The mission of the City Attorney’s Office is to provide the highest quality legal counsel and representation to its wide client base, accomplished by providing prompt, courteous and professional service. Our office is committed to ensuring a work environment that stimulates every person to achieve their highest professional and personal development. The legal professionals who provide talent to our offices pro bono join our attorneys and staff in an important role as a steward of the public trust.
To apply for internship opportunities, please contact the CAO Internship Program Manager.
To apply for fellowship opportunities, please contact the CAO Fellowship Program Manager.
Denver law firms partner with us to give their junior associates trial experience through the Municipal Court Trial Advocacy Program (MCTAP). Firms provide an attorney to our Prosecution and Code Enforcement section for approximately eight weeks to grow in voir dire, trial technique, and the application of the rules of evidence.
This is an intensive assignment where these associates work directly with our team handling cases from inception to disposition. Direct, hands-on participation includes depositions, motion practice, court conferences, settlement negotiations, and, ultimately, trials. Cases can range from premises liability and motor vehicle accidents to wrongful incarceration, false arrest, and malicious prosecution.
Our caseload is such that just the work of depositions is a focus of pro bono attorneys. Unlike MCTAP, this assignment allows young and emerging legal professionals to gain experience preparing and conducting pre-trial depositions.
This depth of focus on an important facet of pre-trial litigation work strengthens young attorneys’ client services skills and confidence to interact with opposing counsel. This role provides exposure to a wide spectrum of cases, from individual damages actions to class action to multi-party litigation. Scheduling of depositions is more flexible and can be tailored to meet the needs of the attorneys participating.
We are fortunate to have the ongoing involvement of some of Denver’s top law firms, which occasionally take on our trial cases in addition to their regular obligations. In fulfillment of their pro bono requirements, the firms dedicate a portion of their attorneys’ time to our ongoing trial needs, and the value to us is profound. Their support of our work demonstrates their pride in this livable, vibrant community and their commitment to maintaining a strong municipal legal system.
Our office formed a strategic partnership with the University of Colorado, School of Law and University of Denver, Sturm College to create one-year Legal Fellowship positions for recent law school graduates. The Fellows are full-time attorneys that appear in court, take depositions, draft legal documents and advise clients. If you attend one of these local law schools, please check with your Career Services Department for additional information and how to apply.
If you attend a law school outside of Colorado, please note that we require funding from your law school. You may submit the following for consideration:
CIVIL LITIGATION FELLOW
The Civil Litigation Section defends the City and its employees from various types of claims, including torts and civil rights. Fellows will play an active role in assigned cases in both state and federal court throughout all stages of litigation. Responsibilities may include meeting with clients, drafting pleadings and motions, court appearances, participating in settlement conferences, attending depositions, preparing witnesses for depositions or hearings, and conducting direct or cross-examination of witnesses during hearings or trials in small claims or Denver County Court.
DEN LEGAL FELLOW
Airport Legal Services serves as in-house counsel to Denver International Airport, the 6th busiest airport in the nation. The Fellow can expect to be involved in every aspect of running the Airport, which includes: addressing landlord/tenant issues with concessionaires, ensuring compliance with FAA regulations, analyzing land use issues, drafting contracts, dealing with accidents that occur onsite, and other duties as assigned.
Although much of the work is transactional in nature, the Fellow will be exposed to litigation and may have opportunities to attend depositions, hearings, and mediation proceedings. This is an excellent opportunity for an applicant who is interested in eventually acting as in-house counsel for a large corporation.
EMPLOYMENT & LABOR LAW FELLOW
This Fellow will work in the DCAO’S Employment & Labor Law Section, and may be assigned primarily to support the Workers’ Compensation Unit. The Employment & Labor Law Section represents the City and its agencies in a variety of employment law-related claims, including Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FMLA, FLSA, constitutional claims, worker’s compensation claims, collective bargaining arbitrations, and administrative appeals of personnel actions (discipline, disqualification, lay-off, grievances, etc.). This Section also advises clients on various employment law issues, drafts and reviews policies, conducts training, negotiates collective bargaining agreements, pursues subrogation claims, and monitors investigations.
HUMAN SERVICES FELLOW
A Fellow assigned to the Human Services Legal Services Section must be able to work independently and think on their feet.
The Child Protection Section of the City Attorney’s Office focuses almost exclusively on representing social services caseworkers in dependency and neglect cases. These cases involve heavy court dockets, continuously evolving issues and, at times, emotionally challenging situations. This work can be very satisfying as the focus is always on the rehabilitation of parents, the collaboration of professionals, and the honest presentation of facts to the court. If assigned to this section, a Fellow will receive comprehensive training in this area of the law, including weekly opportunities to represent clients in court, and will be guided by a group of experienced child protection attorneys and support staff.
This Fellowship is a full-time position and will work on projects selected and supervised by the DCAO. The DCAO will supervise the Fellow throughout the duration of the Fellowship.
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL FELLOW
Legislative Counsel is a dynamic team who represents the thirteen elected members of the Denver City Council, the legislative arm of the City of Denver, and is looking for a flexible Fellow who can work independently, think on his or her feet, and work with attorneys, elected officials, and city staff. A Fellow selected to work with Legislative Counsel needs to have strong research and writing skills and excellent communication skills. The Fellow can expect to be involved in supporting Legislative Counsel, including researching relevant law, drafting ordinances and regulations, and involvement in the legislative process. The Fellow will work on a wide-range of substantive legal and policy issues, potentially including municipal law and home-rule, real estate and land use, environmental law, and finance law. In addition to working for Legislative Counsel, the Deputy City Attorney and Administration section may assign tasks and projects to this Fellow. The assignments will vary depending on the projects being overseen by the Deputy City Attorney and have, for example, included work on the Immigrant Legal Defense Fund and the National Western Stock Show Center. Working with Legislative Counsel is a great opportunity to develop fundamental legal skills and to work at the forefront of local government law and policy in Colorado.
MUNICIPAL OPERATIONS FELLOW
This Fellow will work in the DCAO’s Municipal Operations Section. The Municipal Operations Section serves as in-house counsel to nearly all City agencies and elected officials and performs a wide range of legal work, including drafting and negotiating contracts, preparing legislation and rules, advising boards and commissions, representing the City in litigation and administrative proceedings, and advising agencies and officials. The substantive range of practice areas with which a Fellow may become involved is also broad: Fellows may work on real estate and development, zoning, taxation, bankruptcy, construction law, environmental law, municipal law, and public finance matters. The Municipal Operations Fellowship is a great opportunity to develop foundational legal skills and gain exposure to different practice areas while working at the forefront of local government law and policy in Colorado.
PROSECUTION AND CODE ENFORCEMENT FELLOW
This Fellow will work in the DCAO’s Prosecution and Criminal Enforcement (PACE) Section. PACE prosecutes some types of minor state violations and all municipal ordinance matters. A Fellow assigned to PACE might specialize in:
• Marijuana policy and law: The Fellow would be researching and writing proposed legislation as well as potentially briefing issues for cases that are being litigated. They would also be intimately involved with licensing and revocation of licensing for MJ businesses.
• Civil in rem actions: The nuisance abatement law in Denver is not a forfeiture law, but a closure law. We file suit against property used in the commission of certain listed predicate offenses and then close that property for a period of time. The Fellow would be responsible for approving police affidavits, filing the claims, going to trial when necessary and researching and writing any appeals of the claims. They would also have the opportunity to meet with owners of property and working out stipulated settlements.
• Criminal prosecution: The Fellow would be representing the City in traffic cases and in cases in which the defendant has been accused of violating any other Municipal Ordinance. The Fellow would have the opportunity to evaluate cases, talk to witnesses, defendants and defense attorneys, make plea offers and eventually prosecute motions and trials.
Our robust internship program gives law students an opportunity to engage in substantive legal work. Typically involving students in the summer months of their schooling, these internships challenge the incoming members of our profession to apply their education in a real-world setting. We do offer fall and spring internships. See section descriptions for more details.
Student externs are eligible for law school credit when they work with our attorneys during the school year. Third year law students can expect real courtroom experience as they practice with experienced municipal attorneys under the Student Practices Act.
You may submit the following for consideration:
The Civil Litigation Section of the Denver City Attorney’s Office is looking for a full time (40 hours per week) intern for summer 2019. Students who have completed their first year or second year of law school are welcome to apply. The Civil Litigation Section defends the City and County of Denver, municipal officials, and municipal employees in civil lawsuits and pre-lawsuit claims involving constitutional and civil rights issues, personal injury, and property damage. The Civil Litigation Section also provides legal counsel to the Mayor’s Office, City Council, and all agencies and departments of the City and County of Denver as well as intra-agency training regarding legal updates, liability risks, and best practices. Interns are actively involved in substantive work, including legal research, brief and memoranda writing, and client meetings, with the assistance of supervising attorneys. Interns also have an opportunity to conduct site visits and observe trials, hearing, and depositions. These internships challenge law students to apply their education in real-world setting.
Student interns are eligible for law school credit when they work with our attorneys during the school year.
DEN Legal serves as in-house counsel to Denver International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the nation. DEN Legal attorneys are involved in every aspect of running the Airport, which includes: addressing landlord/tenant issues with concessionaires, ensuring compliance with FAA regulations, analyzing land use issues, drafting and negotiating construction and professional services agreements, dealing with accidents that occur onsite, and more. Interns can expect to conduct legal research and write memos related to the above-mentioned practice areas, assist in contract drafting, and attend client meetings.
Although much of DEN Legal’s work is transactional in nature, interns will be exposed to litigation and may have opportunities to attend depositions, hearings, and mediation proceedings. This is an excellent opportunity for a student who is interested in eventually acting as in-house counsel for a large corporation.
DEN Legal prefers summer interns, but are also open to a spring or fall intern. Summer interns work full-time between 36-40 hours. Fall and spring interns work a minimum of 16 hours per week (either 2 full-days or 1 full-day and 2 half-days). Interns must be currently enrolled in law school. Preference for 2L or above, but we’ll take 1Ls that have prior, applicable professional experience.
Employment & Labor Law:
The Employment & Labor Law section typically hires one summer intern, and is looking for applicants who have completed their first or second year of law school. The attorneys in the Employment & Labor Law Section defend the City in employment-related litigation involving claims of discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, and more. The attorneys in this section also defend the City its agencies in administrative proceedings at the local and federal level. Summer interns observe as many different types of legal proceedings as possible, and complete, with guidance, substantive hands-on work including research and writing motions. The time commitment is 15-40 hours per week.
The summer term is approximately June 1 – August 7.
Human Services Legal Services represents the Denver Department of Human Services as in-house counsel. The intern will be exposed to work in dependency and neglect cases. The internship is broadly designed, allowing it to be tailored to each participant’s individual needs and skill sets. During the internship, the intern will have the opportunity to represent the Denver Department of Human Services in hearings to the Denver Juvenile Court. The intern may also obtain experience in research and writing projects. Interns must be eligible to practice under the Student Practice Act. The time commitment varies and can tailored to the schedule of the individual, but generally the minimum would be 12 to 15 hours per week. We enjoy taking interns year-round.
Legislative Counsel - Administration
Legislative Counsel is a dynamic team who represents the thirteen elected members of the Denver City Council, the legislative arm of the City of Denver, and is looking for a flexible intern who can work independently, think on his or her feet, and work with attorneys, elected officials, and city staff. An intern selected to work with Legislative Counsel needs to have strong research and writing skills and excellent communication skills. The intern can expect to be involved in supporting Legislative Counsel, including researching relevant law, drafting ordinances and regulations, and involvement in the legislative process. The intern will work on a wide-range of substantive legal and policy issues, potentially including municipal law and home-rule, real estate and land use, environmental law, and finance law. The City Attorney, Deputy City Attorney and Administration section may assign tasks and projects to this intern, in addition to working for Legislative Counsel. For example, past assignments included work on the Immigrant Legal Defense Fund and the National Western Stock Show Center.
Working with Legislative Counsel is a great opportunity to develop fundamental legal skills and to work at the forefront of local government law and policy in Colorado.
Municipal Operations Section has openings year-round for a maximum of three students who have completed their first year of law school for a one semester term. We typically have at least one intern at any given semester and usually fill all available slots for the summer session. This Section practices in the areas of land use, transactional, municipal and tax law and assignments range from assisting and observing attorneys to conducting legal research and preparing memoranda, drafting simple motions, contracts, and documents, and attending court, administrative hearings, City Council, and meetings. Interns will receive guidance directly from the staff attorney as to how to best accommodate and accomplish a work assignment. Our preference is to have students observe as many attorneys and attend as many different types of proceedings as possible, rather than shadow a single attorney. The Section requires a minimum of 15 hours per week with a preference for the 15 hours at to be broken up into at least 3 days per week and the Section accommodates interns for varying hours up to full time schedules. Students for the summer session should be prepared to attend the first and last days of the term, but other scheduling is flexible.
Prosecution and Code Enforcement:
The Denver City Attorney’s Office is looking for an intern for the Prosecution and Code Enforcement Section. This internship is an excellent opportunity to gain exposure to the criminal justice system, courtroom tasks, and substantive legal issues not covered in law school. Interns who qualify under the Student Practice Act will also have the opportunity to appear in court and obtain trial experience. Legal internships are unpaid, but students may arrange for academic credit. Time commitment would be 15 to 20 hours per week when school is in session, and 40 hours per week during the summer.