Internship Opportunities

Both Cook County and the Forest Preserve District offer a wide variety of potential careers. Employees work in law enforcement, plant science, public policy, veterinary care, court proceedings and much more. Students interested in learning about and gaining practical experience in their field of interest can take advantage of the many internship opportunities available here at the county.

Listed below are just some of the wonderful internship opportunities available at Cook County:

Board of Commissioners

Brookfield Zoo (Chicago Zoological Society)

Chicago Botanic Garden

Circuit Court of Cook County

Clerk of the Circuit Court

Department of Public Health

Law Office of the Public Defender

Sheriff’s Office

State’s Attorney’s Office

Some county agencies and departments may not have formal internship programs, but students are encouraged to contact the agency to inquire about potential volunteer positions if they are interested.

These internships are intended for students or recent graduates, and are offered primarily on a volunteer basis. If you are seeking employment at Cook County or at the Forest Preserve District, the Department of Human Resources lists current job postings and provides links to the hiring agencies of the independent County Agencies. Job postings for Brookfield Zoo and the Chicago Botanic Garden are listed on their websites.


County Seal

Board of Commissioners

Most Cook County Commissioners offer unpaid internships for students in their District or from nearby colleges and universities.  Internship duties vary widely based on need and desire of applicant.  Commissioner Goslin’s office accepts internship applications throughout the year for undergraduate students interested in local government, public policy, public administration, public relations, community outreach and related fields.

To learn more about interning for Commissioner Goslin’s office and apply online, click here.


CZS Logo

Brookfield Zoo (Chicago Zoological Society)

The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature.  Zookeeper internships are available with a variety of animals: Large animals, Domestics, Small animals, Birds, Reptiles, Hoof Stock, Amphibians, Marine Animals, and Nutrition.

Other college experiential learning opportunities are available in a variety of non-animal areas including: Marketing and Special Events, Education, Design/Graphic Arts, Public Relations, Development, Horticulture, Water Quality Lab, and Conservation Biology

To learn more about internship opportunities and deadlines, please visit the Brookfield Zoo website.


Chicago Botanic Garden

The Chicago Botanic Garden is 385 acres of natural beauty with 24 gardens and three native habitat areas. The second most visited public garden in the United States, it has more than 2.3 million plants of 8,800 taxa, the largest collection in the Upper Midwest. The Garden, which is a recognized center of education, research, and conservation, has a respected internship program.

Interns gain hands-on experience in the areas of education, horticulture, or research. In addition, as part of their training, interns are required to attend educational programming to broaden their general exposure to public horticulture and research. The educational component consists of lectures, field trips, and workshops offered through the Joseph Regenstein, Jr. School of the Chicago Botanic Garden.

To learn more about internship opportunities at the Garden and how to apply, please visit their website.


Circuit Court of Cook County

The Circuit Court of Cook County is not only the largest of the 22 circuits in Illinois, it is also one of the largest unified court systems in the world. The Circuit Court offers internships for undergraduate and graduate students seeking a learning experience in the criminal justice system.

Internships are available in Social Service & Adult Probation.  The Circuit Court also offers a legal externship program.  For more information, please visit their website.


Clerk of the Circuit Court

The Circuit Court of Cook County is not only the largest of the 22 circuits in Illinois, it
is also one of the largest unified court systems in the world.  The Clerk of the Circuit Court offers only unpaid intern and volunteer positions.

Visit the employment section of the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s website to download an internship application.

Department of Public Health

The Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) is committed to protecting and promoting health and preventing illness, disability and premature death among all the residents of suburban Cook County.  CCDPH protects Cook County communities from potential environmental health hazards and communicable disease outbreaks through surveillance and inspections.

Internship opportunities are available at the Cook County Department of Public Health on an as-needed basis.  To apply, you must submit a proposal of what you can offer, or what you hope to experience at CCDPH.  Visit their website to find out more about required materials and how to submit your application.


Law Office of the Public Defender

The mission of the Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender is to protect the rights, liberties and dignity of each person whose case has been entrusted to us by providing the finest legal representation.  Their attorneys defend poor people in the largest unified court system in the world for offenses ranging from traffic and misdemeanor charges to capital murder.

All internships and law clerk positions at the Law Office of the Public Defender are offered on a volunteer basis. If you are interested in volunteering with our office for experience or school credit you will need a cover letter, resume and three references, preferably from your law school professors.  For more information, please visit their website.

 

 

 

Visit the Public Defender’s website for information on where to send in your application materials.



 

Sheriff’s Office

The Cook County Sheriff’s office is the second largest Sheriff’s Department in the United States, employing more than 6,800 officers, deputies and civilians who perform a number of diverse tasks within the criminal justice system.

The Sheriff’s Office offers a limited number of paid or unpaid internships for interested undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students. An intern can expect to work on substantive projects, develop professional skills, and benefit from the personal attention of a mentor.

Available internship positions are posted at the Cook County Sheriff’s Employment Opportunities page.



 

State’s Attorney’s Office

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office is the nation’s second largest county prosecutor’s office and there are many exciting and rewarding opportunities through their Clerkship/Internship Program.  The program is designed for undergraduate, graduate and law students only.

Clerks and interns work on a voluntary unpaid basis, however some schools do offer students stipends or scholarships for working at our office.  The clerkships/internships typically last eight weeks; students usually work 20-40 hours per week depending on their school schedules.

Clerkships and internships are available not only downtown, but also at the suburban district offices of the Cook County State’s Attorney. Visit their website to find out more information and download an application.