Internships at the Public Defense Office
What is the Public Defense?
The Public Defense was established in 1996 in order to guarantee adequate legal representation for detainees and defendants that are eligible for public defenders as defined by law.
Public defenders represent a large number of suspects and defendants in various criminal procedures including arrests, criminal trials, criminal appeals, juvenile cases, psychiatric committees, parole committees and more. Clients are represented either by "internal" attorneys employed directly by the Public Defense, or by "external" attorneys from private firms who represent them on behalf of the Public Defense and under its supervision. Interns at the Public Defense are supervised by attorneys on the internal staff.
The Public Defense has branches in six districts throughout Israel: Tel Aviv, Central Israel, Jerusalem, Haifa, North, and South. In addition to the district offices, the national public defense headquarters are located in Tel Aviv.
The Public Defense is a relatively new and cohesive organization in which its employees are driven by their faith in the importance of public defense and their commitment to public service. Therefore, they are motivated to work hard and put in long hours. The interns are an integral part of the public defense system and are involved in all aspects of the legal processes. As a result, they are expected to work hard, display excellent legal skills, and be deeply devoted.
Internship at the Public Defense presents a unique and fascinating opportunity to learn and experience all aspects of criminal law. It is suited for excellent candidates who are highly committed to human rights and are willing to provide significant social and legal services.
Internship in public defense districts
Interns are an integral part of the public defense teams at the district offices and are involved in all aspects of the legal process.
The interns support the attorneys in all stages of representation and accompany them throughout the entire legal process. This includes meeting the client, meetings at the District attorney's office or prosecution divisions, hearings in different types of courts, studying the criminal cases and preparing professional opinions, court statements, and arguments (proofs, legal claims, penalty arguments, appeals and more). The interns play important roles in the Public Defense appointment, facilitation and supervision processes that support the work done by external attorneys.
During the second half of the internship period, interns will be permitted to appear before magistrate courts for certain cases (with the necessary approval, the consent of the client, and in the presence of an advisor).
Internship at the National Public Defense Office
Interns are an integral part of the public defense team at the National Public Defense and are involved in all aspects of the legal process.
The interns work alongside attorneys employed by the National Public Defense that are appointed to represent clients in Supreme Court proceedings, with an emphasis on fundamental proceedings (criminal appeals, requests for permission to appeal, requests for additional hearings, amicus curiae, etc.). The interns also assist attorneys involved in unique areas such as legislation processes, rights of detainees and prisoners, legal procedures involving minors, and retrials.
During the second half of the internship period, interns will be permitted to appear alone before magistrate courts for certain cases (with the necessary approval, the consent of the client, and in the presence of an advisor).
Terms of employment and wages
Interns will be employed in the various districts of the Public Defense Office.
· Formally, 8.5 hours of work per day are required from Sunday to Thursday. Nevertheless, the workload may require overtime
· Wages – as accepted for government-employed interns
· After completing their internship, many interns at the Public Defense Office are hired as attorneys for the internal or external staffs, depending on their skills and the needs of the public defense system.
An explanation of the application and tender processes are published periodically on the Ministry of Justice website under "Job Opportunities", on the Civil Service Commission webpage and in the press.
· Commitment to human rights and the values and goals of the Public Defense; interest in criminal law; interest in defending clients; affinity towards values such as human dignity, the right to fair procedures, social obligation, and more.
· Willingness to work hard and intensively, excellent academic and research skills, legal-oriented thinking, excellent legal writing skills.
Contacts at the Public Defense Office
When necessary, contact the following figures at the public defense offices responsible for recruiting interns:
· Tel Aviv district: Adv. Tirtsa Kish (03-6932684)
· Central Israel: Adv. Nir Rahat (03-6932689)
· South: Limor Nagaukar, head district secretary (08-6404531)
· Jerusalem: Adv. Shani Pogoda (02-5696116)
· Haifa: Adv. Sharon Ringer (04-8633718)
· North: Adv. Tal Avraham (04-6029112)
· National Public Defense Unit: Adv. Gil Shapira (03-6932674)