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16. Prosecuting Intern Program

The Prosecutor Intern Program, which is provided for by Iowa statute, began in the early 1970's in an effort to encourage students to gain courtroom experience and consider prosecution as a career. It has become an important part of a joint effort by the Attorney General and the Iowa County Attorneys Association to focus on career prosecution in Iowa.

The program is operated in connection with Supreme Court Rule 31.15, which allows for supervised practice by law students. It is open to second or third-year law students who have completed a certification course. Many of the students who participate in the prosecutor intern program later become prosecutors.

Law school faculty oversee the training and regular supervision of the prosecutor interns throughout the program. County attorneys hire interns either by seeking applications or by interviewing at the law schools. Some students contact county attorneys directly about summer intern work. County attorneys are encouraged to begin the hiring process as soon as possible during the academic year.Salary and work requirements or assignments are set by the county attorney. Salary is by the county, and the county may seek reimbursement (up to $5.00 per hour) with prior approval of the Attorney General. Funding for training and supervision is provided through forfeiture funds administered by the Attorney General's Office to the extent that funding is available.

Each year, Prosecutor Intern Program students are invited to come to Des Moines for a day for a summer seminar. If schedules permit, the students attend an oral argument, talk with an appellate judge or justice, learn about the Attorney General's Office, tour the DCI Laboratory, and talk about their intern experiences. The Iowa County Attorneys Association hosts a lunch for the students. The seminar is arranged by the Attorney General's Office, in cooperation with faculty supervisors.