorney at WCPD is wise and experienced in their practice, they were willing and enthusiastic about mentoring each intern. During trial, with help from my mentors, I gave the opening and closing arguments. I also argued, and won, a motion to suppress and cross-examined a police officer. I absolutely loved my experience with the WCPD. I left work each day feeling energized and excited to return the next day." Jaci Millsap 2011 

"Working for the WCPD is awonderful experience that I would recommend to any law student. The program is well organized and their is no awkwardness on day one. This is due to a schedule of events for the first few weeks; including court hearings, jail visits, and research projects. Everyone in the office is so welcoming and willing to help. Second, I was able to obtain invaluable hands-on experience. The attorneys are selfless in the fact they give you winning cases to argue and will help you every step of the way to make sure you are prepared for court." Diana John, California Western School of Law, 2010 & 2011

"I learned more two weeks into my internship at the Public Defender's Office than I learned in two years of law school. Advocacy is about more than the black letter law: it's about making your client feel like an individual in a dehumanizing system. Unlike other internship programs that simply shut students away in an office to do research, the program here ensures that students get real hands-on experience with client interviews and actual courtroom time. In addition to sharpening interns' lawyering skills, the program instills in soon-to-be lawyers a compassion and respect for people from all walks of life. It's been refreshing to work in such a supportive office where a dedicated staff truly enjoys what they do. Any law student interested in not only career growth, but character building as well, should spend a summer at the Washoe County Public Defender's Office." Mallory Nelson 2010 

"My summer at the Public Defender's office was terrific. Having heard horror stories about public defender offices (in other states, of course), I admittedly did not know what to expect when I started this internship. However, whatever apprehensions I harbored prior to this experience disappeared within the first week of my summer here. First, the atmosphere at the office is always welcoming and both attorneys and staff were consistently pleasant to work with. Second, the program was set up such that there was a little more structure in the first few weeks, as to help the interns settle in our new positions and to be exposed to as many of the contexts in which this office represents clients as possible. I truly appreciate the freedom we were given within the following weeks to create our schedules and to seek our own assignments. This allowed me to tailor my summer to my individual needs, in terms of which particular work skills I needed to improve. Finally, one of the best parts of this program was having the opportunity to be exposed to the entire County's justice system. For instance, I was able to meet several prosecutors and judges, as well as tour both the State penitentiary and the County jail. I learned so much from this office and I would recommend this internship to any law student, whether interested in criminal or civil practice."  Vanessa Assae-Bille 2010