Learn about appellate law from experienced and passionate attorneys. Gain research, brief writing, and oral argument skills. Join a group of people dedicated to making a positive change in the law.
The Washington Appellate Project vigorously defends the Constitution and our clients’ rights. We represent indigent clients appealing their criminal convictions, civil commitments, and terminations of their parental rights.
Our office is small and collegial, with nineteen attorneys and four administrative staff. Many of our attorneys have worked as trial public defenders, civil practitioners, and judicial law clerks. Our attorneys appear in the United States Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit, Washington’s Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals.
As an intern or extern, you will directly represent clients and write briefs to be filed in our appellate courts. Students who are Rule 9 qualified may be able to argue their cases in court. You will also work closely with a cohort of attorneys and will receive significant peer review of your written work.
“My internship at WAP was—by far—the best part of law school for me. I began my internship knowing how talented the attorneys and staff at WAP are. But the love, compassion, and humanity each person at WAP brings to work every day was something I did not anticipate. I did not only learn how to be a better writer and legal advocate, but how to be a better human while doing so.”
–Joseph Alkhedairy (Fall 2022/Spring 2023)
“I loved my experience at the Washington Appellate Project. Everyone at WAP is kind, brilliant, and dedicated to providing zealous appellate representation. One of my favorite things about WAP was how much the attorneys trusted me in my work. I felt like I was doing the work of any other attorney—from reviewing and indexing a trial record, to presenting the case to my small group, to drafting briefs, receiving edits, and arguing my case in court. In every case I worked on, I was able to get the perfect amount of support and supervision, without feeling micromanaged. WAP is very intentional about providing feedback and producing excellent persuasive writers and oral advocates. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience as a soon-to-be lawyer.”
–Ayla Kadah (Winter/Spring 2023)
“Interning at the Washington Appellate Project was an invaluable experience. The entire team is passionate and brilliant as well as generous with their time and expertise. I highly recommend this internship for anyone interested in sharpening their research, brief writing, and appellate advocacy skills.”
–Katie Hardman (Fall 2021/Winter 2022)
“This internship was a highlight of law school for me. I got to work on practical lawyering skills (especially writing) in service of real clients, while also thinking about broadly what justice should look like. It was incredible to work with advocates who are transforming the criminal legal landscape of Washington State, who just happen to also be really supportive, and generous with their time and expertise.”
–Maya Ramakrishnan (Winter/Spring 2020)
“I enjoyed working at WAP because I was surrounded by some of the brightest criminal law minds in the state and because every person there was dedicated to the cause. Another benefit of working at WAP was experiencing the speed necessary to practice law after graduating but in a controlled environment.”
–Kyle Berti (Spring 2020)
“At the WAP I always felt heard, seen and important. I felt like everyone at WAP was truly invested in my growth and success.”
–Bailey Russell (Fall 2019/Winter 2020)
“My experience at the Washington Appellate Project was invaluable. I gained practical knowledge about appellate practice, my writing improved tremendously, and I had the opportunity to give a voice to my clients. It was a privilege to learn from and work with such talented, passionate, and hardworking advocates.”
–Beverly Tsai (Summer/Fall 2019)
“My internship with the Washington Appellate Project during my Rule 9 summer was invaluable. I got the chance to handle my own case load with supervision and guidance from several different highly experienced attorneys. My legal writing and argumentative skills vastly improved through WAP’s collaborative process for editing and case planning. I got the chance to work with clients who are disadvantaged in the criminal justice system and juvenile dependency system. The work environment was supportive, nurturing of young lawyers, and fun. I would highly recommend it to future law students.”
–Peter Barber (Summer 2019)
“My externship at the Washington Appellate Project (WAP) was one of my most valuable law school experiences and it prepared me for the writing demands of my appellate judicial clerkship. The WAP attorneys exemplify the highest levels of professionalism and advocacy and it was a privilege to learn from them.”
–Bridget Grotz (Spring 2018)
“At the Washington Appellate Project (WAP), I learned how to carefully craft appellate arguments that present strong legal positions, reflect a sense of urgency and importance, and treat clients with the upmost dignity. WAP also taught me the importance of collaboration and utilizing your colleagues and supervisors’ varying experiences to your clients’ benefit. The skills I learned at WAP have helped inform my legal career thus far, from clerking for Justice Steven González to my current practice.”
–Tadeu Velloso (Spring 2017)
WAP values a diverse workforce and encourages applications from all qualified law students, including students of color, LGBTQ+ students, students with disabilities, students from low-income backgrounds, student veterans, and students directly impacted by the criminal legal system.
Preference will be given to students who are able to intern or extern for more than one quarter or semester and who are in their second or third year of law school. Preference will also be given to students who are Rule 9 eligible.
Preference will be given to students who can commit to full-time work (40 hours per week) during their first quarter or semester with our office. We cannot extend offers to students who are unable to commit to a minimum of 24 hours during their first quarter or semester with our office.
WAP will not consider applicants who plan to graduate before the quarter or semester for which they are applying. WAP will also not consider applicants who plan on studying for or taking the bar exam during their internship or externship.
Internships and externships are required to be in person at our office, absent compelling circumstances. Like our staff, students are permitted to have flexible schedules and are encouraged to take time off from work.
Interns and externs who do not have other sources of funding may be eligible for a stipend. WAP plans to offer two stipends per year of up to $10,000 each. Students will be encouraged to apply for other available funds before receiving funds from WAP.
To apply, please email a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and list of references to: firstname.lastname@example.org. In your cover letter, please indicate which quarters or semesters you would like to spend at WAP. The application deadlines for each quarter/semester is as follows:
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