Volunteer Opportunities

We have a number of volunteers that work with our office on a regular basis. If you are interested in volunteering, please note the following instructions, based on your individual qualifications:

Expert Witnesses 

We often utilize expert witnesses for case consultation and case analysis, who are kind enough to work pro bono or at a reduced rate.  In addition, every year we invite experts to educate our students on their particular expertise. This is an invaluable experience to the clinic students to learn from real-life professionals on real-life issues.  Our students leave the California Innocence Project with a plethora of knowledge across all fields of forensic science.  If interested, please click the link below, fill out the form, and note your expertise.  

Attorney Volunteers

We have several hundred volunteer attorneys assisting us in a variety of ways. The most basic volunteer opportunity involves initial case screening to determine whether the California Innocence Project should conduct a full-blown investigation. Our more seasoned volunteer attorneys (usually big law firms) partner with us on case representation.  Please click the link below and fill out the form.

Investigators

We have a panel of licensed private investigators we use on a regular basis. In addition, retired police officers, sheriff’s deputies, parole and probation officers, and retired prison guards volunteer their time to conduct investigations on our behalf. Investigators can volunteer for a single investigation, or get more involved and take on an entire case (depending on experience). Please click the link below and complete the form.

Interns

The California Innocence Project offers two types of internships which are outlined below. Please note, we do not provide remote internship opportunities; interns must be available to work in our San Diego office for the duration of their internship.

Due to the situation with COVID-19, we have had to make the difficult decision to suspend our fall internship.  The California Western School of Law campus is closed per Governor Newsom’s orders, which means our office is also closed.  As noted above, because of the nature of our work, we are unable to facilitate this internship remotely.  We will post an update about whether we plan on holding a spring internship as soon as we have more information.

Legal Interns
We hire unpaid interns to work in our office during each trimester. This is a valuable experience for anyone interested in criminal law or post-conviction law. Hours are flexible (15-35 hours per week [preferred], Monday-Friday, 9 am-5 pm). The first priority will be given to high school, college, law, and post-bar students.

  • Summer Deadline: March 1st
  • Fall Deadline: July 1st
  • Spring Deadline: November 1st

Fundraising Interns
We offer unpaid fundraising internships throughout the year. Our fundraising interns assist our development team with database cleanup, research, and follow-up, event planning, XONR8 gear sales, and various other fundraising efforts. This is an invaluable opportunity for anyone interested in learning about fundraising and development for nonprofits. If you are interested, select “Fundraising Intern” when filling out the form below.

  • Rolling deadline
Event Hosts

Hosting an event is an amazing way to help raise awareness and support for our work. Event hosts often invite their colleagues and networks to their homes or other venues of their liking to enjoy appetizers and beverages and to meet CIP staff and exonerees who share their stories of wrongful convictions.  If you are interested in hosting an event, please fill out the form below and note you are interested in being an Event Host.

CIP’s Justice Society

The California Innocence Project’s (CIP) Justice Society is a donor network for individuals who are interested in criminal justice and innocence-related issues. Members will be given monthly opportunities to develop their understanding of the criminal justice system while connecting with individuals with similar passions and interests. The only requirement to join the Justice Society is a $50 monthly donation or a $600 annual donation. Click here to learn more.