Pro Bono Honors Pledge Program - Suggested Placements

Criminal Law / Death Penalty / Criminal Justice


American Civil Liberties Union Capital Punishment Project

The Project offers the opportunity to gain familiarity with numerous policy issues surrounding the death penalty, such as innocence, race, and utilitarian and retributive concerns. Assignments include both traditional legal research as well as research using unconventional sources. An internship presents the challenge of writing persuasively about legal issues for a non-legal audience and the opportunity to participate in grassroots organizing.

American Civil Liberties Union - Washington Legislative Office

The WLO is responsible for the federal lobbying program of the ACLU. It advocates before Congress and the executive branch on the full range of civil liberties issues including national security, free speech, privacy, racial justice, immigrants’ rights, reproductive freedom, religious liberty, LGBT rights, and criminal justice.

American University Washington College of Law Clinical Program

Civil Practice, Community and Economic Development, Criminal Justice, D.C. Law Students in Court, Domestic Violence, Intellectual Property, International Human Rights, Federal Tax, Women and the Law. Students may only receive pro bono credit of they are not also receiving academic credit.

Americans for Democratic Action (ADA)

ADA is the nation’s oldest, liberal, independent political organization. It focuses on economic, military, foreign, social, and environmental issues, and maintains a political action committee (ADA/PAC). It publishes a weekly legislative newsletter for liberal activists and a quarterly newsletter.


A non-profit network of 16 public interest justice centers in the U.S. and Mexico, Appleseed is dedicated to building a society in which opportunities are genuine, access to the law is universal and equal, and government advances the public interest. Appleseed uncovers and corrects injustices and barriers to opportunity through legal, legislative and market-based structural reform. Working with our huge pro bono network, we identify and examine social injustices, make specific recommendations, and advocate for effective solutions to deep-seated structural problems. Together, Appleseed and Appleseed Centers form a network for positive change, building a society that provides each individual access to justice and a genuine opportunity to lead a full and productive life.

Attorney General - Maryland

One of the Attorney General's principal goals is to utilize the full resources of the Office of the Attorney General to support the efforts of police and prosecutors throughout the state in the fight against crime. The Criminal Appeals Division, which handles all appeals of convictions, obtains a favorable result in 90 percent of the cases we handle. The Attorney General personally has focused on giving law enforcement the tools it needs to better serve the citizens of Maryland, obtaining a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court in Maryland v. Wilson, that police officers be given the authority to order passengers out of a lawfully stopped vehicle when necessary to protect the officers and, in Maryland v. Craig, upholding Maryland's law so children who are victims of child abuse can testify via one-way television.

The Constitution Project

The Constitution Project is a bipartisan nonprofit organization that seeks consensus on controversial, legal and constitutional issues through a unique combination of scholarship and activism.

Families Against Mandatory Minimums

Families Against Mandatory Minimums (―FAMM‖) envisions a justice system where sentencing is individualized, humane and sufficient but not greater than necessary to impose just punishment, secure public safety, and support successful rehabilitation and reentry. FAMM was founded in 1991 to roll back the onslaught of mandatory minimum sentencing laws and promote fair and proportionate sentencing policies. Through lobbying, advocacy, litigation and media outreach, FAMM educates legislators and the public about the harm caused by mandatory minimum sentences. FAMM’s national membership includes prisoners and their families, attorneys, judges, criminal justice experts and concerned citizens.

Federal Public Defender for DC

The Office of the Federal Public Defender for the District of District of Columbia represents indigent defendants before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Representation includes counsel and investigative, expert and other services necessary for an adequate defense.

Federal Public Defender, Eastern District of Virginia

The Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Eastern District of Virginia was established in 2001, and is dedicated to the defense of indigent clients charged with federal offenses. The Federal Public Defender is authorized and funded pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act, ("CJA"), 18 USC § 3006A, et seq. Our caseload ranges from petty offenses to the defense of complex felony prosecutions. Please see our mission statement. The Eastern District of Virginia is one of two districts in the state and includes 43 of the state's 95 counties. The Eastern District of Virginia includes the Northern Virginia area, the greater Richmond area, and the Tidewater region of Virginia.

Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law

The mission of the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law is to protect and advance the rights of adults and children who have mental disabilities. The Center envisions an America where people who have mental illnesses or developmental disabilities exercise their own life choices and have access to the resources that enable them to participate fully in their communities.

NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund, Inc.

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) was founded in 1940 under the leadership of Thurgood Marshall. Although LDF's primary purpose was to provide legal assistance to poor African Americans, its work over the years has brought greater justice to all Americans.

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) is the preeminent organization in the United States advancing the mission of the nation's criminal defense lawyers to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or other misconduct. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's more than 12,500 direct members -- and 90 state, local, and international affiliate organizations with another 35,000 members -- include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, active U.S. military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness within America's criminal justice system.

National Center for Victims of Crime

Since 1985, the National Center for Victims of Crime has worked with more than 10,000 grassroots organizations and criminal justice agencies to help victims of crime rebuild their lives. We are dedicated to serving individuals, families, and communities harmed by crime. Through collaboration with local, state, and federal partners, we provide direct services and resources; advocate for passage of laws and public policies that create resources and secure rights and protections for crime victims; deliver training and technical assistance to victim service organizations, counselors, attorneys, criminal justice agencies, and allied professionals; and foster cutting-edge thinking about the impact of crime and the ways in which each of us can help victims regain control of their lives.

National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

Since its inception in 1976, NCADP has been the only fully staffed national organization exclusively devoted to abolishing capital punishment. NCADP provides information, advocates for public policy, and mobilizes and supports individuals and institutions that share our unconditional rejection of capital punishment.

National Legal Aid & Defender Association

Attorneys interested in doing public service work with civil legal aid or public defender programs can contact NLADA to obtain information on NLADA membership and programs of interest.

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana/Center for the Study of Drug Policy

NORML's mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to achieve the repeal of marijuana prohibition so that the responsible use of cannabis by adults is no longer subject to penalty.

Public Defender - Prince George's County, MD

Since 1972, The Office of the Public Defender has been providing counsel to those unable to afford an attorney. Trial Divisions are maintained in all Circuit, District and Juvenile Courts throughout the State.

United States Attorney's Office - MD

The Criminal Division includes 40 prosecutors in Baltimore and 16 prosecutors in the Southern Division in Greenbelt. The Criminal Division in Baltimore is divided into five sections: Violent Crimes Section Narcotics Narcotics Section Fraud and Corruption Section Fraud and Corruption Section Major Crimes Section Major Crimes Section Major Crimes Section Asset Forfeiture & Money Laundering Section National Security Section National Security Section Southern Divison Southern Division