NEIGHBORHOOD DEFENDER SERVICE has created NDS Texas, a new client-centered, holistic public defense office to address the humanitarian crisis at the southern border by providing criminal defense representation and Padilla consultations to individuals arrested by Texas law enforcement along that border through Operation Lone Star.

NDS represents non-citizen clients who are charged with crimes and who cannot afford to hire a lawyer. Clients are represented by teams composed of lawyers, investigators, social workers, client advocates, and team administrators. NDS adheres to a client-centered approach to representation that emphasizes a heightened responsiveness to clients’ needs prior to arrest, while a case is pending, and after the case concludes.

1L and 2L summer interns will be matched with NDS Texas Senior Trial Attorneys and Staff Attorneys to work with throughout the summer. Interns will participate in all aspects of direct representation, including legal research and writing, preparing for hearings and trials (with the possibility to appear on the record pursuant to the student practice order), investigations, client interactions, and collaborating with the social worker and other team members.

Interns will work from our office in San Antonio, and will likely travel to visit clients in jails and may also travel occasionally to the border counties. It is anticipated that most hearings will continue to be held via Zoom. The goal of the internship is to provide the intern with an experience as close to the actual practice of an NDS criminal defense attorney as possible.

Internships must be for a minimum of 8 weeks, and a minimum of 25 hours per week. NDS is unable to pay interns, but will assist interns in securing funding from their school or other sources and/or in arranging to receive academic credit.


NDS is looking for 1L and 2L law student interns with a demonstrated commitment to criminal defense and social justice issues. In addition, the internship requires energy, enthusiasm, and an unwavering commitment to clients.


Interested applicants should email a cover letter and resume to We will be accepting applications on a rolling basis.