Current Openings


A career with the Federal Public Defender is one of the most rewarding experiences you will have in your legal career. Learn more about the benefits of working at our office.

The Federal Public Defender Districts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  All applicants, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or age, are encouraged to apply.

Current Openings
For a detailed description of the position you want to view, please click on the name from the list below

Each year, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts selects approximately 5-6 Lindsay Fellows who have shown leadership potential and academic ability to intern at the Court.


Check out more information here

Our Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island offices also offer fall and spring internships for rising 2L and 3L law students, both part-time and full-time. These internships provide opportunities for students to develop their research and writing skills, to receive comments on their written work from experienced attorneys, to participate in the defense of criminal cases, and to attend trials, bail hearings, appeals, and arguments in both cases in which they assist and other cases in the office.


The Massachusetts office has filled internship positions for Spring 2024 and open for Fall 2024. The New Hampshire office will have an internship available in Spring 2024, and the Rhode Island office will have internships available in Fall 2024 and Spring 2025.


To apply to one of the offices, please email a cover letter, resume, and a brief writing sample to:


Boston, MA: Wade Zolynski at


Concord, NH: Dorothy Graham at


Providence, RI: Rebecca Aitchison at

We are no longer accepting applications for the summer of 2024. Please watch this site for information about summer 2025 internships.




The Federal Public Defender Office for the Districts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island is proud to sponsor a summer criminal defense internship for rising 2L and 3L law students interested in public service. Our office offers a unique and up-close opportunity to learn about the federal criminal process and public defense in a friendly, inclusive, and collegial environment.


One or more internship positions are available in each of our three offices (Boston, MA, Concord, NH, and Providence, RI).


Our goal is to provide first-hand experience in federal public defense and guide students who wish to build public-interest careers.




The Federal Public Defender Office is a publicly funded law office that provides legal representation to persons charged with committing federal crimes who cannot afford to hire an attorney. We are appointed to represent the accused upon arrest and through the completion of all appeals, including the U.S. Supreme Court and federal habeas corpus review. Charges we defend against include economic crimes, child pornography crimes, drug offenses, weapons offenses, immigration offenses, and violent crimes.




We are committed to cultivating a culture of acceptance and connectedness that honors the diverse backgrounds of the people we represent. We are an equal opportunity employer.



We employ attorneys, paralegals, defense investigators, information technology specialists, and legal assistants. We work together to uphold every person’s right to be presumed innocent and to a fair sentence if convicted. We provide a vigorous defense at trial and, if the defendant is convicted, on appeal. We advocate for humane sentences by developing mitigation evidence and presenting judges with fully developed views of our clients as people, not criminals.




We value diversity and a commitment to equality, and we believe better representation occurs when members of the defense team have diverse backgrounds and experiences. In recruiting members of our team, we welcome the full spectrum of humanity. We embrace the unique contributions that you can bring in terms of your culture, ethnicity, education, opinions, race, sex, gender identity and expression, nation of origin, age, languages spoken, veteran’s status, religion, disability, economic status, and sexual orientation.



We are interested in your talent, intelligence, dedication, persistence, and desire to see all people treated fairly and respectfully, no matter the allegation or circumstance.




The summer internship program will inform students’ understanding of the federal criminal justice system and build skills to best represent our clients.


Interns at the Federal Public Defender Office may engage in a wide range of activities, including:

  • Attending court and shadowing attorneys.
  • Researching and drafting legal memoranda and motions.
  • Helping to develop a trial and sentencing strategy.
  • Assisting in our appellate, habeas, and certiorari practice.
  • Assisting in investigations, including collecting factual and mitigating information,
  • Reviewing discovery.

Each intern will be assigned to a lawyer mentor.


Substantive editing feedback will be provided to help each student develop at least one piece of written work into a writing sample.



Preferably, students will be able to devote 40 hours per week for at least nine weeks, beginning June 3, 2024.


While each student will be based in one of our three offices, opportunities may be available for students to attend hearings and trials in other districts. Students are required to abide by the FPDO’s confidentiality policy and to act at all times in the best interest of the FPDO’s clients.



This is an unpaid internship; however, we will work with your schools to meet criteria for credit or financial support, if available.



Feedback will be provided along with a formal evaluation, if requested.




Interested students should submit the following documents in a single PDF to (for internships in Boston), (for internships in Concord), and/or (for internships in Providence):



  1. A one-page cover letter that (a) explains your interest in the Federal Public Defender Office; (b) lists any criminal law classes or clinics you have taken; and (c) addresses any personal experiences you have had in the criminal justice system.
  3. A one-page resume.
  5. A writing sample (no more than five pages, please).
  7. Two references or letters of recommendation.
  9. Specify which of our office(s) you have applied to (Boston, Concord, and/or Providence).

Please combine all these materials into a single PDF titled:




Questions can be directed to


The positions will be open until filled. Candidates will be interviewed and hired on a rolling basis. As we typically hire multiple interns to work in Boston, that office reviews applications in two phases. The first phase of review begins in September. This portion of our hiring is usually done by October. We reserve at least one slot for a second phase of review that begins in December.



Our hiring is usually complete by mid-January.

Visit for employment opportunities in other Federal Defender offices.

Contact Us

51 Sleeper Street, 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02210
Phone: (617) 223-8061
Fax: (617) 334-7991

Western Massachusetts

1 Federal Street
Springfield, MA 01105
Phone: (857) 331-2118
Fax: (617) 334-7991

New Hampshire

22 Bridge Street
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: (603) 226-7360
Fax: (603) 371-9415

Rhode Island

10 Weybosset Street, 3rd Floor
Providence, RI 02903
Phone: (401) 528-4281
Fax: (401) 867-2814

51 Sleeper St, 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02210

MA: (617) 223-8061 | NH: (603) 226-7360 | RI: (401) 528-4281