About the Office

The Office of Attorney General was first created in Rhode Island in May 1650. Since its inception, the Office has been an elected position, except for a brief period from 1740 to 1742 when the charter allowed for the appointment of a King’s attorney for each county. In 1842 the Rhode Island Constitution formally adopted the Office of Attorney General.

The Office, established under the Rhode Island Constitution, is one of the five general officers subject to election by voters. The powers and duties of the Attorney General are derived from Article IX, Section 12 of the Constitution of the State of Rhode Island, Chapter 9 of Title 42 of the General Laws of Rhode Island, as amended, and the Common Law.

The Attorney General is the top legal official in Rhode Island. As the State’s top prosecutor, the Attorney General fights to enhance the economic security of Rhode Island, protect the public safety of our communities and restore the public trust in state government by fighting corruption.

As the central legal agency of the State, the Office of Attorney General is responsible for prosecution of all felony criminal cases and misdemeanor appeals, as well as prosecution of misdemeanor cases brought by state law enforcement agencies.

Additionally, as chief legal officer of the State, the Attorney General represents all agencies, departments and commissions in litigation and initiates legal action where necessary to protect the interests of Rhode Island citizens.

The Office of Attorney General is also charged with operating and maintaining the Bureau of Criminal Identification, which is the central repository for all criminal records in the State.

Please note: the Office of Attorney General cannot provide you with legal advice or legal referrals. If you are seeking answers to legal questions, need someone to help you find a law or case, or need someone to take your case to court, you will need to find a private attorney. For information on choosing and using a lawyer, you may wish to visit the Rhode Island Bar Association’s website.

Attorney General Peter F. Neronha

On November 6, 2018, Peter F. Neronha was elected as Rhode Island’s 74th Attorney General. He was sworn in on January 1, 2019. As the top legal official in Rhode Island, Attorney General Neronha leads an office that prosecutes criminal cases; represents state agencies, departments and commissions in litigation; initiates legal action when necessary to protect the interests of Rhode Islanders; and oversees the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation.

At the appointment of President Barack Obama, Mr. Neronha served as the United States Attorney for the District of Rhode Island from 2009 to 2017. In this role, he supervised the prosecution of federal crimes and the litigation of civil matters in which the federal government had an interest, either as a plaintiff or defendant. As United States Attorney, he was appointed by United States Attorney General Eric Holder and later Attorney General Loretta Lynch to terms on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee.

Mr. Neronha’s career in public service began in 1996, when he was appointed as a Rhode Island Special Assistant Attorney General, and later was appointed as an Assistant Attorney General. Serving in the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office until 2002, he prosecuted a variety of jury and non-jury criminal matters in the state courts. Mr. Neronha went on to join the United States Attorney’s Office as an Assistant United States Attorney in 2002. During his time in that office, Mr. Neronha served in several roles, including as Chief of the Organized Crime Strike Force.

A fourth generation native of Jamestown, Rhode Island, Neronha graduated in 1985 summa cum laude from Boston College. In 1989, he graduated magna cum laude from Boston College Law School, where he was a member of the Boston College Law Review. From 1989 to 1996, he worked for the Boston, Massachusetts law firm Goodwin, Proctor L.L.P.

Employment

Click here to view current employment opportunities with our office.

The Office of Attorney General, unlike many offices, agencies, and bureaus of the State, has a workforce that is fully unclassified and whose employees are not represented by bargaining units. However, as a result of the Department’s commitment to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action, the Department continues to uphold non-discriminatory selection policies and practices. The Office of Attorney General continuously receives resumes from individuals interested in employment with this office. Ongoing interviews are held and a pool of qualified applicants is maintained. When an opening occurs, candidates are selected from the applicant pool and recommended for further consideration. After the interview process, recommendations are then made to the Attorney General after which a final interview is conducted and a selection is made.

The Office will continue to maintain an applicant pool to ensure that all persons, regardless of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, handicap/disability status, Veteran status or sexual orientation, are considered for employment.

Click here to view current employment opportunities with our office.

To submit a resume and letter of interest, please mail to:
Aida Crosson
Director of Administration
150 South Main Street
Providence, RI 02903

Internships at the Attorney General’s Office

The Attorney General’s Office offers a range of rewarding legal and non-legal internship opportunities. Our interns assist the Office’s attorneys and support staff in fighting to ensure the public safety of Rhode Island’s communities, improve the economic security of its citizens, safeguard the state’s spectacular natural resources, and restore the public’s trust in government.

Summer Legal Intern Program
The Summer Legal Intern Program is a 10-week, full-time program for students completing their first and second years of law school. Law students who participate in the competitive, structured program benefit from an exceptional legal experience and invaluable exposure to the demands and rewards of public service. Interns can expect challenging legal research and writing assignments and even courtroom appearances alongside supervising attorneys. The Program provides regular professional development opportunities including trainings, events, and networking activities.

Internships are unpaid and accepted students are encouraged to pursue funding through their law schools or other funding sources. The Attorney General’s Office has a wide-range of responsibilities and, taking into account placement preferences, accepted students are assigned to a particular division within the office. Previous placements have included: Appellate (Civil & Criminal), Civil Rights, Criminal Prosecution (including: General Trial, Special Victims, Juvenile Prosecution, Narcotics and Organized Crime, and Public Integrity), Environmental Litigation, Government Litigation, Healthcare and Insurance, Legal Policy, Open Government, and Public and Consumer Protection.

Information on Summer Legal Intern Program

Applying for the Program
To apply for a position, please submit a cover letter, resume, and writing sample. In the cover letter, please indicate any preferred placements.

Email application materials as PDF files to: internships@riag.ri.gov

We begin accepting applications on August 15 and encourage submission by November 1. Following the NALP recruiting guidelines, first-year law students should not apply before December 1 and submissions are encouraged by January 15. Offers are made on a rolling basis and we respond to all applications.

Academic Year Legal Internships
During the fall and spring semesters, legal interns are accepted on a case-by case basis depending on the needs and requests of the Office’s divisions. These internships are designed for students currently enrolled in law school. Legal interns are typically assigned to a particular division within the office and are expected to work a minimum of 15 hours per week.

To express interest in a legal internship during the fall or spring semester, please submit a resume and cover letter stating your areas of interest and availability to the Internship Program Coordinator at internships@riag.ri.gov.

Non-Legal Internships
The Office accepts students for full- and part-time non-legal internships during the summer, as well as the fall and spring semesters. These internships provide students, typically enrolled in college, with the opportunity to learn, network and contribute to the Office’s wide-ranging mission.

To express interest in a non-legal internship please submit a resume and cover letter stating your areas of interest and availability to the Internship Program Coordinator at internships@riag.ri.gov.