Since the 1970’s, the Iowa Prosecutor Intern Program has provided opportunities for law students to gain courtroom experience and to explore careers in prosecution during the summer after their 2L year. The Program is a joint effort by the Attorney General of Iowa and the Iowa County Attorneys Association. Many of the students who have participated in the Prosecutor Intern Program have later become prosecutors.
During the fall semester 2L year, students should begin researching and applying directly to county attorneys for internship positions. Monitor Symplicity’s OCI/Jobs listings and check in with the Career Services Office to see if there are planned visits from the County Attorneys. Some counties, particularly Johnson (Iowa City), Linn (Cedar Rapids), Dubuque, and Scott (Davenport), have historically collected resumes through the Career Services Office or scheduled on-campus interviews. For other counties, students should contact the county attorney offices directly about the possibility of a summer internship. Travel stipends may be available to interns in rural counties through the Iowa State Bar Association.
Counties set the salary for their interns. Students who contact county attorney offices that have not had an intern recently may find it helpful to remind them that the Attorney General’s office may provide reimbursement (up to $5.00 per hour) with prior approval.
To be certified for student practice under Supreme Court Rule 31.15, students must have completed 3 semesters of law school and a certification course, which is offered at Iowa Law after the completion of classes in the spring. The Summer 2021 certification course is scheduled for June 1-2, 2021 and will be held either at the law school or by Zoom, depending on current conditions. Students may start their internships prior to June 1, but must attend the certification course on the scheduled dates and will not be certified for student practice until after the completion of the certification course.
A law school course in evidence is not a prerequisite to the Prosecutor Intern Program, but is strongly recommended. Trial Advocacy is also strongly recommended.
While work assignments are set by the counties themselves and will vary depending on the case load in the office, students typically have an opportunity to prosecute simple misdemeanor offenses and, depending on the office, may assist with prosecution of aggravated misdemeanors or felonies. Students can expect to gain bench and/or jury trial experience and may have the opportunity to write and argue motions.