Opportunities as a Yolo County District Attorney Legal Intern
If you are interested in a fall part time internship, please apply, as outlined below, between May 1 - June 15. You must commit to 12+ hours/week and also commit to working in the fall and spring semesters.
If you are interested in a spring part time internship, please apply between September 1 - October 15.
If you are interested in volunteering as an attorney for experience, you may also submit an application.
We do not have a formal post-bar internship program, but we do accept post-bar volunteers. For all attorney and post-bar volunteers we ask for a 40 hour/week commitment for a minimum of four months. If you are taking the July Bar, please submit an application to us no earlier than April 15.
When submitting an application for any position, please include a resume and cover letter. In the cover letter please discuss why you want to work at a DA’s office and why you want to work at the Yolo County DA’s office. Also, tell us when you can start, how many hours/week you can volunteer, and for how many months you can volunteer (keeping in mind the requirements outlined above).
If you are interested in our Summer/Fall legal internship program, we will be interviewing at OCI at McGeorge and King Hall in the Spring. The commitment is full time over the summer and part time in the fall. If you do not attend McGeorge or King Hall, you may submit a cover letter and resume between March 1-30.
Send letters to Chief Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Raven at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What You Can Expect as an Intern
First and foremost, working at the District Attorney’s Office is a fun and rewarding experience. As an intern, it is expected that you work with care and diligence in completing your assignments. In return, the attorneys and personnel in the office act as mentors to guide you through the oftentimes difficult work. We expect you will want to make a favorable and long-lasting impression on us. We hope to do the same.
At the District Attorney’s Office in Yolo County, interns can expect an enjoyable and educational experience learning about criminal law, the courts, and the role the District Attorney plays as advocate for the People. You will become acquainted with many of the prosecutors and staff in this Office. You will find that the attorneys work hard but also enjoy social outlets.
Interns are involved in a wide variety of cases, both misdemeanor and felony. A day in the life of a typical intern involves drafting motions and memoranda of points and authorities, conducting research on complicated legal issues, and, if you are certified, arguing the People’s position in the courtroom. We also encourage interns to observe ongoing trials to learn about the criminal justice system and gain better insight into what it is like to be a prosecutor. Ultimately, you may have the opportunity to conduct a jury trial in a misdemeanor case.
During the fall and spring semesters, scheduling is flexible. We are willing to work around your school schedule, providing you a convenient way to intern while you are a student.
Positions in our summer program will be available as well, however, being that these positions are more competitive, we expect a greater commitment. Summer interns work full-time. There is more time to observe jury trials and greater opportunity to conduct a jury trial. You will start the summer with a 2-day Training and Orientation Program. You will be exposed to a multitude of areas of the criminal justice system and the many personalities. You will also have an opportunity to socialize with Yolo DA staff. We are investing in you, and we expect a commitment from you. We require summer interns to continue working part-time in the fall.
Check with your school’s administration to learn about receiving academic credits and your eligibility for our work-study program.
"Success for us is when you leave here convinced you want to make a career as a prosecutor and that you want to do that at the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office."
This is an opportunity to begin making a reputation for yourself so that down the road, if a deputy district attorney position becomes available, and you are interested, you will be a top-choice for the position. If there are no deputy district attorney positions available in our office, we will do what we can and contact our friends at other offices to help you land a job on the “statewide team” of District Attorney Offices.
Jury Trials: The Yolo County District Attorney’s office strives to give Summer/Fall interns the opportunity to try a criminal case to a jury in court. Lincoln law student Jonathan Sanati, from the 2016 Summer/Fall internship class, tried a prowling case during the last week of July, 2016. The trial lasted two days and the jury came back with a guilty verdict. Jonathan prepared diligently and met every challenge in court head-on with his supervisor sitting a few rows back in the courtroom. He summed up the experience by saying “That was the most fun I’ve had in a long time.”
In the News: Woodland Daily Democrat - June 18, 2010 - "UC Davis Law Students Volunteer at County DA's Office"
Read What Past Interns Have to Say About Their Experience
Emilee Divinagracia - UC Davis School of Law (King Hall) - Spring 2017 - Fall 2018
I began interning at the Yolo County District Attorney's Office my 1L summer. Right away I was given opportunities and responsibilities I would have never dreamed of given my limited legal education at the time. As a 1L I got to negotiate plea deals with defense attorneys, write motions and work on appeals, as well as assist attorneys in arraignment court. As a 2L, I spoke on the record countless times, conducted many preliminary hearings and suppression hearings, and handled misdemeanor cases.
Every step of the way I was mentored by attorneys that genuinely cared about my success and answered each of my many questions. The office has a way of making you feel like you are more than just an "intern," rather, you are part of the team and because of that they are there to ensure your continued growth as an aspiring prosecutor.
It was an honor working at the Yolo DA. There simply is no other office which gives their interns the same level of support, responsibility, and experience.
Briana Waite - UC Davis School of Law (King Hall) - Spring 2017 - Fall 2018
It was a privilege and an honor working as a certified legal intern in the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office for over two years.
I was able to experience writing complex legal motions, arguing in court in contested hearings, preliminary hearings and other motions in court. The amount of real, in court experience I gained thanks to my work with the Yolo County District Attorney allowed me to gain hours of in court experience that other law students lacked and definitely set my resume apart from other in similar fields.
You will be able to network with attorneys, judges and other courtroom staff in opportunities that will not be able available elsewhere. You will also be working with some of the most knowledgeable attorneys around who are consistently always willing to explain or assist.
The time I spent working in the office and in the courtroom have been some of the most valuable of my time in law school. I can not recommend more highly the opportunities that I was able to experience due to my legal internship with the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office.
Lindsey Williams - UC Davis School of Law (King Hall) - Fall 2017 - Fall 2018
I began externing at Yolo DA’s during my second year of law school. Throughout the three semesters I worked at the office, I gained more experience than I ever imagined possible. I was provided with countless opportunities to appear on the record in court and argue on behalf of the People. After each opportunity, the attorney supervising me provided me with extensive feedback on my performance, which helped me to not only improve but also helped me to build up my confidence. Throughout my time at Yolo DA’s, I also had the opportunity to work with supervising attorneys on a homicide case, which was an incredibly rewarding experience and something that I never dreamed I would have had the opportunity to do. My experience at the Yolo DA’s office was truly one of the most worthwhile experiences I have had throughout my law school career and I would recommend this externship to any law student interested in criminal law.
Jonathan B. Sanati - Lincoln Law School of Sacramento - May 2016 - December 2017
(Deputy District Attorney, Monterey County District Attorney's Office)
Before finishing law school, I had individually prosecuted three complete jury trials from pre-trial motions, through jury selection, trial, verdict and sentencing – all because I was fortunate enough to secure a legal internship with the Yolo County DA’s Office. This intern program is perfect for a law student who is interested in pursuing a career as a trial attorney.
Taking on an internship with the Yolo DA is no small task. State Bar certified interns will have the opportunity to receive tremendous courtroom exposure very early on. For instance, my first day of interning was in May 2016, and I had completed my first jury trial by the end of July 2016. Aside from trials, my fellow interns and I were often given contested evidentiary hearings to conduct (e.g. preliminary hearings & evidence suppression hearings).
Assignments will often be complicated, stressful, and test your mental agility. But the office environment at the Yolo DA is encouraging, supportive, and family-like. This office is not only a great place to hone legal research and trial skills, but also to network with experienced prosecutors, fellow interns, and a tremendous legal community.
Molly Miram - UC Davis School of Law (King Hall) - Fall 2018
My externship at the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office has been formative in continuing my interest, growth, and development as a future district attorney, as well as allowing me a rewarding opportunity to help contribute to the Yolo community, which I have been a part of as a law student for the last three years. All of the attorneys in this office encourage externs to take as many opportunities as they can to gain courtroom experience, while being entirely understanding to student’s conflicting school schedules. Throughout my experience, I personally have had an opportunity to work with juvenile cases, something I have always wanted to do, but never had an opportunity to do prior to this externship. I have also had opportunities to write motions that I never have before, and received helpful feedback and instruction from each attorney I have worked with. Ultimately, everyone at Yolo DA was been so welcoming, and has offered me so much helpful advice and opportunity for growth, for which I am extremely grateful. This externship has truly been one of my highlights from law school.
Jesse Richardson - UC Davis School of Law (King Hall) - Post Bar - Summer 2017
(Deputy District Attorney, Yolo County District Attorney’s Office)
I had the pleasure of working at the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office from August 2017 to January 2018 – first as a post-bar intern, and then, after passing the bar exam, as a volunteer deputy district attorney. Looking back on my time in Yolo County, I can honestly say that the time I spent there was the most rewarding educational experience I ever had.
From day one, even though I was an intern, I was treated like I was a valuable part of the office. I was assigned to one of the office’s prosecutor teams and actively encouraged to participate and share my thoughts on cases in our weekly team meetings. Within a week of starting, I was appearing on the record in court and being offered hearings as a certified intern. I was fortunate enough to conduct a jury trial within my first month. By the time I received my bar results, I was appearing at arraignments, negotiating pleas, working with victims and witnesses, and regularly appearing before the court. I had conducted three jury trials, numerous hearings, and was assigned a case load not too different from that of a new deputy DA. When I found out that I passed the bar and the time came for me to transition from post-bar intern to a sworn deputy district attorney, it felt like not much had really changed – I still had a lot to learn, but I knew I was ready to go to court on my own because of how well I had been prepared. And as it turned out, I was ready; the preparation I received from Yolo County allowed me to very quickly secure a full-time deputy district attorney position in another county.
There are a lot of factors that make the Yolo County District Attorney's Office special. Yolo County’s team of attorneys, investigators, and clerical staff are passionate, friendly, and supportive. They’re always willing to provide training in criminal law and procedure that interns simply don’t get in law school — or, realistically, in most other district attorney offices. But above all that, they see the best in their interns and push them to be the best they can be. They teach their interns how to carry themselves in the courtroom, how to be confident, and how to succeed. They don’t baby their interns or hold them back. They are willing to give the trust necessary to let ambitious law students and post-bars thrive; if you're willing to do something, and you prove that you can handle it, you will — with only a few exceptions — be able to do it, and you'll get to carry that experience with you for the rest of your career. For that, I'll always be thankful.
Estefania Gallegos - UC Davis School of Law (King Hall) - Fall 2017
Working at the Yolo County District Attorney's Office solidified my desire to be a DA. While I had previously worked at a different DA's office, externing at Yolo County provided me with a fuller picture of what day-to-day life as a prosecutor is actually like. What I like about this particular office is that attorneys are willing to give externs extremely varied workloads, which insures that externs are never bored and always learning. The attorneys at the office are welcoming, approachable, and truly do what they can to make sure externs get the experiences they are hoping for. The attorneys always gave me sufficient guidance to make sure I knew what I was doing, while at the same time allowing me to be independent. Throughout my time at Yolo County, I was able to expand on my knowledge of criminal procedure in a way that is impossible to do by simply attending classes at law school. The hands-on experience I received at Yolo County has provided me with very strong foundation that I will inevitably depend on in my future career after graduation. I would recommend this externship to any law student who knows he/she wants to be a district attorney, or even to those that still do not know what type of law they want to pursue.
Brett Haynes - UC Davis School of Law (King Hall) - Summer 2016 - Summer 2017
Over the year that I spent working at the Yolo County District Attorney’s office, I had to opportunity to witness exceptional advocacy, care for community, and a commitment to the profession, that can only be described as career defining.
I began working for the Yolo County District Attorney’s office during the beginning of my 1L summer, and would love the work so much that I would continue to extern at the office through my 2L year. Yolo places an unparalleled trust in their interns, from day one allowing us to work on complex and exciting assignments, that meaningfully contributed to important cases. There could have been no better teacher then the autonomy and responsibility given to me, as I had the opportunity to my see own work effect the outcome of everything from misdemeanors to felonies.
However, what makes Yolo a truly exception place to work is the community that has developed inside of the office. From the very first day, I was made to feel welcomed and part of the greater Yolo team. While I was given mentors, who were always willing to help me out or show me the ropes, every employee at the office was friendly and willing to give me advice. I never felt like there was an attorney that I wouldn’t be comfortable going to for help on an assignment.
More importantly though, every employee at the office is passionate about they do, and that unifying passion creates an environment of great comradery. Whether it be lunch time meetings, or just sitting around in the conference room, some of my best memories of my time at Yolo, was just spending time with the people that work there. The attorneys and staff at Yolo are just a great group of professionals, that showed me that even though the work can be serious, you can always do it with a sense of joy. I could not have worked with a better group of people.
Thank you so much to all my friends, teachers, and mentors over at Yolo. When I began my internship I did not know what to expect, but by the time I left, I was left with fantastic examples of how to be a great attorney. Thank You.
Nick Chase - UC Davis School of Law (King Hall) - Spring Semester 2017
(Deputy District Attorney, Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office)
My time at the Yolo DA’’s Office provided me with the opportunity to learn about the law in a hands-on and interactive way that law school cannot replicate. From the beginning of my internship I was provided with challenging assignments that required me to become familiar with various areas of the law, as well as written assignments dealing with issues running the gamut from DUI to homicide.
However, the attorneys, clerks, and other staff at the office are what truly differentiates Yolo from other DA’s offices. No matter what I was working on, there was always someone willing to help me. Whether it was writing a motion, researching a challenging area of law, or prepping to appear in court, the attorneys at the office always took the time to sit down and talk things out with me. Additionally, the attorneys I worked for were keen to provide constructive feedback on my assignments, which I know helped me grow as both a prospective DA, and as a law student.
The Yolo DA’s Office also places great trust in the interns it hires, allowing us to argue motions, and even conduct trials. This practical experience, more than anything else, is why I chose Yolo. Indeed, the proudest moment of my legal career to date was having the opportunity to stand up in court on behalf of the People of the State of California, which was only possible because the attorneys at the office trusted that I had received the training and guidance necessary to succeed.
In short, my experience as an intern at the Yolo DA’s office was equal parts challenging and rewarding. Yet, I succeeded because the attorneys I worked for were always willing to lend me a helping hand. As such, I would highly recommend that any law student interested in criminal law should apply.
Dannica Molina - McGeorge Law School - Spring 2017
I was fortunate enough to earn an internship at the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office during the spring semester of my 2L year. After speaking to the career development office at McGeorge, I learned that all the students from my school who had interned in Yolo raved about their experiences. And, after just one semester at the office, I understood why.
From the beginning, I felt welcomed. Prior to starting my internship, I had the opportunity to meet with District Attorney Jeff Reisig. I was surprised that he took time out of his busy schedule to meet with me, but it immediately gave me a sense on how important the office and every person in it is to him.
As a person who likes to keep busy, I was happy to hit the ground running at the Yolo County DA. I received my first assignment on my first day and, from that point forward, I was able to work on a multitude of different projects. During my time in the office, I wrote numerous motions, conducted research, assisted in writing a writ, and argued my first motion in front of a judge.
The Yolo County DA’s Office provides a supportive environment that truly helps an intern flourish. I never once felt afraid to ask questions or to go to any of the attorneys for projects. Deputy DA Tzang helped me tremendously during my time at Yolo, taking time out of her busy schedule to teach me and another intern how to read even the most confusing rap sheet. I also really appreciated having a mentor that I could go to when I needed some guidance or just to receive feedback on my work.
If you truly want to get a sense of what it is like to a district attorney, the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office is the place you want to be!
Shari Goldman - UC Hastings School of Law - Summer 2016
(Deputy District Attorney, Marin County District Attorney's Office)
I interned at the Yolo County District Attorney’s office during my 2L summer. I came to Yolo from where I attend law school in San Francisco because of the unparalleled experience this office offered me.
At the Yolo County DA, interns are given the opportunity to work on a wide variety of assignments. One of my favorite parts of the internship was being assigned my own cases to work on from start to finish. Through this, I learned about the basics of working up a case. This included things as simple as learning how to order evidence, and things as complicated as negotiating plea offers with defense attorneys.
I also had the opportunity to appear on the record in the courtroom at least once or twice a week. Whether it was accepting pleas in arraignments, arguing motions to a judge, or conducting full evidentiary hearings, I really appreciated the exposure to the courtroom. Aside from appearing in court, I also completed written assignments. Interns are given the opportunity to work on a variety of written motions that encompass the entirety of a criminal case. One of the most educational experiences was conducting research for attorneys. Through these research assignments, I was able to hone my research and writing skills and learn about niche issues in the law.
Like many interns, I was anxious about being thrown into assignments without having enough knowledge to be successful. The thorough training the attorneys provided us quickly diverted my anxiety. At the start of the internship, the attorneys provide a well-planned intern training program. This involved daily training sessions covering all of the topics you need to know to be successful during the internship and beyond. Training is not limited to the initial weeks, but is continuous throughout the internship. One of my favorite training days was getting to take a field trip to the DOJ Crime Lab in Sacramento.
While the educational experience interning at Yolo County DA was fantastic, what truly makes the internship special is getting to work as part of a team of passionate, talented, and personable attorneys. The attorneys at Yolo County DA have a plethora of knowledge and experience, and are more than willing to take the time to teach interns. In my experience, several attorneys went out of their way to take me under their wing and teach me the ins and outs of being a Deputy District Attorney. I always felt completely comfortable asking them questions that came up during my assignments. They also take the time to provide constructive feedback when assignments are completed. This helped me to greatly improve my oral advocacy and writing skills. Aside from providing feedback on assignments, the attorneys are also happy to share their general advice for being a successful attorney in the future. I am grateful to have met so many inspiring mentors.
I would strongly encourage other law students to consider interning at the Yolo County DA. The experience was everything I could have hoped for.
Gregory Agron - UC Davis School of Law (King Hall) - Fall 2015 - Spring 2016
(Deputy District Attorney, Ventura District Attorney's Office)
I worked at the Yolo District Attorney’s Office for the entirety of my final year at law school, and I met some of the smartest and most dedicated people I have ever known. The office is a tightly knit group of incredibly talented lawyers and staff, who perform their craft with indomitable integrity, ingenuity, and commitment to the pursuit of justice; it was a privilege to know them, and an honor to serve by their side.
Over the course of the year, I had the opportunity to work on a multitude of complex cases, to research and write court motions, memoranda, letters, appeals, and writs. After certification with the California Bar, the office encouraged me to appear in court and represent the People on record in a variety of matters, including arraignments and suppression hearings. And I had the opportunity to observe many gifted prosecutors in their element at trial. The experience allowed me to not only improve the analytical research and writing skills that are required of any lawyer—but to hone those that cannot be taught in a classroom.
The office is a collegial place where people genuinely care about each other and their profession. Despite their hectic schedule and a challenging array of complex cases, each attorney I worked with made the time to discuss and answer my many questions, and took care to help me understand and resolve the difficult legal matters that constantly arose. However, my favorite part of working there wasn’t appearing in court or learning about the ‘ins and outs’ of criminal law; it was witnessing experienced attorneys candidly speak to one another about their cases, often over their lunch break, and earnestly and passionately struggle to meet the ideal of justice every day, no matter how small the issue. The Yolo County District Attorney’s office is a credit to prosecutors everywhere.
Working there made choosing a future in prosecution an easy choice.
Gregory has accepted a position at the Ventura DA's office and will start there after the bar. Also, he was selected by his classmates at King Hall Law School (UC Davis) to present the graduating student address during the upcoming graduation ceremonies.
Karly McCrory - McGeorge Law School - Summer 2014 - Spring 2016
I've had an amazing experience at the Yolo DA's office. Everyone in the office is supportive and encouraging, the work is rewarding, and the learning experience is phenomenal. Over the past two years I have completed a variety of assignments, including conducting preliminary hearings, suppression hearings, writing and arguing various pretrial motions, and writing appellate and habeas briefs.
I love that the attorneys here provide constructive feedback for how to improve--whether it's on a motion or in court. I've grown tremendously in my two years here. My supervisor, Deputy DA McHugh, provided much needed support and guidance. When I was disappointed that my certification process was going to take a long time, she went out of her way to expedite the process. When I was nervous about my first preliminary hearing, she bought me lunch and walked through the hearing step-by-step to allay my concerns. When I had too many assignments thrown on my plate one week she helped me figure out a Plan A and Plan B to handle the situation. She has been fantastic.
Over the last two years I have been continually inspired by the attorneys, staff, and my fellow volunteers, who all come to work every day with a desire to do well and serve justice. Not only have I been inspired, I am thoroughly impressed with the leadership demonstrated at every level of the organization. Employees are consistently shown that they are valued, and because of that, they are motivated to do their very best. I plan to pursue a career as a prosecutor, and I cannot think of a better DA’s office to work for than Yolo County.
Adam Brizzolara - UC Davis School of Law (King Hall) - Summer - Fall 2015
(Attorney, Venardi Zurada LLP)
At the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office, I was given interesting and challenging work from the moment I started working there. During my time at the office I worked as a Legal Intern and then later was certified so that I could speak on the record in court. There was never a dull moment in the office, as there were always motions to write or court proceedings to watch. I was able to work on a wide variety of motions, research projects and do two hearings in court. The amount I was able to accomplish and learn in my seven months with the office was invaluable. Though I personally am interested in being a prosecutor in the future, I would encourage anyone to apply who is curious about what life at a DA’s office is actually like.
Moreover, the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office is not only a place to improve your legal research and writing, but is also a tight-knit office who will support you and treat you like family from your first day of work. I met so many amazing people at Yolo County and will not forget them as I continue on with my career. I had two mentors that helped me in the office, but felt that all of the attorneys I worked with were genuinely invested in helping me grow. I will always remember my time at Yolo County, and its impact on me.
Linh Luong - UC Davis School of Law (King Hall) - Fall 2015
(Attorney, Van Dermyden Maddux Law Corporation)
When I first met Chief Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Raven, I was unsure about a lot of things in regards to my future in the law. But the one thing I was definitely sure about was that I did not want to go into criminal law. Jonathan generously offered me an internship at the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office to show me the error of my ways, and I am immensely grateful that I accepted.
Working at the Yolo County DA’s Office has been a truly amazing experience. I was initially warned that I would have to “hit the ground running,” but I thought that may have been a bit of an exaggeration. Let me assure you: it was not. Two days into my internship, I was asked to write an opposition to a motion, which was later filed with the court. Filed with the court! I was nervous about the DDA who assigned it to me reading it, much less an actual judge.
Knowing that my work products were being used for a real purpose—that they would make a real difference in someone’s life—made me want to work that much harder. Every day in the office was an incredible learning opportunity, and every assignment was a challenge to get better.
My greatest regrets this semester were that I did not take advantage of becoming a certified law clerk, and that I was not able to work more. At the outset, I was encouraged to become certified, and many of the DDA’s offered me the opportunity to argue my motions in court. However, I never got around to getting my certification. I also regret that my school schedule only allowed me to work 12 hours a week (only in the morning), and only for one semester. So often I heard about really interesting cases (because all the cases are really interesting), and I constantly felt like I was missing out.
Overall, I would strongly encourage any law student to apply for an internship here. Even if you are uncertain about what you want to do (especially if you are uncertain about what you want to do), this internship is an incredible opportunity to help you figure it out. Although my internship was only for one semester, the friendships I forged and the skills I acquired will remain with me for the rest of my career.
Alexandra Myers - McGeorge Law School - Summer 2014 - Spring 2015
(Attorney, Myers Family Law)
My yearlong internship at Yolo DA was definitely the highlight of my legal career thus far. From the moment I began working at Yolo DA I was welcomed with open arms, treated as an equal, and truly and genuinely appreciated. What sets Yolo DA apart from other offices is that you are immediately treated as a member of the team.
My sentiments regarding the general friendly and welcoming demeanor of the office was continually reinforced through intern appreciation parties, such as ice cream socials, a birthday card from Jeff Reisig, District Attorney, and lunch and coffee breaks with attorneys in the office, including Jonathan Raven, Chief Deputy District Attorney. The atmosphere is one of good-humored camaraderie, where a dull day at the office just simply does not exist.
The experience provided to me through my internship at Yolo DA redefined what it means to me to be a legal intern. We were not simply assigned clerical or administrative work, but instead, were thrown into the life and career of a trial lawyer, conducting legal research, writing motions, assisting at pre-trial conferences, and arguing in court. We were also included in office functions such as continuing legal education training, Christmas parties, birthday parties, brown bag lunches with the judges, the Victim Tribute Ceremony, the Citizen’s Academy, and much more.
Another unique aspect of Yolo DA is their mentorship program. Every intern is assigned an attorney to mentor them, and advise them on any questions that should arise. However, we were always encouraged to bounce ideas around with other attorneys in the office, and quite often they would come to us asking for our opinion and feedback on the cases they were working on. This is just one other example of how we were not simply personal assistants, but were lawyers in training, and our opinions were treated as such.
Throughout the course of my internship I was able to observe countless trials, many of which were the subject of national news headlines, and see Yolo DA’s exceptional advocates in action. While as law students we are familiar what it means to conduct voir dire, opening statements, direct-examinations, cross-examinations, closing arguments, and perhaps have even tried our hand at it through mock trials. The internship at Yolo DA gives you the unique opportunity to learn from experienced trial lawyers firsthand.
An internship at Yolo DA will set any law student leagues above their colleagues. Nothing compares to the real world experience of researching and drafting legal memoranda and motions. Most importantly, the opportunity to argue motions in court as a law student is an invaluable and thrilling experience that every future prosecutor should try as early as possible in their legal career. In the end, this experience taught me how to practice and apply the knowledge I learned in law school, showing me what it means to be a dynamic lawyer.
Beatriz Alfaro - UC Davis School of Law (King Hall) - Fall/Spring 2014 - 2015
(Attorney, Shegerian & Associates, Inc.)
Interning for the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office has been an honor and a true privilege. I interned at the office my entire second year of law school. From the moment I started I was treated with the upmost respect and encouraged to take advantage of every resource in the office. As a native Spanish speaker, I even had the opportunity to use my Spanish skills to aid the attorneys with their work. The Yolo DA’s Office values every intern’s unique style and creativity. Interns are given a lot of autonomy on complicated matters—which is realistic of the professional world.
At the beginning of the program, each student is assigned a mentor, who is always accessible for any question. The Yolo DA’s mentoring program is invaluable and cannot be replicated anywhere else due to the spectacular attorneys and staff who are genuinely interested in helping. I have learned so much about myself, both professionally and personally, as a direct result of it. I will cherish every moment I have spent in the office because it has confirmed my passion for criminal law and I have fostered relationships that will endure for years to come.
I encourage all law students to take the opportunity to intern at the Yolo DA’s Office because it will be the best decision you will ever make while in law school. Thank you to the entire office for treating me like part of the family.
Dana Cruz - UC Davis School of Law (King Hall) - Fall/Spring 2014 - 2015
(California Department of Finance)
Exciting, enlightening, and enjoyable. The Yolo DA Legal Internship Program has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had to date.
Right from the get go, I felt like part of the office. The attorneys were welcoming and staff were friendly, always helpful, and fun to work with. I was able to sit in on meetings and grab coffee with various attorneys (they paid). Even the DA took time himself to say hello and check in periodically during the program. Moreover, the staff was generally understanding to my schedule and law school demands when I received an assignment.
Furthermore, there were ample opportunities to work on a wide array of motions. For example, I worked on responses to motions to dismiss, Romero motions, speedy trial motions, as well as motions to introduce evidence of prior acts. Additionally, I worked on memoranda regarding novel legal issues of high priority to the office. But that’s not all. I also was able to sit in on suppression hearings, preliminary hearings, jury trials, and with attorneys in the judge’s chambers. And most exciting, there were also opportunities to argue at suppression hearings and preliminary hearings. Lastly, the program included mentor pairings, where I could pick the brain of an experienced attorney and discuss any questions, comments, or issues I was facing in the program and life in general.
Overall, if you’re looking for a rewarding experience and an exciting way to expose yourself to a potential career in prosecution, look no further than the Yolo DA Legal Internship Program!
Shelby Davitt - Pepperdine University School of Law - August 2014 - February 2015
(Deputy District Attorney, Yolo County District Attorney’s Office)
Working at the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office has been a dynamic and exciting experience, particularly after spending all summer studying for and taking the California Bar Exam! I was immediately integrated into the misdemeanor team where I began handling my own case load as a post-bar intern. After I passed the bar exam, became a Volunteer Attorney for the office: a position I still hold.
I have worked in several different District Attorney Offices in California, and in my experience, no other office gives interns even close to as much autonomy and trust as Yolo County. From day one I weighed in with my opinions and experiences. Every attorney at this office truly wants you to succeed. All were willing to help, whether it was taking time out of their busy days to supervise or talk and dispense valuable advice.
Most people learn best by doing, and I found that to be absolutely true here. Jumping right in to criminal trial work was challenging, but incredibly rewarding. I have a special passion for prosecuting victim impact cases, particularly domestic violence and sexual assault cases. Interviewing victims and witnesses and working in conjunction with the Victim Advocates reminds me on a daily basis of why I decided to become a prosecutor. I was fortunate to take two domestic violence cases to jury trial, as well as prepare many others. Yolo County DA encourages interns to make appearances in court and appear on the record. I took a total of four cases to jury trial, in addition to numerous motions and hearings.
Being part of such an incredible team is an honor, and I am grateful for the opportunity. My experience at Yolo County DA has shaped me not just in my career as a prosecutor, but also in my vocation to seek justice.
David Robbins - McGeorge Law School - Summer of 2012 - February 2015
(Deputy District Attorney, Yolo County District Attorney’s Office)
Interning at the Yolo District Attorney’s Office has been the most rewarding experience of my life thus far. During my two years I was given the opportunity to work on not just misdemeanor cases, but felony cases as well. I was able to work on misdemeanor cases and develop the important base for becoming a good prosecutor. I was also exposed to the exciting world of felony prosecution where I got to work on everything from drug possession cases to murder cases. While interning at the Yolo District Attorney’s Office I conducted legal research for the attorneys, wrote motions, argued before the court, and was even fortunate enough to do two jury trials. This experience was invaluable and I was able to do things that most of my peers in law school were not able to do at their firms or agencies. By being exposed to so many unique, serious, and complex cases I was able to greatly develop my analytical skills, my writing skills, and my oral argument skills.
More exciting than the opportunity to develop my skills and the ability to work on exciting cases was the environment in which I got to learn. There was always someone I could approach with a question, whether it was an attorney or support staff, and there was also always someone to grab a coffee with. I enjoyed being around those in the office so much that I did the Tough Mudder Run in Tahoe with a team from the office.
More importantly, this is an exceptional place to intern for those who came to law school to help others. Unlike many areas of law which can take years of litigation, here I was able to see the results of my work. I was able to, in some cases, help shape resolutions so that the defendant got the help that he or she needed. I was also fortunate enough to be able shake hands with victims after I was able to obtain a just resolution.
Truly there is no more rewarding experience I can imagine, and there is no better place to serve others while you are in law school.
Roman Edwards - McGeorge Law School - Summer of 2013 - 2014
(Office of Legislative Counsel)
I interned at the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office for one year, from my last summer of law school through graduation. Having spoken to colleagues who have interned at other D.A. offices, I believe that the program at Yolo County offers a superior experience for students who are serious about gaining relevant experience in a prosecutor’s office. From the beginning of my internship, I was treated as a professional and given varied and challenging assignments. In the office, I had the opportunity to research and write many different types of motions on cases varying ranging from misdemeanors to high profile felonies. In the courtroom, I was able to argue countless motions and preliminary hearings, gaining hours of experience appearing on the record. A hallmark of the Yolo County program is their investment in their interns. I was provided with hours of training at the beginning of the program as well as weekly training sessions on a variety of important topics. I was given detailed feedback on every assignment I completed and every appearance in court, and I was assigned a mentor to help me navigate the job. Additionally, interns are encouraged to spend time observing trials to help develop their own courtroom style. I found a very congenial atmosphere at the office, and everybody from the new misdemeanor attorneys to the District Attorney himself were accessible, friendly and willing to share their experience. The program requires hard work and dedication, but it did more to prepare me for practice than almost anything else in law school. I learned to think on my feet and function in a fast paced legal environment, I gained confidence in the courtroom and honed my research and writing skills. I am very grateful for my experience at the Yolo County DA and highly recommend the program.
Joseph Cho - UC Davis School of Law (King Hall) - Summer of 2012 - 2014
(Deputy District Attorney, Kern County District Attorney's Office)
Interning at the Yolo County DA’s Office was by far my most valuable law school experience. I started as a full-time intern during my second summer. Within a week, I knew my calling was to be a prosecutor. I saw how all the attorneys were so dedicated to serving justice. It was clear to me that every one of them loved their job. At the end of summer, it was an easy choice for me to stay on as a part-time intern throughout my final year of law school. After studying for and taking the bar exam, I came back as a post-bar intern. After passing the bar exam, I volunteered for a few months as a Deputy District Attorney.
While an internship at any DA’s office is helpful if you want to be a prosecutor, the Yolo County DA’s Office is a cut above the rest. I don’t know of any other DA’s Office that goes out of its way to make the interns feel so welcome and appreciated. All the attorneys at the Yolo County DA’s Office were very approachable. I must have asked a million questions, many of which I’m sure were stupid. However, no one was ever condescending or dismissive. Attorneys were always willing to make time to supervise me whenever I had a court appearance. My fellow interns and I were invited to every training session.
There were also all the little things that assured me my work was being appreciated. I remember getting birthday cards signed by the DA himself. I remember “intern appreciation” days where the office threw the interns a party during the lunch break. I remember gift cards at Christmas time. I firmly believe you can tell the quality of an office environment by how the interns are treated. There are offices that will use interns like workhorses then send them on their way. The work was abundant and often difficult, but I know I got more from the Yolo County DA’s Office than I gave. If not for my experience there, I would not be a prosecutor today.
Theodore Ko - UC Davis School of Law (King Hall) - Summer of 2011 - 2013
(Attorney at Law, Asian Law Alliance)
Interning at the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office was a unique and valuable experience in my professional development as an attorney. I was interested in criminal justice as a career and the DA’s office helped me develop important skills that still serve me today.
The greatest characteristic I appreciated at the DA’s office was the supportive and encouraging atmosphere provided by the entire staff. I felt that the main goal at the DA’s office was for me to get as much experience doing as much work at every level of the criminal prosecution process. My very first assignment was a response to a motion to dismiss a felony case due to lack of probable cause. From there, I participated actively in the negotiation and managing of misdemeanor cases, conducted numerous hearings, and drafted even more motions. There is a drive to turn students into tried and true trial attorneys. The work is hard, relentless, but ultimately rewarding.
The Yolo DA’s office is large enough to gain a broad range of experience on different crimes but small enough to get to know every attorney, who are some of the most caring and passionate people I have ever met. I will hold my experience at the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office in the highest regard and strongly encourage anyone interested in criminal prosecution to apply for the position.
Michael Nelson - UC Davis School of Law - Summer and Fall of 2011
I had the opportunity to intern at the Yolo County District Attorney's office during the Summer and Fall of 2011. The office provides a highly structured and educational internship program. From the beginning, we received extensive training from the attorneys in the office, including detailed instruction from the misdemeanor team. We were also assigned a mentor to work with throughout the internship.At the Yolo County District Attorney's office, you are given important responsibilities as soon as you start. Luckily, all of the attorneys at the office are very approachable, helpful, and eager to provide feedback. My primary tasks included writing motions and performing research, sometimes providing accompanying memos to the assigning attorney. We were often encouraged to argue our motions in court, which was a very unique opportunity for a law student. Additionally, we participated in pre-trial conferences and frequently observed the attorneys in trial.
In the end, I gained much greater insight into the criminal justice system. I highly recommend interning for this office if you are interested in pursuing a career in criminal law.
Sara Chebahtah - McGeorge Law School - 2011
Interning at the Yolo County District Attorney's Office was a great experience. The attorneys are kind and helpful, and they really want you to succeed. The work is substantial and interesting, unlike some offices that give their interns what could be considered "busy work." The work is also varied, so you don't get bored doing the same motions over and over. They also work very hard to get their interns courtroom experience, including trials. I would recommend the Yolo County DA to anybody who has a real interest in getting substantial and broad criminal experience.
Remy Goldsmith - UCD King Hall Law - 2010 - 2011
Externing for the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my law school career. The experience allowed me to finally apply all of the theory I had learned in school to real-life, tangible situations. I’ve written on countless new issues and appeared in court on a variety of occasions.The office is also a great environment for law students eager to learn and hone their legal skills. Throughout my time at the office, I got great feedback from my mentor and other Deputy District Attorneys, all of which has further developed my legal, analytical and oral advocacy skills. I strongly recommend this experience to interested law students.
John Powell - McGeorge School of Law - Fall 2010
An internship with the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office provides students with the opportunity to work on variety of cases in an office that is fast-paced yet close-knit and collegial. While interns work closely with the misdemeanor team, there is also ample opportunity to work on more complex and high profile cases. During my internship, I had the opportunity to work on cases ranging from misdemeanor drunk driving to more complicated felonies involving criminal street gangs.While this internship was certainly demanding, the office strives to provide students with an educational experience that goes beyond researching and drafting routine motions. Interns that are certified by the State Bar are encouraged to argue many of their motions in court. Even when interns are not themselves appearing in court, they are encouraged to sit in on trials and hearings. Although legal writing and analysis is important and certainly a key part of this internship, the opportunity to observe hearings and trials has been one of the more valuable experiences that I have had during my legal education. I was able to see the manner in which prosecutors and defense attorneys interact with one another and was also able to observe the unique style that every attorney brings into the courtroom.
This internship also exposed me to the intricacies of pretrial procedures and tactics. Up until this point, my legal knowledge was focused mainly on legal theory rather than on real world experience. For instance, law school teaches students about the purpose of a suppression hearing but does not teach students how to conduct these hearings. And until this internship, I had no idea how to file a suppression motion or even how to respond to one. However, after my first week in the office, I had gained a thorough understanding of the pretrial hearing process and by the end of the semester, I was given the opportunity to argue at a suppression hearing and had drafted countless motions. Moreover, I was able to see different methods of laying evidentiary foundation, impeaching witnesses, compiling a record, and numerous other subtleties that every trial lawyer must understand.
This internship has sharpened my legal analysis and allowed me to experience work at the trial court level. While many lawyers graduate from law school never having stepped foot inside a courtroom, students that have interned at the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office will graduate from law school with a leg up on their fellow graduates. They will know their way around a courtroom and be proficient in handling the motions and research tasks that are required in every trial. I know that no matter where my legal career takes me, this office has given me an understanding of criminal law that I never could have received from a book or any law school class.
Lesya Paulovich - McGeorge School of Law - Fall 2009 - Spring 2010
I interned at Yolo DA's Office in the Fall of 2009 and Spring of 2010 while I was a fourth year evening student at McGeorge School of Law. I knew I wanted to be a prosecutor since my second year in undergrad and working in the Office just confirmed what I always felt was the right profession for me. There is no better way to get practical experience than through an internship. Yolo DA's Office was the highlight of my law school experience. My only regret is that I waited until my last year to do an internship.
Yolo DA's Office is the perfect size because it is big enough to give interns a wide variety of projects and assignments while at the same time it is small enough to allow attorneys to work closely with the interns to provide guidance and support when questions arise. Most of the assignments given to me were motions in criminal cases and research assignments. I also got to appear in court to argue some of the motions that I worked on. Being able to write motions that will actually be used in court and making arguments in court was incredible.
I got a lot of feedback from attorneys that supervised me and it was very helpful in preparing me for the practice of law. Being at the Office really tied in what I learned in law school with how the "real world" law works. The atmosphere in the Office is very professional and welcoming. The staff is friendly and very helpful. The attorneys always have battle stories to tell and life experiences to share. I have made connections with people in the Office that will last a lifetime. I am really glad that I was able to intern at Yolo DA's Office. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone as an invaluable experience in the practice of criminal law.
Jennifer McHugh – McGeorge School of Law - Fall 2009 - Spring 2010
(Deputy District Attorney, Yolo County District Attorney’s Office)
During my two semesters with the Yolo District Attorney’s Office I had the privilege of writing several motions and research memorandums, observing preliminary hearings and trials and conducting a hearing. It was a incredible learning experience because every assignment was diverse, involving new and complex issues. This was especially true in research memos because the legal questions were often issues of first impression, where there was little, if any case law on point.
As a result of my internship, I was able to greatly improve my analytical skills and become much more efficient researching and writing motions and memos. I greatly enjoyed working alongside the attorneys and getting feedback and tips from each attorney. My time at the Yolo District Attorney’s Office solidified my desire to work in criminal law, specifically for the District Attorney. I genuinely enjoyed going to work everyday and had fun while doing the work there. I would strongly recommend that anyone interested in criminal law apply for an internship at the Yolo District Attorney’s office.
Megan Lee - Lincoln Law School - Summer 2009 - Spring 2010
I began interning at the Yolo County District Attorney Office in May 2009. I have enjoyed the opportunities that I have been afforded through the Summer, Fall and Spring internship program.
As an intern I was given the amazing experience of researching complex issues, writing memos and motions. On some motions I was given the chance to present an argument in court. Another benefit of working in the D.A. office is that interns have the opportunity to observe the criminal justice process at its best, including jury selection, opening, direct and cross examination, and closing statements. Additionally, interns will learn not just to write motions, but to write persuasively from the perspective of a prosecutor.
It was interesting to observe how each attorney had a different style or strategy. I also discovered that there are as many personality types of attorneys as there are flavors of ice cream. I believe this is why the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office has much to offer a law student who could use experience as an intern.
The Yolo County District Attorney provides something distinctive in the internship program that few District Attorney offices do. Interns have the opportunity to be mentored by attorneys. I was mentored by a seasoned, experienced and skilled attorney. He was able to give me advice and suggestions on several motions and memos I drafted. It was from him I learned that, “attorneys must deliver timely product that does not allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good.” An invaluable lesson to be sure.
As so many interns will attest, the Yolo County District Attorney’s office is an invaluable life experience. I enjoyed every moment I was here and would recommend the internship program.
Kyle Muteff - McGeorge School of Law
I interned with the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office in the spring of 2009. I was immediately made to feel welcome into what you will find is a hardworking, but easily approachable group of Deputy District Attorneys.
As an intern you are not locked away writing repetitive motions, but rather you are centrally located and will be working on many different projects. I was able to draft many different types of motions and conduct research on various issues. I worked on a variety of cases from routine misdemeanors to a complex gang injunction.
Another benefit of working with the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office is the ability to observe court proceedings. You are encouraged to observe all aspects of a trial from voir dire to closing arguments. You are also able to observe your work used in court when a Deputy District Attorney is arguing a motion you wrote or citing research you discovered. In addition to observing, you can argue motions or even possibly conduct a misdemeanor trial.
My internship with the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office was very rewarding and provided me lifelong contacts with great people. I had a great experience and would highly recommend this internship.
Joy Abaquin - UC Davis King Hall School of Law
Words cannot describe the invaluable experience I got at the Yolo County District Attorney’s office. There were absolutely no limitations as to what I could do at the office: anything from writing motions and oppositions for misdemeanors and felonies to subpoenaing witnesses for the hearings of those motions I wrote. Working here has fostered a high level of legal research and writing, as well as skills in negotiating plea bargains and confidence to think on my feet and articulate arguments before a judge.
What makes this internship so unique is the willingness and commitment the attorneys have in getting you as much experience as possible. They go out of their way to get you into the court room as much as possible. The attorneys are not only very supportive, but they are also always available to the interns no matter how busy or heavy their caseload, even if it is just to talk about school or personal issues. I am also thanked, appreciated and recognized for the time and effort I invest in this internship on a regular basis. They have also made me feel like their co-worker, asking for my opinion about legal arguments, discussing with me whether certain cases should get prosecuted, and inviting me to coffee, lunch or drinks after work. They hope to see their interns work here some day if there are available positions, but still have helped me get employment at other district attorney’s offices with the connections they have.
Another unique part about this internship is the interaction with the Yolo County community. The strong relationship this office has with the sheriff and police departments has connected me with the People of Yolo County, making me a stronger representative for them. Getting to know officers on ridealongs and in the hallway of the courtrooms before or after a hearing has made me appreciate their hard work and dedication to protecting this county. In addition to the community as a whole, I also felt like I was part of the legal community and the criminal justice system of Yolo. I developed relationships with Superior Court judges, as well as private and public defense attorneys. Interning here is truly an opportunity unlike any other.
Ashley Wisniewski - McGeorge School of Law
I started interning at the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office in January 2008. Since then, I have been overwhelmed with opportunities to assist Deputy District Attorneys in the preparation and presentation of criminal cases. I have done everything from transcribing interviews for last minute requests to preparing for and going to jury trial on my own misdemeanor case. This has shown me all aspects of the job, not just the flashy parts in court, but the realities of carrying a caseload and pulling together the resources of the office to be able to present cases in court.
I think the most valuable thing that this office has to offer for other interns is the opportunity to go into the courtroom and get feedback from supervising attorneys, fellow interns, and judges. One of my goals as an intern was to get comfortable in the courtroom by making as many court appearances as possible. The Deputy District Attorneys have been extremely supportive in this respect by providing me not only with cases to advocate for, but also with the patience and guidance I needed to navigate through this new and unfamiliar territory. Through my experience at Yolo County, I have gained a level of confidence in front of the bench and bar that I never expected.
Crystal Chau - UC Davis School of Law
(Deputy District Attorney, San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office)
For the past few months, I have had the privilege of working at the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office. It has been an amazing experience, not only because of the knowledge I have gained about criminal prosecution, but also because it has solidified my decision to pursue a career in criminal prosecution.
I began working at the Yolo District Attorney’s Office in the summer of 2008 as a certified legal intern. It was clear from the beginning that the attorneys in the office wanted to ensure that I got the most out of my summer experience. I was told multiple times by different deputy district attorneys that my internship was meant to be a learning experience and that I would only be given assignments that would help me practice the skills needed to be a prosecutor. From week one, I was informed that I would have the opportunity to appear in the courtroom and gain practical, hands-on experience in criminal law. The deputy district attorneys in the office were very encouraging and supportive, pushing me to take on new challenges and instilling in me the confidence that I could meet those challenges. Over the course of the summer, in the midst of writing responses to defense motions, I was given several opportunities to appear in court for various hearings. Though I appeared in court under the supervision of a deputy district attorney, I was encouraged to present my case on my own, without input from my supervising attorney. Every attorney who supervised me throughout my experience was willing to answer all my questions and make sure that I felt fully confident going into court on my case. Appearing in court was one of the most thrilling experiences and was unlike any classroom exercise in advocacy. By appearing in the courtroom, I had the opportunity to prepare and argue a case like an actual prosecutor, an experience that was invaluable to my growth as a potential attorney.
I have greatly enjoyed my internship at the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office, because I have learned a great deal about criminal prosecution. In addition to its educational value, the internship has been a fun experience. It was a pleasure going into work each day with the knowledgeable and friendly attorneys at the office. I would highly recommend this internship to any person interested in criminal prosecution.
Natalie A. Powers - UC Davis School of Law
My internship with the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office has been both educational and exciting. I have gained invaluable experience inside and outside the courtroom, thanks to the skilled attorneys at the Yolo D.A.’s Office who have mentored, supervised, and worked with me. I would recommend an internship at the Yolo D.A.’s Office to anyone who is considering a career in criminal law.
I began interning full-time at the Yolo D.A.’s Office during the summer of 2008, prior to my 3L year at UC Davis School of Law, and I am continuing my internship part-time during the fall 2008 semester. The attorneys at the Yolo D.A.’s Office are approachable and experienced, and with their help, I quickly became proficient in responding to the various motions we receive, and in drafting my own motions. I was also encouraged by the attorneys to appear and argue for the People at hearings on motions I had prepared or responded to. Getting the chance to argue in real court proceedings is a thrill that many law students do not have while still in school, but it is an integral part of an internship at the Yolo D.A.’s Office. As a certified legal intern, I was always supervised by a deputy district attorney during court proceedings, but whether I was interacting with defense counsel at a pre-trial conference or arguing a bail motion, the supervising deputy district attorney always encouraged me to take the lead as he or she simply observed and answered any questions I had.An internship at the Yolo D.A.’s Office is an opportunity to experience the fast-paced world of prosecution from the inside. Interns are writing briefs, discussing plea agreements with defense attorneys, and arguing in court. The responsibilities given interns are weighty, and being a part of the Yolo D.A.’s mission to seek justice is its own reward. I highly recommend this internship.
Kari McFadden - UC Davis School of Law
In the spring of 2008 I interned with the Yolo County District Attorney's Office in my final semester in law school. Not only did I draft and argue motions in court, but I also worked closely with attorneys at every level in the office. The office's smaller size enabled frequent interaction with the many seasoned attorneys. From observing all the major components of the capital murder case prosecuted by District Attorney Jeff Reisig, to assisting the Assistant Chief Deputy District Attorney in jury selections for a sexual assault case, to personally meeting with those pursuing Yolo County's gang injunction (to discuss the many procedural twists and turns for my own law school research paper), the attorneys went out of their way to ensure I had a positive experience. Doors were always open for questions, and frequently attorneys grabbed a chair at the intern station just to hear what was going on.
As a practicing district attorney in another county, I am so grateful for all I learned as a legal intern at Yolo County and would encourage anyone considering prosecution as a career to apply. Yolo County is a truly unique office that should not be passed up!
Laurel Dien – UC Davis School of Law
My experience as a legal intern at the Yolo County D.A.'s office is definitely one of the highlights of my law school experience. I interned for Yolo during my last semester of law school at UC Davis and my only regret is that I didn't do it sooner. At the D.A.'s office I learned many skills and, more importantly, that I wanted to work as a prosecutor after I graduated.
The people in the office were very friendly and supportive. Other attorneys were always available to read over a motion that I had drafted or discuss a case. On several occasions I was able to present a motion in court, which was fun and educational experience. After these proceedings the assisting attorney would always "debrief" me and let me know what I needed to work on.
Overall, my internship at the Yolo County D.A.'s office was exhilarating, informative, and just plain fun. I would highly recommend this program to anyone who would like to experience the criminal side of the legal profession - they certainly would not regret it.
Lauren Hashimoto - McGeorge School of Law
As a certified intern for the 2007-2008 school year, I had the opportunity to argue motions, write briefs, research a variety of interesting legal issues, and observe skilled trial attorneys during court proceedings. My time at the Yolo County District Attorney's Office allowed me to finally apply legal concepts learned from virtually every law school class I have taken in a practical real-life setting. There is absolutely no substitute for the type of education received on-the-job at Yolo DA.The experiences over the course of the year not only validated my choice to go to law school but also validated my interest in the criminal law field. After working at Yolo DA, I could not imagine pursuing a career anywhere other than the District Attorney's Office. The work is both rewarding and intellectually stimulating.
The environment of the Yolo office is extremely friendly and professional. The interns work closely with the attorneys and have the opportunity to establish lasting contacts with them. Certified interns are trusted to perform a range of highly substantial and important legal activities, including the possibility of conducting a supervised misdemeanor jury trial. Few other internship placements in the area afford such an invaluable experience. Also, such experiences make any Yolo DA intern a very viable candidate for hire at a District Attorneys Office post-graduation.
Vicki Azmanova - McGeorge School of Law
I began an internship with the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office in August 2006. I was in my second year of the evening program at McGeorge School of Law. I had planned on interning for one semester. After only a few weeks at the DA’s office, I knew that I wanted to extend my internship and did so.
The DA’s office provided me with an exceptional learning experience. From drafting responses to Defense motions, drafting motions to consolidate and performing legal research on issues such as immigration, ineffective assistance of counsel and many others, I was able to put what I was learning in the classroom to work and yet I was able to learn so much more that I had learned in the classroom. I observed trails, I was allowed in the judge’s chambers along with the attorneys and I was able to see and experience the court system in person not through my textbooks.
The Yolo County DA’s office is comprised of a great team. The attorneys are professional and helpful. Their assignments for the interns are intellectually stimulating and interesting; their feedback is extremely valuable and provided in a timely fashion. I would highly recommend an internship at the Yolo County DA’s Office.
David DeFrank – UC Davis School of Law
I loved every minute of my internship. The size of the office allows interns to interact with attorneys in a meaningful way, and the work is interesting, challenging and substantive.There are few places law students are able to work on "real" issues that have tangible and relevant consequences in their community – this is one of those places. Interns are given significant responsibilities, and are often able to have their work submitted to the court for use in criminal proceedings. And the work isn't just important, it's extremely interesting.
This is an experience you can't have anywhere else, and I highly recommend that anyone even remotely interested in our criminal justice system apply for this internship.
Kendall Lafontaine - McGeorge School of Law
I began working as an intern at the Yolo County District Attorney's Office between my first and second years of law school. I had entered law school completely unsure of what kind of lawyer I would become. After my summer internship in Yolo County, I knew that I wanted to be a prosecutor. My experience at the office gave me a really varied experience that allowed me to see all the different aspects of what a District Attorney does on a daily basis. In addition, the lawyers in the office were extremely helpful and willing to spend time teaching me what it was that they did and also giving me really great hands on experience during my internship.
During my time at Yolo, I was able to get a good deal of courtroom experience doing a variety of different things. I first began to appear in traffic court to appear on minor traffic matters and also misdemeanors that were handled in the traffic division. This was a great place to begin to feel comfortable in a courtroom setting, begin to learn how to craft meaningful questions of a witness, and present an argument to the court. I also argued quite a few 1538.5 motions to suppress evidence. For most of these cases I had written the motion, prepared for my witnesses, and then questioned my witness(es) and presented an argument to the judge.
My other experiences at Yolo included observing a number of really interesting trials such as trials for murder, robbery, domestic violence and sexual assault. Finally, I was really able to develop my research and writing skills by assisting attorneys with motions and with research projects. I learned so much about the law and the criminal justice system from my research that has proven invaluable to me throughout law school. I would highly recommend this position to anyone considering an internship in Yolo County.
Justin Lowenthal – Lincoln Law School
As a Legal Intern for the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office, I have learned much more than I expected to learn. Being a 2L in a four-year program, I was nervous that the limited amount of law school experience that I had would be a hindrance on the amount of assignments I could accept. However, after discussing my concern of drafting a “memo” or an “opposition to a 1538” with the attorneys who gave me the assignments, my nervousness quickly dissipated.When I expressed my concern to the attorneys, I expected them to request that I pass off the assignment to someone who was able to handle it. Needless to say, that when they did not, I was pleasantly surprised. All of the attorneys were amazingly supportive, as they understood that this was my first internship and I was not familiar with legal documents or rules of the court. Instead of asking someone else to complete the assignments, each attorney sat down with me and explained how to approach it, what to look for, and how to format my writing. Even today, when I have questions or concerns, I can count on each of the attorneys in the office to act as a mentor to help me help them.
My experience at Yolo DA has been eye opening. I have been exposed to more “real life” experience here than I ever will in law school. I am drafting documents ordinarily drafted by attorneys and I am in the courtroom, for reasons other than a speeding ticket. While generally the assignments are difficult, each attorney thus far has made the time to assist me through the task. Thanks to the staff and attorneys here at Yolo DA, my experience as a legal intern has been extremely rewarding.
Amanda Rackerby – Lincoln Law School
Interning at the Yolo County DA’s office afforded me the opportunity to bridge the world of theory with the world of legal practice. I had not had much exposure to the real world of practicing law. Reading cases is much different to practice in one respect, yet a natural extension of legal theory in another respect.
Not only did my internship give me this bridging opportunity, but, doing the internship while I was taking Evidence and Constitutional Law provided a reinforcing experience. I had an opportunity a few times to research evidentiary issues. Additionally, every time I watched a trial I would “test” myself to see if I could think of an exception before one was made. I was also fortunate enough to research an equal protection challenge to a grand jury selection. This was not only very interesting and challenging, but reinforced that area of the law.
Lastly, being exposed to so many talented and helpful attorneys I was able to see that there was more than one way to look at an issue. Each attorney had a different way of writing motions or tackling an issue which gave me an opportunity to pick from many examples so I could then hone and perfect my own style. I needed a flexible schedule. The Yolo DA’s office allowed me to work around that schedule while many other opportunities could not be as accommodating. This experience provided me with a great gateway to practicing law and I am very happy that the Yolo DA’s office provided me with this opportunity.
How to Apply
If you are seeking a student internship, whether you are pre- or post-bar, and you think that the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office may be the right fit for you, please e-mail your resume and a cover letter to Jonathan Raven, Chief Deputy District Attorney.
Deputy District Attorney Positions
For those interested in deputy district attorney positions in Yolo County, please note that we do not consider applications until passage of the California State Bar. Send a resume and cover letter to our Office and also complete a Yolo County application and send it to the Yolo County Human Resources Department. Applications can be submitted online at
We look forward to hearing from you,
Chief Deputy District Attorney
Yolo County District Attorney’s Office