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Internships for Undergraduate Students

The Iowa Attorney General’s Office values the contributions made by interns and works hard to give interns
the best experience possible. The office benefits substantially from the work done by these interns and
from the contributions interns make to the vitality of the office.

A number of positions for undergraduate student interns are available during the school year and over the
summer months. These positions are traditionally unpaid, but they do offer important experience.
Colleges usually offer academic credit for this kind of work and the Attorney General’s Office will cooperate
with colleges to arrange for appropriate academic credit.

The internship program provides many benefits and opportunities. Interns can:

  • Learn about careers in law, public service, law enforcement, public relations and public policy. Past
    interns say the experience has helped them judge whether their planned career path is a
    good fit for their interests.
  • Experience a professional work environment.
  • Develop a professional relationship with staff of the Iowa Attorney General’s Office.
  • Develop skills outside of an academic setting.

Interns are expected to:

  • Fulfill all work commitments made.
  • Respect confidentiality.
  • Project professional conduct, attitude and dress.

Interns can expect to:

  • Work in a supportive, friendly environment.
  • Be treated with respect by office employees.
  • Have adequate supervision.

Internships are available in three areas of the office:

Consumer Protection Division Internship

(This is an unpaid position, but it may be used for college credit, depending upon the requirements of
your school.)

Description: The intern in this position handles individual consumer complaints and assists attorneys and
investigators on projects of broader application. The intern works under the supervision of our
Executive Officer. The intern is assigned consumer complaints and follows them through the process to
attempt to assist in resolving the complaint where possible. Projects of broader application might include
assisting with investigations, litigation support such as witness interviews, document organization and
review, and other tasks, as assigned. Interns can expect to work with division staff in a team-oriented
office dedicated to serving the people of Iowa. To the greatest extent possible, interns will learn of
opportunities to attend trials, court hearings, or oral arguments involving Attorney General legal staff.
The internship is located in Des Moines and involves from 10-20 hours per week during the 8-4:30
Monday-Friday work week.

Duties include: collecting, reviewing, analyzing and summarizing materials obtained from various
information sources; assembling investigative files; reproducing documents; and drafting case
summaries under staff supervision.

Requirements: The intern holding this position must: be able to take and accurately apply general
instructions; be well organized; be detail oriented; be self motivating and successful in following
assignments to completion; be proficient in computer skills; be able to efficiently and accurately
review and organize documentation; and be capable of working independently and meeting
established deadlines. The selected person must have excellent writing, speaking and interpersonal
skills, convey a professional presence, and have good analytical abilities. This position requires
confidentiality and discretion. The Department of Justice will require the selected person to sign a
confidentiality agreement. Interested persons may be in an associated undergraduate program or
graduate level program of study, i.e., pre-law, political science, criminology, communications, or
consumer and family sciences programs.

"I really appreciated the level of responsibility that was entrusted in us.....(Going to trials) was probably my favorite experience to see how the process works in the court system. We got to do such a wide variety of things that I felt the internship was really well-rounded."

Kim Opatz, former intern from Simpson College

"This internship has been very rewarding to me because there is a good feeling when one is able to help get back money in any amount for consumers. The cases that I worked on really opened my eyes to how to be ‘consumer savvy’ and I learned a lot about different scams and problems consumers can have and will have with businesses. Another thing I enjoyed was the people that I met and worked with. Everyone was eager to help one another and it seems that everyone wants the same thing, to be able to help out the consumers and businesses, to find the truth in the matters at hand.”

Melinda Kuehl, former intern from Grand View College

To apply, or if you have questions, contact:

Debra A. Moore, Executive Officer
Iowa Attorney General’s Office
Hoover State Office Building, 2nd Floor
1305 East Walnut St.
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
(515) 281-8770
Debra.Moore@Iowa.gov

Area Prosecutions Division Internships

(This is an unpaid position but it may be used for college credit, depending upon the requirements
of your school.)
Position Title: Intern- Sexually Violent Predator Unit Program.

Description: The intern holding this position assists staff in compiling information for use in civil
commitment proceedings under Chapter 229A., the Sexually Violent Predator Act.
The intern works under the supervision of the SVP Paralegal or the AG Investigator and interacts with
other staff members and other professionals to obtain and report information used in these
proceedings.  The internship is located in Des Moines and involves up to 20 hours per week,
Monday through Friday, during traditional business hours.

Duties: Assisting the SVP Paralegal in collecting, reviewing and summarizing large amounts of
materials obtained from various information sources; assembling investigative files; reproducing
documents, interviews and drafting case reports and documents under staff supervision.

Requirements: The intern holding this position must: be able to take and accurately apply general
instructions; be highly organized; be highly detail-oriented; be self-motivating and successful in
following assignments to completion; be proficient in computer Windows environment; be able to
efficiently and accurately review and organize large volumes of documentation and prepare reports
according to an established format; and be capable of working independently and meeting
established deadlines.  

The selected person must have excellent writing, speaking and interpersonal skills, convey a
professional presence, and have superior analytical abilities. This position requires absolute
confidentiality and discretion. The Department of Justice will require the selected person to sign a
confidentiality agreement. Interested persons should be in an associated undergraduate program
or graduate level program of study, i.e., sociology, psychology, criminology, or pre-law programs.

To apply, or if you have questions, contact:
Sonya Sellmeyer, Paralegal
Iowa Department of Justice
Hoover State Office Building, Second Floor
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
(515) 281-3648
Sonya.Sellmeyer@iowa.gov

 

(This is an unpaid position but it may be used for college credit, depending upon the
requirements of your school.)

Position Title: Intern- Criminal Enforcement Unit Program.

Description: The intern holding this position assists in the criminal investigation and prosecution
of persons believed to be engaged in criminal acts directed against a growing population here in
Iowa.  Every year senior Iowans are victimized by criminals who take advantage of their trusting or
vulnerable nature and steal their money and along with it, their ability to live out their lives and
care for their families as they had planned to do.   White collar crime, investment and securities
fraud, theft and other offenses are committed against these people by predatory and dangerous
criminals.

The intern works under the supervision of the Attorney General’s Office Criminal Investigator and
interacts with other staff members, prosecutors, law enforcement personnel and other
professionals to create detailed, accurate records for use in the charging and prosecution of these
offenders.  The internship is located in Des Moines and involves up to 20 hours per week, Monday
through Friday, during traditional business hours.

Duties: Assisting the AG Criminal Investigator and Prosecutor collecting, reviewing, analyzing and
summarizing materials obtained from various information sources; assembling investigative
files; reproducing documents, interviews and drafting case reports and documents under staff
supervision.

Requirements: The intern holding this position must: be able to take and accurately apply
general instructions; be highly organized; be highly detail-oriented; be self-motivating and
successful in following assignments to completion; be proficient in computer Windows environment;
be able to efficiently and accurately review and organize large volumes of documentation and prepare
reports according to an established format; and be capable of working independently and meeting
established deadlines.  Skill/Experience in accounting or financial analysis is a plus but not required.

The selected person must have excellent writing, speaking and interpersonal skills, convey a
professional presence, and have superior analytical abilities. This position requires absolute
confidentiality and discretion. The Department of Justice will require the selected person to sign
a confidentiality agreement and may conduct a criminal background check on the selected
applicant. Interested persons should be in an associated undergraduate program or graduate
level program of study, i.e., accounting, sociology, psychology, criminology, or pre-law programs.

To apply, or if you have questions, contact:

Michael J. Ferjak, Investigator
Iowa Department of Justice
Hoover State Office Building, Second Floor
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
(515) 281-3648
mferjak@ag.state.ia.us

Child Support Awareness / Public Policy Internship


(This is an unpaid position, but it may be used for college credit, depending upon the requirements of your
school.)

Description:
The Iowa Attorney General's Office has a position open for a Child Support Awareness / Public Policy
intern. This internship may be available for the fall and winter semesters and during the summer.
The office is unable to provide a salary for this position but good work experience, support and supervision
is provided. During the school year 12 – 15 hours per week are required. Twenty to thirty hours per week
are required during the summer.  The work location is in the Iowa Attorney General's Office in Des Moines.
The position involves little or no travel.

Duties include:

  • Primary responsibility for public awareness and outreach includes designing materials (posters, banners, hand-outs) and social media (web site, phone apps, flash drives and other resources) regarding the importance of positive parenting and paying child support. 

  • Building coalitions with various organizations and diverse populations to successfully deliver
    our message and raise awareness of these issues.

  • Assistance with the Iowa State Fair booth maintained by the Iowa Attorney General, including responsibility for child support awareness activities at the booth.

  • Development of public policy research-related materials and researching and writing issue
    briefs, memoranda, and other office materials.

  • Other duties can be discussed consistent with the needs of the office and the interests of the intern.

The position is a good opportunity to engage in public relations and public policy work in a friendly and
supportive office environment. It is particularly appropriate for students pursuing a career
in a public relations or communications-related field.

For more information contact:
Debra A. Moore, Executive Officer
Iowa Attorney General’s Office
Hoover State Office Building, 2nd Floor
1305 East Walnut St.
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
(515) 281-8770
Debra.Moore@Iowa.gov