The Porter County Prosecutor's Office annually selects nine law students (three per semester) to participate in the Prosecutor Externship Program. Interviews at the law school are typically held during January to fill extern positions for the summer, fall, and spring semesters of the following school year. The program is currently supervised by Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Brian Gensel.
The law school requires all extern students to have successfully completed an evidence class and either completed a professional responsibility course or take it concurrently with the externship. It is also preferred that interested students take criminal procedure before or during their externship. The program is open to second and third-year students. Third-year students receive priority since second-year students may reapply during their third year.
Students participating in the externship will participate in the following areas of prosecutorial duties:
Research & Writing
Students will be assigned research projects running the gamut from formal memoranda of law to informal "find out what the law is" projects. Students will use traditional and on-line research resources.
The Prosecutor Externship is a hands-on program and students will be expected to accompany deputy prosecutors to court and participate in various hearings. Students may be assigned bench or jury trials to litigate, or motions to argue. Students will meet with pro se litigants and negotiate contracts for prosecutor deferral programs. Students also have the opportunity to observe in-chamber conferences between judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys.
In situations where police agencies investigate complaints but decline filing criminal charges, aggrieved citizens are given the opportunity to meet with representatives of the prosecutor's office to discuss their concerns. Student externs meet with these people, explain the criminal justice system and determine whether the dispute is appropriate for criminal prosecution or some other alternative resolution.
Depending on the semester, students may also assist in:
- Organizing felony trials
- Observing depositions
- Interviewing witnesses
- Preparing charging documents
- Examining and evaluating evidence
- Locating documents to be used in prosecutions
Interested students may contact the Career Services Office to find out when the next interview session is scheduled.