Internship Program Information

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office offers many different opportunities to gain hands-on experience for law students interested in public service and criminal law. Below are the program descriptions and application submission information.

Summer applications will begin Jan. 1, 2024 and will close March 3, 2024. Fall applications will begin July 1, 2024 and will close August 5, 2024.

About Our Office:

The Office of the District Attorney serves as the Chief Law Enforcement Office of the county and accepts referrals from more than 100 active police departments including the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, the Allegheny County Police Department and the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Department. The office is also responsible for approving complaints filed by private citizens.

The internship program operates out of our main office which is located on the third and fourth floors of the Allegheny County Courthouse and offices located in the Frick along Grant Street in downtown Pittsburgh.

The Office employs more than 100 attorneys divided into various subdivisions and areas of expertise. Interns are placed in a specific unit based on their specific skills, specific interests and needs of the Office.

Units within the Office where interns may be placed include:

  • Child Abuse
  • Crimes Persons
  • Direct Appeals
  • Domestic Violence
  • Forfeiture
  • Community Impact
  • Homicide
  • Critical Case Review
  • Phoenix (Misdemeanor Court)
  • Juvenile Court
  • Narcotics
  • Violet Crimes/Firearms

General Internship Program Information:

The internship program is administered by Assistant District Attorney Sarah Weikart. Any questions not otherwise answered here should be directed to Sarah by e-mail at:

Sarah Weikart, Assistant District Attorney: sweikart@alleghenycountyda.us

Summer Internship Program

AVAILABLE POSITIONS:

All students participating in our summer program are expected to be present in the office for 15-20 hours per week, those in paid positions are required to work 20 hours per week.

(1) Paid Intern — Approximately 15 paid interns will be hired for the summer program. These positions are reserved for upper-level law students who are able to be certified under PA Bar Admission Ruled 321 & 322.

(2) Extern — Law students may apply to work in the DA’s office on a for credit basis, credits must be pre-approved before an externship offer will be extended.

(3) Undergraduate — Undergraduates who are able to receive school credit for an internship through our office may be extended offers on a limited basis, credit must be pre-approved by the school.  The number of undergraduate interns that may be hired is very limited.

(4) Allegheny County Bar Association Summer Clerkship Program — The DA’s Office participates in this program administered by the ACBA for 1Ls. Questions about this program and the application process should be directed to the ACBA.

(5) Allegheny County Bar Foundation Law Student Summer Fellowship — The DA’s Office participates in the Bar Foundation’s fellowship program for 2Ls. Questions about this program should be directed to the Bar Foundation contact, Mallory Draisma at mdraisma@acba.org.

APPLICATION PROCESS:

Law students who apply should indicate in their cover letters whether they are interested in being considered for a paid internship, for credit externship, or if they would like to be considered for either type of position.

On Campus Interviews (OCIs)

Our office currently participates in OCI programs at the below listed schools.

  • Duquesne University School of Law
  • Pennsylvania State Law
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Law
  • West Virginia University School of Law
  • University of Dayton School of Law
  • Villanova School of Law
  • University of Pennsylvania School of Law
  • Akron School of Law
  • The Ohio State University School of Law

If you are a law student at one of these intuitions and wish to be considered for a summer position with our office, please apply through your school’s OCI program. Questions should be directed to your office of career services.

Non-OCI Applicants

Students attending law school at a school not on the OCI list should submit a cover letter and resume by e-mail to our office by TBA (Applications are currently closed) to the following individual:

Sarah Weikart, Assistant District Attorney: sweikart@alleghenycountyda.us

Undergraduate Applicants

Interested undergraduates should submit a cover letter indicating that they have been approved to receive credit for a position in our office and resume to Melissa and Sarah by TBA (Applications are currently closed).

Approval of credits by your school does not guarantee a position with our office, you will still be subject to the interview process.

There is no preference given to any school or the process by which an individual applies. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

INTERN DUTIES

All Interns:

  • Legal research and writing (briefs, memoranda, pre- and post-trial motions, etc.)
  • Some clerical duties, copying, redacting, etc.
  • Assist attorneys in every aspect of trial and/or hearing preparation
  • Accompany attorneys to conduct plea negotiations, jury selection, pre-trial motions, and trials (Jury and Non-Jury)

Certified Legal Interns (in addition to above listed duties)

  • Appear in court on behalf of the Commonwealth under the direct supervision of an Assistant District Attorney, this may include guilty pleas, suppression motions, and non-jury trials.
  • Information regarding certification can be found on the Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners’ website:
    • https://www.pabarexam.org/non_bar_exam_admission/321_322_menuitems.htm
    • Generally, to become certified under Bar Admission Rules 321 and 322 students are required to have successfully taken and completed an Evidence course and completed an Application for Certification for Formal Participation in Legal Matters by Law Students Under Pa.B.A.R. 321 and 322, along with the completed Dean’s Certification Under Pa.B.A.R. 321 and 322.
  • Eligible students should consider this an opportunity to gain valuable courtroom experience before finishing law school

Fall and Spring Positions

PAID INTERNS

The office has a limited number of paid internship positions that continue throughout the year.

These positions are filled as they become available, if you are interested in a paid internship throughout the year contact Melissa and Sarah to inquire about openings.

Paid interns are required to work in the office for 20 hours per week, applicants for these positions should consider this time commitment in conjunction with their class schedule before applying.

FOR CREDIT EXTERNS

Law students and undergraduates who are interested in earning credit towards their coursework for an externship during the school year may apply by submitting a cover letter and resume to Melissa and Sarah.

The cover letter should indicate that they are approved to earn credit for their time in our office and the semester during which their externship will take place.

Approval of the credits by your school does not guarantee an offer of externship in our office, these positions are subject to availability and you will still be required to interview for the position.

Duquesne Law Criminal Trial Practicum

The Criminal Trial Practicum at the Duquesne University School of Law is taught at both the law school and has a practical aspect which takes place in our office. This class is taught by Deputy District Attorney Jennifer DiGiovanni and Judge David Spurgeon. Questions about this program should be directed to Deputy District Attorney Jennifer DiGiovanni at jdigiovanni@da.allegheny.pa.us, or Beth Licciardello at licciardellos@duq.edu.