California Appellate Project

Law School Volunteers

California Appellate Project is committed to cultivating a new generation of criminal defense attorneys. CAP recruits a small number of law school students each year. Under the supervision of an experienced post-conviction attorney, our interns and fellows help provide documentary support, record collection, investigative review, research, writing, and technical assistance to counsel who are appointed to represent indigent persons incarcerated on California’s death row.


We accept law student volunteers throughout the year. During the school term, these students work on a part-time basis. In the summer, however, interns work full-time for at least 10 weeks. We offer our summer interns many learning opportunities including a week of intensive training in capitol defense related issues. CAP internships are unpaid. We welcome students who can volunteer, receive school credit, or work under the sponsorship of a public interest grant in order to support their work in our organization.


Applying for an Internship

The selection process for fellows, interns and volunteers is ongoing. For interested applicants, send an email to CAP along with a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and the names and telephone numbers of two references who are familiar with your skills and experience. Also, include information about the dates when you would like to work at CAP. We ask applicants to relate how their life experience, training, and work history have prepared them to understand and work well with the clients we serve and their communities. CAP is an equal opportunity employer. Nearly all of the men and women on California’s death row are from deprived backgrounds and the majority of this population are people of color. We value experience working with people of backgrounds similar to those of our clients.


Applications: To apply for an internship or fellowship placement at CAP send the required application material to us at


Sample Internship Assignments

ü  Research life chronology, family history, and genealogy.

ü  Analyze witness lists and trial testimony; create lists of additional witnesses.

ü  Research and assess the validity of expert testimony presented at trial.

ü  Summarize the penalty phase of a trial transcript.

ü  Collect and organize litigation resource materials.

ü  Evaluate crime scene evidence.

ü  Review trial testimony, witness statements, and police reports for discrepancies.

ü  Write an authoritative article on the media gag rule and outsider access to prisoners on death row.

ü  Assist in preparing litigation outlines and chronologies.

ü  Draft memoranda on admissibility of evidence of gang affiliation.