Third Chair

 Third Chair Summer 2023 Program Information

The Office of the Federal Public Defender for the District of Kansas is pleased to welcome applications for Third Chair, a 9-week summer criminal-defense clinic for law students. We aim to empower students from diverse backgrounds to explore public service as a possible career. For a full description of our program and the exciting work you will do, please click here.

This summer’s program will begin May 30, 2023. Interns will have the option to work in either our Topeka or Kansas City office.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until February 10, 2023.

To apply, please send the following documents to

·         a cover letter telling us why you are interested in working with us, and how your unique experience and perspective will contribute to our mission;
         a short writing sample (no more than 5 pages);
         two references or two letters of recommendation.

Please submit all documents as a single PDF.

If you have any questions, please contact Shajiah Jaffri, Research & Writing Specialist, at


What You Will Do as a Third Chair Intern? 

You will bring your unique experiences and perspective to address the needs of our clients, many of whom come from impoverished and over-policed minority communities. You might track and call out police misconduct. You might help a young father reenter life outside prison. You might contribute to a Supreme Court petition. Or you might assist attorneys and investigators with trial preparation.

Whatever the work, it will involve real cases with real consequences for real clients and beyond. And you will leave our office with a strong, closely-edited writing sample reflecting that work.

Additionally, interns will experience federal criminal law and procedure firsthand. By shadowing trial attorneys to court and participating in training sessions, you will learn about every facet of the federal criminal system. You will be able to observe and participate in the Fort Riley and Fort Leavenworth military-base misdemeanor dockets. You will tour prisons. You will meet with clients, current and former, as well as judges and experts.

Every day you will render public service in an office that puts our clients first through holistic representation, collaboration, and education.

Third Chair is an unpaid internship. Limited funding for stipends may be available, and we will work with your schools to meet criteria for credit or other support. 

Positions are filled on a rolling basis, with each applicant considered as soon as their application is complete. We encourage students of all backgrounds to apply for Third Chair.

Who We Are

The Office of the Federal Public Defender for the District of Kansas defends clients charged with all types of federal crimes, including immigration violations, drug and weapon offenses, and computer and white-collar crimes. In addition to district court work, we practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.

With 20 attorneys, 6 investigators, and 15 staff members across 3 offices, we provide high-quality attorney representation, investigative support, expert witness services, and any other needed legal services to indigent defendants at all stages of litigation.

We are an equal opportunity employer and comply with all applicable laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital/parental status, gender identity, gender expression or any other status or classification protected by federal law.



Drew Kimmis
Cardozo School of Law

Max Iverson
University of Kansas School of Law

David Huang
Stanford University

Rachel Levine
City University of New York

Will Machado
Washburn Law School