Volunteer Opportunities

The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office offers volunteer opportunities for attorneys, law students and victim advocates throughout the year. These internship positions provide invaluable experience to individuals interested in a career in the field of criminal law as well as to those seeking experience and the opportunity to help. Interns have the opportunity to work closely with prosecutors.

All applicants will receive a timely response. If offered a volunteer opportunity, the applicant must pass a background check conducted by our Bureau of Investigation. As the background check process can take up to eight (8) weeks, applicants should apply at least two months before they wish to start volunteering. Due to the need to avoid the appearance of impropriety, volunteers may not perform any work (paid or unpaid) for any criminal defense attorney while volunteering for our office.

Attorney Volunteers

Attorneys with active licenses to practice law in California may apply to volunteer if willing to commit to a minimum of 40 hours/week for 10 weeks. Opportunities will depend on experience and ability.

How to apply: Applicants should contact Chief Assistant District Attorney Lisa O. Lyytikainen, via email, c/o Management Assistant Cynthia M. Klante at Cynthia.Klante@ventura.org. Applicants should include a letter expressing their interest, including when they are available to volunteer, along with a resume.


Law Student Volunteers

Law students at any stage of their education are encouraged to apply. Students are typically assigned to work with attorneys prosecuting homicide, gang, narcotics, sexual assault, domestic violence, fraud and a wide variety of felony and misdemeanor cases including robberies, burglaries, assault with a deadly weapon and vandalism cases. A student may also be assigned to work in the writs and appeals unit, researching novel legal issues and writing pleadings and memoranda for distribution both within the District Attorney’s office and to local law enforcement agencies. Law students may be asked to assist in:

  • Legal research and writing motions
  • Reviewing transcripts of victims, defendants, witnesses
  • Trial strategy discussions
  • Collecting and analyzing statistics
  • Preparing reports and memoranda
  • Assembling trial notebooks
  • Organizing evidence

Certification is not required but students who are certified are eligible to conduct evidentiary and law and motion hearings, including preliminary examinations, Penal Code section 995 motions, Miranda motions, and motions to suppress evidence. Certified law students appearing on the record in court are always accompanied by a supervising attorney. Training in how to conduct court hearings is provided.

Guided tours of the main jail and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Crime Laboratory are arranged for summer student interns.

How to apply: Submissions are encouraged year-round, including from first, second, and third-year students. There are no deadlines. Law students who would like to volunteer for an internship opportunity should contact Chief Deputy Paul Nuñez, via email, c/o Management Assistant Cynthia M. Klante at Cynthia.Klante@ventura.org. Applicants should include a letter expressing their interest, including when they are available to volunteer, along with a resume. Law students are required to make a minimum commitment of 15 hours/week for 10 weeks during the school year and 40 hours/week for 10 weeks during the summer.

Read on about our law clerk program from deputy district attorneys who started with the office as law student volunteers:

Andrew Reid

Andrew Reid
Deputy District Attorney

“If you want a clerking experience during law school that is interesting, come to the Ventura District Attorney’s Office. For me and the friends I made here in the clerking program, it was a fantastic experience. I learned what being a prosecutor is all about. Whether you want to become a deputy district attorney or not, the experience is invaluable and you get to work with great people.”

Caroline Sommers

Caroline Sommers
Deputy District Attorney

“The best decision I made in law school was to clerk at the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office. I was given the opportunity to conduct court hearings and question witnesses. The attorneys were incredibly helpful. I got to fight for justice. It was exciting and the best part of my day.”

Erin Meister

Erin Meister
Deputy District Attorney

“I came to clerk at the District Attorney’s office just for the experience, not because I wanted to be a prosecutor. I think every law student should clerk for a prosecutor’s office. It will probably be the most interesting thing they do in their legal career.”

Ethel Hernandez

Ethel Hernandez
Deputy District Attorney

“I knew I wanted to practice criminal law and my mind was open to whether it would be as a defense attorney or as a prosecutor. I’m so thankful I interned in both areas. Volunteering at the Ventura District Attorney’s Office helped me make the right decision. Dynamic and caring prosecutors helped me as a student intern and now I count myself lucky to be able to do the same for current law students.”

Jean-Paul LeCedre

Jean-Paul LeCedre
Deputy District Attorney

“I worked at several big private firms in school before I took advantage of a clerking opportunity at the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office. I’m glad I did because I fell in love with prosecution. But even if I had not opted for a career as a prosecutor, the experience still taught me that I wanted a career that would put me in a courtroom on a regular basis. I did not know that until I clerked at the District Attorney’s office.”


Victim Advocate Volunteer

The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office provides services to thousands of victims every year and seeks qualified volunteers to make an important contribution to public safety and crime victims in Ventura County. Volunteer staff complete an initial 48 hours of training, which prepares them to assist victims with certain services, including obtaining a restraining order, emergency shelter placement, and court accompaniment. Volunteer training includes the following subject areas:

  • How to obtain and enforce a domestic violence restraining order
  • Crisis intervention skills
  • Cycle of domestic violence
  • Effects of domestic violence on children
  • History of the District Attorney’s Crime Victims’ Assistance unit
  • Rights of crime victims

Minimum Requirements:

  • Applicants must be 18 years or older
  • Applicants must possess basic computer skills
  • Applicants must possess good writing skills
  • Applicants must pass a background check
  • Be available during normal business hours
  • Bilingual skills helpful, but not required

Victim Advocate Volunteers are coordinated by the Ventura County Family Justice Center
Volunteer opportunities include:

  • Educators to host youth program activities
  • Camp HOPE Counselors – ages 17 to 24 – to attend two weeks of camp and attend reunion events
  • Special projects and event volunteers
  • Administrative and general office support
  • Client navigation and victim advocate assistants for the restraining order clinics and day-to-day operations
  • Greeters to welcome clients when they arrive and offer refreshments and attend to immediate client needs
  • Groundskeepers and horticulturists for upkeep and beautification

If you are interested in joining our volunteer team, please complete this application and send with your resume by email noting your interests to vcfjc@ventura.org. If you have questions, please call (805) 652-7655.

Or return a completed application form to:

Development & Outreach Manager

Ventura County Family Justice Center

3170 Loma Vista Road
Ventura, CA 93009