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The IPM has a select number of volunteer opportunities for qualified applicants. Non-lawyer volunteers assist with community relations activities including complaint intake, outreach at community events, tracking media and attending community meetings.
Qualifications: Qualified applicants should display a proven commitment to community and strong connections to community members and organizations. Volunteers should be available for a minimum of 10 hours per week and possess reliable transportation. Proficiency in Microsoft Office programs is desired.
To apply: Please complete the web form at the bottom of this page. 


Internships & Externships

The Independent Police Monitor (IPM) of New Orleans is looking for motivated and intelligent  legal interns, interested in joining our dedicated team. The IPM is doing cutting edge work in a very exciting environment.

The IPM monitors the process by which the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) investigates allegations of misconduct by its employees in order to determine if the process is timely, thorough and fair. It collects and analyzes data about complaints and police operations in order to identify problem areas and their root causes and makes those analyses public. The IPM encourages constructive and informed public dialogue about systemic issues of police policy and procedure by making recommendations for reform that meet best practices nationwide, and it conducts extensive community outreach.

The primary duties of law school interns are to conduct research, analyze data, and prepare reports on policy issues related to police oversight and misconduct, as well as preventing and detecting fraud and abuse. Interns will conduct legal research and writing under the direction of the IPM. They will also conduct complaint intake after appropriate training. Interns will review completed investigations of complaints of misconduct against NOPD police to determine whether the investigations performed by the NOPD Public Integrity Bureau comply with substantive and procedural due process standards. They may assist with community outreach events designed to disseminate information about the agency and its function and with drafting outreach literature. The internship is designed to provide students with experience in legal research and writing and also with practical skills such as case assessment, analysis, interviewing and community organization.

Applications will be accepted and decisions will be made on a rolling basis.  To apply, please complete the form at the bottom of this page or contact Simone Levine at Call us : 504-309-9799

OIPM is no longer accepting applications for the Fall 2016 semester for internships.


Remote Complaint Intake

Every neighborhood and community has respected people and leaders that they know and trust. Often, when facing a crisis, interaction with a bureaucracy filled with people one doesn’t know can be intimidating and discouraging. By becoming a complaint intake site, you offer your community the opportunity to bring their problems to a trusted source where they can feel safe and comfortable discussion any problems they’ve had with police misconduct.

The process to become a complaint intake site is simple:
  1. Register for a training completing the application
  2. Complete a 2 hour training on how to take a complaint
  3. Sign a Memorandum of Understanding with OIPM indicating your agreement to take complaints and refer them to OIPM.

Pro Bono Attorneys and Volunteers

Dr. Astrid Birgden is a consultant forensic psychologist, and a university staff member, with 25 years experience in the criminal justice system and human services. She has established and managed seven state-wide services in Australia. In particular, she managed a $20 million redevelopment of offender rehabilitation programs in corrections, established two family violence courts, and most recently was the warden of a drug treatment prison in Sydney for 5 years working closely with the Drug Court. Astrid now mostly consults to government on broader policy issues regarding serious, high risk offenders and is currently reviewing community based corrections in an Australian state. Astrid is widely published in the areas of disability, offender rehabilitation, psychology and law, and human rights. In Sept 2011 she came to New Orleans for self-development and she and Julio developed the two background documents to this project.
Julio E. López Varona received his undergraduate degree and Juris Doctor at the University of Puerto Rico. He later received his LLM on International and Comparative Law at Tulane Law School. He also received training in arbitration and conflict resolution at Humbolt University in Berlin and is a certified mediator. While in law school, Mr. López was a student attorney at the University of Puerto Rico Sexual Orientation Discrimination Clinic. He also served as a law clerk for the Orleans Public Defenders immediately after graduating law school and helped develop a system of advocacy dockets that ensured that recently arrested citizens were properly represented. Currently, in addition to the work he is performing at the IPM, Mr. López is working on writing an environmental law capacity building manual as part of a CAFTA-DR USAID project. He is admitted to practice in Puerto Rico.
Barbara Siefken is a research attorney who earned her law degree from Loyola University School of Law. Ms. Siefken has been serving as a volunteer research attorney for the IPM since December 2011. Ms. Siefken has previously worked as a judicial law clerk for the 35th Judicial District Court of Louisiana and as an extern for Justice Greg Guidry of the Louisiana Supreme Court. Ms. Siefken provides pro bono legal services to homeless clients at the Harry Tompson Center two days a week and bimonthly to senior citizens at the St. Bernard Council on Aging. Ms. Siefken has dedicated many volunteer hours with Catholic Charities, assisting the staff attorneys at Project SAVE and providing disaster relief services to the Plaquemines parish community in the aftermath of the 2010 BP oil spill. She also enjoys volunteering with organizations such as WRBH Reading Radio, New Orleans Outreach, and Second Harvest Food Bank.
Susan Valz is a law student at Tulane University Law School. Ms. Valz received her B.A. from the University of Rhode Island in Psychology and Women’s Studies. She holds a M.S. degree in Criminology and Justice Studies from Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island with a concentration on emerging trends of 4th Amendment exceptions due to advances in technology.Prior to entering law school, Ms. Valz was a Director in FTI’s Forensic and Litigation Consulting group. Prior to moving to New York, Ms. Valz worked as an auto insurance fraud investigator, and spent several years working in law enforcement at various Police Departments in Rhode Island. Publications:
“Visual Culture and Today's Demand for Instant Information,” The Science of Courtroom Litigation: Jury Research and Analytical Graphics, 2008.
“Implications for Case Strategy: Developing Analytical Graphics,” The Science of Courtroom Litigation: Jury Research and Analytical Graphics, 2008.
David Logan recently finished his third year teaching 7th grade social studies at a New Orleans public school. A native New Orleanian, David has long had an interest in good government. He graduated from Ben Franklin High School and received a B.A. in Political Science from Grinnell College. David has conducted research at the Brookings Institution, the Bureau of Governmental Research, the New Orleans City Council, and Roma Tre University. In August, as part of a Fellowship awarded through Princeton University, he will be headed to Shenyang, China where he will be teaching classes in English, Current Events, and International Business at Northeastern University. David has helped with IPM strategic planning related to fulfilling its duties pursuant to its authorizing statute and its Memorandum of Understanding with the NOPD. He is currently researching policies and practices related to the NOPD’s Field Training Officer Program and drafting IPM internal policies related to emergency response protocol and records retention.
April Hibbler is a law student at Southern University Law Center , where she is the Program Coordinator for the International Law Student Association and a member of the Christians at Law Society. She received the CALI Award for Excellence in Criminal Law in 2010. She received a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in International Strategic Management from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California, where she was a member of the National Black MBA Association, the Net Impact MBA Association and the American Red Cross. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and International Business and Finance from the University of Memphis. She hopes to obtain a legal position in either international development or corporate social responsibility after graduation. Featured in Article- 6 WOMEN OF COLOR
Laraque Stewart recently completed his first year of law school at the University of North Carolina School of Law. He was born and raised in Kenner, Louisiana and has a B.A. in the Program of Liberal Studies and Gender Studies from the University of Notre Dame. He is interested in pursuing a career in Criminal Law Darin Britt, also a staff attorney at The Pro Bono Project, began serving as a pro-bono attorney at the Office of the Independent Police Monitor in January 2013. He previously practiced real estate, maritime, personal injury, and toxic tort law for over three years.
Darin received his J.D. from Tulane University and was admitted to the Louisiana Bar in 2008. During law school, he served as a student attorney at the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic (TELC) and graduated with a Certificate in Environmental Law. At TELC, he represented low-income individuals and non-profit organizations in administrative and court proceedings in matters involving water pollution and sewer treatment facility permitting. Prior to entering law school in 2005, Darin worked in advertising and marketing after receiving an MBA from Millsaps College. As a pro-bono attorney at OIPM, Darin has reviewed and drafted comments on officer misconduct investigations and researched and drafted audit reports on NOPD retaliation as well as NOPD search and arrest warrants.

Zoey Akin began her internship with the Independent Police Monitor (OIPM) of New Orleans in April 2013. She was born and raised in Los Angeles, California and came to New Orleans to attend Tulane University for her undergraduate degree. Ms. Akin majored in Sociology and graduated from Tulane University in May 2013 with a Bachelors degree in Liberal Arts. Prior to working for IPM, she interned at Waltzer & Wiygul law firm (June 2012-August 2012). During her internship at Waltzer & Wiygul, Ms. Akin assisted in securing proper compensation for the fisherman of the Gulf Coast affected by the BP oil spill. She helped organize the GO FISH Seafood Community Conference and created a map of the seafood network to allow the fisherman to plot the areas they worked and give non-fisherman an idea of the process. She also used Google Earth to compare the information provided by BP and identify the areas affected by the oil spill. At IPM, Ms. Akin takes complaints, writes letters to PIB and complainants, updates the database, and has been assisting with OIPM’s Mediation program planning. She plans on interning at IPM for a year, while studying for her LSATs. Ms. Akin aspires to attend law school in New Orleans.
Jalicia Corley  comes to the Independent Police Monitor  with a diverse background of criminal defense and administrative support. She is a graduate of the University of New Orleans with a B.A in History.  She previously worked as a investigator for the Orleans Public Defender's Office and as a lead administrator for one of the city’s most prominent criminal defense attorney. Along with her commitment to equality she actively participates in community outreach programs, such as Big Brother Little Sister and Mary's Song.  She works diligently for the advancement of New Orleans and proper representation of impoverished people. She hopes  to continue her career in  criminal justice.


Ilana Schwartz will begin her first year at Loyola University Chicago School of Law in the fall. She hails from Chicago and graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2010 with a degree in Anthropology and Legal Studies.

James Riley comes to us from Tulane Law School where he is a 3L. Originally from Tomales, CA, a small town north of San Francisco, James came to New Orleans in 2004 for undergrad at Tulane University. He graduated with a BA in history. James is excited to pursue a career in criminal law and/or law enforcement upon completion of his JD, and has interned with the U.S. Probation Office in New Orleans to gain experience in federal law enforcement.
Jackie Aranda is a law student at UC Berkeley School of Law, where she is currently a Submissions Editor of the Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law and a Director of the Workers’ Rights Clinic, a pro-bono student-led project. After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University,  Jackie worked as a labor relations representative for the Los Angeles Police Protective League, where she was part of a team that negotiated a contract for almost 10,000 LAPD officers. As an OIPM law clerk, Jackie has reviewed officer misconduct investigations, conducted community outreach with Spanish-speaking groups, and assisted in researching and drafting an audit report of New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) search and arrest warrants.
Megan Jordan recently completed her first year of law school at Vanderbilt University, where she is a Chancellor’s Scholar and a member of Law Students for Social Justice and the Women’s Law Student Association. She is originally from Orlando, Florida and has a B.A. in Political Science and a certificate in Public Leadership from the Bob Graham School of Public Service at the University of Florida. She has previously interned for the State Attorney’s Office in Orlando, Florida and worked for both labor litigation and personal injury firms. She was awarded a Vanderbilt Law School Public Interest Stipend to spend the summer working for the Office of the Independent Police Monitor and hopes to return to New Orleans after graduation to work in a public interest capacity.

Heather Siegel will begin her third year at Tulane University Law School in the fall. She is originally from Lexington, Massachusetts and obtained her B.A. in Political Science from Guilford College. She previously interned in London for a political communications consulting firm and in Washington, D.C. for a nonprofit. Heather spent two years after college working as a legal coordinator for a real estate law firm, and spent last summer working for the Plaquemines Parish Public Defender in Belle Chasse, Louisiana. She is excited to pursue a career in criminal law. Brandon Wright is a second year law student at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law having recently moved to New Orleans from Valparaiso, IN where she attended Valparaiso University Law School. Brandon was born and raised in Indiana and moved to Chicago, IL to complete her bachelor’s degree. After receiving her B.A. in history from DePaul University in Chicago, IL, Brandon moved to Valparaiso, IN and began law school and work at The Caring Place, Inc. as a full-time Victim Advocate for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Brandon has previously worked as a legal intern with the Starke County Prosecutors Office in Knox, IN and began her work with IPM in June 2014.  While at IPM Brandon will be working closely with the Mediation Coordinator on the New Orleans Community-Police Mediation Project.
Andrew Durham is a second year law student at Tulane University School of Law. Andrew received his BA in History and Latin American Studies from the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2008. After extensive travels in South America, Andrew returned to the United States to study Latin American History and the Quechua language at New York University, receiving his MA in May 2012. Andrew remained in New York for a year after finishing his Master’s program and worked as a paralegal at Zhang and Attorneys, L.P., a Midtown Manhattan immigration law firm. After his first year of law school, where he finished in the top 10% of his class and was invited to be a member of Tulane Law Review, Andrew began work at the IPM in order to be of service to the needs of his new home, New Orleans.  Amanda Serfess recently completed her first year of law school at Tulane University Law School.  Amanda graduated from High School in 2000 from Vivian Gaither High School in Tampa, Florida.  After high school, she joined the Navy and served as an intelligence analyst for 10 years.  In 2010, she left active duty and affiliated with the Navy Reserves where she continues to serve as a Chief Petty Officer at the Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) in Pensacola.  In 2013, she graduated with distinction from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in Political Science.  While Amanda completed her degree, she worked as a School Improvement Coordinator at the Oklahoma State Department of Education.  Additionally, she earned an Associate’s degree in Applied Computer Science from Thomas Edison State College.