Gideon Fellowship Opportunity

The Gideon Fellowship Program is the Office of the State Public Defender's primary means of hiring entry-level attorneys.  Each year, two Gideon Fellows are selected to serve a two-year term appointment in one of our public defender offices.  The fellowship begins in September after the fellows receives notification they assed the Iowa bar exam.  Fellows will serve alongside career public defenders representing clients, trying cases, and participating in training and mentoring through the State Public Defender's New Attorney Development Program. Fellows are eligible to apply for permanent public defender positions during the term of their fellowship. Please check back frequently for Gideon fellowship postings at

Application and Selection Process

Selection Criteria

  • Third-year law students and current state or federal judicial law clerks are eligible to apply to the Gideon Fellowship Program.
  • Capable and eager to try a case to the court or a jury.  Prior criminal courtroom experience, through law school clinics, public defender or prosecution internships, or mock trial are preferred.  
  • A Gideon Fellow must be licensed to practice law in Iowa prior to beginning employment with the Office of the State Public Defender.  Any offer of employment to a person not yet admitted to practice in Iowa will be subject to the person being admitted to practice prior to the commencement of the fellowship.