METUCHEN PUBLIC DEFENDER INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
At the request of several placement offices, we have established the volunteer Metuchen Public Defender Volunteer Internships Program. We also have the Law Office Internship Program for persons at my private law office for students who are not able to participate in the Public Defender program.
The Public Defenders provide Indigent individuals charged with criminal or serious motor vehicle charges with free or limited cost legal defense. The Public Defender of Metuchen invites students interested in attending law school or a career in law enforcement to apply to serve as volunteer interns. Volunteer Law Clerk interns will attend Wednesday evening and occasional Friday morning court sessions.
Volunteer Internship Description:
-Interview Clients facing charges in Municipal Court including Drug Possession, Drunk Driving, Assault, Driving While Suspended and other criminal and traffic offenses
-Make demands for Discovery on Prosecutor and review police reports
-Attend hearings and learn from experienced trial attorneys
-Prepare Motions to Suppress Evidence and Motions to Compel Discovery
-Conduct appropriate Legal research
-Acquire skills in Criminal Law and Procedure by active participation
-Participate in Public Relations activities and help organize seminars
- Update Lists of Prosecutors, Judges and Attorneys for publication of
NJ Municipal Court Law Review
- Revise criminal and traffic law Articles and submit to Law Journals and criminal law websites.
Volunteer to help indigent people charged with criminal and motor vehicle offenses of magnitude. In additional to time in court, you will be given research assignments. You can work more hours if you want. Help people less fortunate than you who are down on their luck.
When I was in law school, I didn't have a lawyer or mentor from whom I could get "off the record" advice. Law schools and pre-law programs don't teach students how to practice law or serve clients. We try to "give a chance" to deserving law students and paralegals. I promise you will learn New Jersey Law and Procedures. On your first day, we will provide you with training materials and computer assistance. We provide detailed instructions on office procedures, how to use the Macintosh computer and how to work on files.
When I was in law school, we were only told to memorize substantive law and to repeat the law on tests. Very little was taught on how to practice law, work in an office or handle responsibility. Most young lawyers have difficulty adapting in their first law firm job. We now provide law practice management skills such as using computers in litigation, completing time sheets and interview/investigation techniques. You will use the Macintosh to type, spell check and print form letters to clients informing them of hearings or motions.
Law Clerks read the files and are permitted to handle phone calls out to obtain information needed, such as speaking with police and prosecutors to obtain discovery and police reports.
Many law firms use law clerks as research only tools. Law Clerks handle day-to-day telephone follow up tasks and chase adversaries and government departments who failed to respond to our Requests for Documents or did not comply with subpoenas.
There are many responsibilities, which each law clerk must assume. They must work as regular employees, appear in professional Court attire and complete assigned work tasks rather than sit around. My own internship experience was not a useful experience because the office I clerked for had no assigned tasks, no specific days to appear and no requirements. By learning through a real work environment, my mentor/internship program prepares students for working with a busy litigation law office.
Our office is now successfully equipped to handle 5 part time law clerks since they work on 6 computers. We select students who are willing to dedicate the time and energy needed. It has been a successful program for my office and we hope to continue this unique program for years to come to benefit the students who need an opportunity to learn and prove themselves. We believe you will be satisfied with our program.
I serve as a mentor and reference on behalf of students who finish the program. We show students how to communicate with clients, set up litigation files, read police reports, and the importance of marketing. We remain available after their 12-week internship for references and questions. I have a feeling of satisfaction helping the "non- law review, middle and bottom of the class" unemployed students. Someday, when these students become the Chief Justice, they will remember the lawyer who helped them out in the beginning. This personal mentor/internship program has given me friendship and a feeling of accomplishment. We also bridge the gap between school placement offices and the real world by providing career advice and suggestions.
If any other students are also interested, please have them send us a cover letter and resume immediately.
It is helpful if applicants have some familiarity with adding podcasts to ITunes, or HTML programming, web page design and maintenance and Internet technology. We sponsor a statewide website with information on litigation, personal injury, criminal and probate matters. If you can update a website, please indicate so in the first paragraph of your cover letter. This office is committed to excellence and service to clients and the community. Applicants must have attention to detail.
More info http://www.njlaws.com/metuchenpublicdefender.html
Summer - minimum 18 hours per week, 12 weeks
School Year - minimum 10 hours per week Sept-May, 12 weeks
Christmas/Winter Break - minimum 30 hours per week
KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC
ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500 (Fax) 732-572-0030