Law Clerk Program

The Maricopa County Office of the Public Defender Law Clerk Program gives third year law students and recent law graduates an opportunity to assist attorneys in many aspects of a criminal case.

Unit Assignment & Expectations

Law clerk positions are available in the trial, appeals, capital, and mental health divisions of our Office. Each law clerk is assigned to a specific unit and works directly with the attorneys within that group.

Law clerks:
  • Assist attorneys at legal proceedings including arraignments, evidentiary hearings and trials
  • Attend legal seminars and training workshops
  • Draft memoranda or motions
  • Perform legal research

Training Sessions

The Law Clerk Program includes monthly law clerk training sessions. Each session focuses on a different criminal law topic. The goal of these sessions is to provide continued learning for law clerks that will help in their daily research and writing tasks.

Arizona Public Defender Association

As employees of the Maricopa County Office of the Public Defender, law clerks become members of the Arizona Public Defender Association (APDA). The APDA holds an annual conference in June to which all staff and attorneys are invited. The conference is just one of the great training opportunities afforded to the law clerks in the Office.


Applications are accepted on a rolling basis upon availability.

To apply for a Law Clerk position, submit a cover letter and resume to:
James J. Haas
Maricopa County Public Defender
620 West Jackson, Suite 4015
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Compensation & Benefits

The law clerk position is paid and benefits are available.

For More Information

For further information about the Law Clerk Program, contact:
Vanessa Smith, Law Clerk/Extern Supervisor
Maricopa County Public Defender’s Office
Phone: 602-506-7711