Wendy Werner Internship Program

Spend a semester with ArchCity Defenders

ArchCity Defenders’ Wendy Werner Internship Program is named in honor of our founding board chair, longtime career coach, mentor, and cherished friend, who passed away in January 2022 after a long battle with cancer.

To this day, Wendy’s influence still reverberates throughout our office, our work, and the positive impact we create in the lives of our clients and communities. In her spirit, we will continue to facilitate a place at ArchCity Defenders dedicated to the development of future leaders, thinkers, lawyers, and activists who will make the world better. Our internship program is one such place.

Since 2010, hundreds of students from St. Louis and across the country have been drawn to and supported ACD’s holistic legal advocacy as interns. Whether that is working with attorneys on direct representation or civil litigation, assisting our social work staff in providing critical services to clients, advancing our organizing and campaign efforts, or contributing to our media and policy advocacy, interns have had a meaningful impact with our clients and within this region we call home. 

ACD interns not only contribute during their internships; they sometimes become part of the dynamic staff at ACD and other law firms and organizations, go on to federal judicial clerkships, or earn prestigious fellowship positions.

Year-round, our interns leave big shoes to fill. 

ArchCity Defenders provides academic calendar as well as summer internship and externship opportunities for law students, social work practicum students, paralegal students, communications and digital media students, graphic design students, graduate students, undergraduates, and more.


While continuing to provide holistic legal advocacy to the indigent in St. Louis, ArchCity Defenders is working on broad-based change to the St. Louis region’s criminal legal system. One way we advance this agenda is through the use of Civil Litigation on issues like debtors’ prisons, police misconduct, cash bail, and jail conditions.

Although impact litigation has become one effective tool for change, ArchCity Defenders remains dedicated to representing our clients and changing the lives of our clients on an individual basis. To this end, we provide Direct Representation in housing, consumer, family, criminal, municipal, and other areas of the law.

Interns for both teams perform fact and legal research; draft memos synthesizing their findings, motions, pleadings, and client communication; assist with discovery and investigation; interview and communicate with clients and witnesses; and attend court proceedings with staff attorneys.

Undergraduate students participating in legal internships will not receive the same types of assignments as law students. The intern will be able to engage in the work listed above but will spend more time specifically on discovery, document review, investigation, and administrative work.


The development intern will work with our dynamic and innovative team to research and develop relationships with funders, donors, and businesses, enter information into our database, and assist with planning and executing events to support our funding efforts.


ACD provides students with practicum experience at the intersection of law and social work and an opportunity to help build our social services program.


The intern works as a part of an interdisciplinary team with social workers, attorneys, paralegals, and other staff to provide assistance and support in assessing client needs, coordinating services, and connecting them to resources.


The intern will work with the Pilot Coordinatorto implement a project to holistically reimagine public safety while also providing case management to clients byassessing client needs, coordinating services, and connecting them to resources.


Communications, digital media, and graphic design interns assist with overarching ACD goals and objectives as they relate to multimedia storytelling through advocacy, media outreach, social media, graphic design, photography, videography, and using data, investigative, and writing skills for content development.

The Communications & Digital Media intern will produce and design content for ACD’s website, social media channels, and various digital and print materials; and monitor and track earned news media and social media analytics.

The Graphic Design intern will conceptualize and execute design projects; produce and design content for ACD’s website, social media channels, and various digital and print materials.

Community collaborations

The intern will work with organizers and community partners to assist people directly impacted by systems of oppression to get civically engaged through political education and organizing.


The operations intern supports the operations team in a variety of day-to-day operations and organizational duties. This role offers exposure to a variety of office, financial, HR, and administrative tasks, providing a mutually-beneficial learning experience and introduction to an office environment.