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City of Madison

City of Madison Attorney



The Law Student Internship Program at the Office of the City Attorney (OCA) has two fundamental purposes. First, the use of law students provides the OCA with legal resources. In tight municipal budgets, it is not always possible to have attorneys available for the necessary legal research and writing to operate efficiently and provide service to our client, the City of Madison. The use of law students assists the OCA in its primary function.

Second, as a public law office, the OCA believes it has an obligation to assist in the training of young law students. The experience provided in an OCA internship will assist these students in becoming better lawyers.


The OCA offers two types of internships: Full-time internships during the summer, and part-time internships during the school year. These internships are for a specified duration of time, that is, there is no expectation that a student completing a summer internship will continue into the school year, nor is there any expectation that those working in the school year will work in the summer. However, students are not restricted from applying for both internships, which might result in full year employment. At the current time, there is only funding and space for a total of three student interns at any time.

The nature of the OCA program may be modified from time to time and is dependent on funding by the Common Council and sufficient office space. The internship program is able to be funded under current appropriations to the OCA, but may be changed at any time due to budget limitations, or space needs.


Only law students who have completed their first year of law school are eligible for employment in the student internship program. The OCA hires students with work-study eligibility, and such eligibility provides a positive effect on the OCA operating budget. Students at any law school are eligible to apply, although, as will be seen from the descriptions below, it is much more likely that students from the University of Wisconsin Law School or Marquette University Law School will be hired for the internships.

The City of Madison is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate in hiring.


Three students will be hired for approximately eight to ten week internships during the summer. These interns will normally be drawn from three specific programs:
  1. UW Law School - Prosecution Internship Program
    This program is operated through the UW Law School. The student chosen for this internship will concentrate on assisting the prosecutors in the OCA, including appearing in municipal court. It is anticipated that the student will, by the end of the internship, be able to individually handle municipal ordinance prosecutions, including trials. The intern also will have research and writing requirements.
  2. State Bar of Wisconsin - Diversity Clerkship Program
    This internship program is operated through the State Bar of Wisconsin. It seeks qualified candidates with diverse backgrounds. Students interested in this program should contact the State Bar of Wisconsin. This internship will primarily consist of research and writing.
  3. Public Interest Internship
    This internship is designed for students who have a dedicated interest in working in a governmental law office. Interviews will be coordinated through the annual Public Interest Job Fair conducted by the University of Wisconsin Law School Placement Office. This summer internship will focus on research and writing.


During the academic year, up to three student internships are available, working 10-15 hours per week. These students primarily will be involved in research and writing assignments, although a prosecution-focused internship is possible. Because of the need for proximity to the OCA, these students will be drawn from the University of Wisconsin. They may be drawn from those interviewed during the Public Interest Job Fair, or through other interviews conducted by the OCA. In the event openings are available, a notice will be posted on the City's Human Resources website, and at the UW Law School Placement Office.


Internship Description: Except for the prosecution internship, the position is primarily a legal research and writing position, in which the students will receive a variety of short term assignments. In addition to these general assignments, we hope to involve the student in cases involving prosecution of City ordinance violations, assistance to a City board or commission, and drafting of an ordinance or legal opinion for a City department. The types of issues that the student may encounter are difficult to predict, but run the gamut from affirmative action to zoning, including employment law, evidentiary questions, interpretation of statutes and ordinances, and the open meetings and public records law. The prosecution intern will focus on prosecution of municipal ordinance violations.

Advantages of Internship: Our program offers the student experience in a wide variety of practice areas including employment law, trial issues, constitutional law, land use law, civil rights, open meetings, and administrative law. It also provides an opportunity to develop legal research and writing skills through practical application. The student will be working on issues involving the operation of City government, which will assist in gaining a better understanding of Wisconsin's local government.

Internship Work Assignment Process: The student will have the opportunity to work with the OCA attorneys. The City Attorney supervises the Internship Program, and he and other staff will assign projects to insure an even workload and a variety of assignments. The attorney on whose project the student is working will be available to answer questions and provide guidance and mentoring. Upon completion, the attorney will provide the student with constructive feedback and/or suggestions. Our office maintains a relaxed, informal environment, and the students are encouraged to discuss any questions or issues they may have with the attorneys or other staff.

Contact Human Resources

City of Madison
Human Resources

Madison Municipal Building
215 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Room 501
Madison, WI 53703

Monday through Friday,
8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Phone: (608) 266-4615
FAX: (608) 267-1115
WI Relay Service

Applications will not be accepted via email.

Go to: City of Madison Jobs