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Civil Rights Division Offices & Sections

Office of the Assistant Attorney General Student Internship Opportunities

The Office of the Assistant Attorney General (OAAG) is comprised of the Division's senior leadership team and is responsible for the overall management and oversight of the Division. The OAAG regularly interacts with other components of the Department, federal agencies, Congress and stakeholders on issues within the Division's jurisdiction. Attorneys work on the full range of civil rights issues addressed by the Division, including housing, employment, disability rights, criminal civil rights violations, voting, veterans' rights, and education.

Volunteer interns are responsible for a wide assortment of tasks, including:

  • Conduct legal research;
  • Draft legal memoranda;
  • Attend relevant congressional hearings; and
  • Assist in preparing for congressional hearings

The OAAG desires highly motivated candidates with demonstrated interest or experience in civil rights law. The OAAG prefers spring and fall interns to work a minimum of 15-20 hours per week, for at least ten weeks; and prefers summer interns to work 40 hours per week for at least eight weeks. The OAAG will be hiring up to 3 volunteers for the summer 2013 term.

For application procedures, click here.

Appellate Section - Student Internship Opportunities

The Appellate Section represents the United States in both civil and criminal civil rights cases in the federal courts of appeals. Many of the Section's cases are appeals from district court judgments in cases originally handled by the Division's trial sections, and the Section works cooperatively with the trial sections in those cases. The Appellate Section also monitors federal civil rights cases in which the United States is not a party. If a private case involves developing or problematic areas of civil rights law or involves an issue that may significantly affect the Division's enforcement responsibilities, the Section may file a brief as amicus curiae setting forth the government's position. In addition, the Section works with the Solicitor General's Office in developing the government's position in Supreme Court cases involving civil rights issues. The Section also provides legal counsel to other components of the Division and of the Department on issues affecting civil rights enforcement.

The Appellate Section will hire at least one or two volunteer interns for summer 2014. Rising second and third-year law students who can commit to working full-time for a minimum of eight weeks are eligible to apply. The Section is particularly interested in candidates who have excellent research and writing and skills; a strong interest in appellate litigation; and the ability to work independently. Among other things, volunteer interns may be asked to (1) conduct legal research and draft memoranda on constitutional, civil rights, and general litigation issues; (2) help attorneys prepare for oral arguments, including participating in moot courts; (3) research and compile legislative histories; and (4) help proofread and cite-check appellate briefs and prepare record materials to be filed in court.

For application procedures, click here.

Criminal Section - Student Internship Opportunities

The Criminal Section prosecutes criminal civil rights violations, most notably charges of official misconduct; hate crimes; and involuntary servitude and human trafficking. Interns in our Section conduct research and provide written memoranda, primarily on substantive civil rights, evidentiary or procedural criminal law issues. Interns occasionally also provide first drafts of federal criminal trial pleadings. The Section prefers interns to work 16-40 hours per week, for an average of 10 weeks. The Section is particularly interested in applicants with strong legal research and writing skills, and demonstrated interest or experience in criminal law. The Section will be hiring up to eight volunteer interns for the Summer 2014term.

For application procedures, click here.

Disability Rights Section - Student Internship Opportunities

The Disability Rights Section (DRS) is specifically charged with enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The ADA gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability and guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, State and local government services, and telecommunications.

Interns will assist DRS in investigating allegations of discrimination against individuals with disabilities in violation of title I, title II, and title III of the ADA. Interns will also assist in conducting legal research, compiling data, reviewing documents, drafting letters, and preparing legal memoranda and briefs.

The Section is particularly interested in applicants with demonstrated interest or experience in disability rights law. Please visit our website at www.ada.gov for more information about our section.

The Disability Rights Section accepts interns for every semester of the academic year, as well as the summer. For Spring and Fall internships, we hire 5-7 interns. We prefer Spring and Fall interns to work for a minimum of 15 hours per week for a 10 week period, but are also seeking interns who can work full time through an externship program. For summer internships, we hire approximately 10 interns, and we prefer interns to work 40 hours per week for at least a 10 week period.

For application procedures, click here.

Educational Opportunities Section - Student Internship Opportunities

Fifty years ago, in its landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court held that the intentional segregation of students on the basis of race in public schools violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution. Subsequent federal legislation and court decisions also mandate that school officials not discriminate against students on the basis of sex, national origin, language status, religion, or disability. The Educational Opportunities Section enforces federal civil rights laws in a diverse array of cases involving elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education. The current docket includes cases and matters addressing desegregation, services and access to education for English Language Learners and students with disabilities, harassment and bullying, sexual assault, the school to prison pipeline, and the rights of immigrant students.

Law student interns in the Section have the opportunity to assist attorneys in research and drafting of pleadings and briefs, in discovery and motions practice, in enforcement of consent decrees and agreements, in investigations, and in efforts to review and draft policy guidance. Interns receive assignments from different attorneys and across a range of substantive areas.

The Section hires part-time and full-time volunteer legal interns for the fall and spring semesters, and full-time volunteer legal interns for the summer. The Section prefers spring and fall legal interns to work at least 15 hours per week, for at least ten weeks; and prefers summer legal interns to work 40 hours per week for ten weeks (split-summer requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis). The Section is particularly interested in applicants with demonstrated interest or experience in education-related issues. The Section is only accepting applications from current law students at this time. The Section is not accepting applications from undergraduate students.

For application procedures, click here.

Employment Litigation Section - Student Internship Opportunities

The Employment Litigation Section enforces against state and local government employers the provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended ("Title VII"), and other federal laws prohibiting employment practices that discriminate on grounds of race, sex, religion, and national origin. The Section also enforces against state and local government employers and private employers the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 ("USERRA") which prohibits employers from discriminating or retaliating against an employee or applicant for employment because of such person's past, current or future military obligation.

Interns assist in investigations and litigation under Title VII and USERRA, including completing legal research projects, reviewing and summarizing documents and depositions, drafting portions of briefs and memoranda, and preparing for witness interviews.

The Section is particularly interested in applicants with demonstrated interest or experience in employment discrimination work. The Employment Litigation Section occasionally has had law student interns during the fall and spring semesters, depending on the needs of the Section. The Employment Litigation Section hires law student interns every summer. Summer interns must be available to work full-time for a minimum of eight weeks.

For application procedures, click here.

Federal Coordination and Compliance Section - Student Internship Opportunities

The Federal Coordination and Compliance Section (FCS) (formerly Coordination and Review Section) is entrusted with enforcing numerous federal laws, regulations, and executive orders, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Safe Streets Act of 1968, and Executive Orders 12250 and 13166, which collectively protect persons seeking to benefit from federally funded programs, activities, and services from discrimination based on race, color, national origin (including language), religion, and sex. FCS investigates and resolves administrative complaints against Department of Justice recipients, including law enforcement agencies, detention facilities and courts, pursuant to Title VI and the Safe Streets Act.

Legal interns assist with legal research and writing projects related to ongoing investigations and litigation, federal agency coordination, and technical assistance. Legal interns may have the opportunity to assist with investigations, including on-site witness interviews, conducting document reviews, writing document requests, and participating in negotiations. They may assist with training presentations for federal agencies and recipients. As part of FCS's coordinating responsibilities, we work closely with the civil rights offices of numerous federal agencies to ensure a uniform application of civil rights laws. Non-legal interns will perform similar duties not including legal research. The specific tasks assigned to any intern will vary according to the needs of the office at the time. FCS attorneys and interns develop close working relationships and interns are assigned an attorney mentor upon their arrival.

The Section is particularly interested in applicants with experience with civil rights issues relating to race or national origin such as language access or environmental justice; familiarity with other federal agencies' Title VI programs or Department of Justice funding recipients, including courts, law enforcement, corrections, and prosecutorial agencies; or experience working with language minority populations.

For the spring and fall semesters, FCS prefers full time interns but will consider applicants able to work for a minimum of 20 hours per week. FCS prefers summer interns to work full time for at least ten weeks.

For application procedures, click here.

Housing and Civil Enforcement Section- Student Internship Opportunities

The Housing and Civil Enforcement Section (HCE) enforces five federal civil rights statutes:

  • the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination in housing;
  • the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, which prohibits discrimination in credit;
  • Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination in certain places of public accommodation, such as hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and theaters;
  • the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which prohibits local governments from adopting or enforcing land use regulations that discriminate against religious assemblies and institutions or which unjustifiably burden religious exercise; and
  • the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which provides for the temporary suspension of judicial and administrative proceedings and civil protections in areas such as housing, credit and taxes for military personnel while they are on active duty.
Legal interns have the opportunity to get hands-on experience in investigating and litigating civil rights cases under the diverse array of laws that HCE enforces. In the past, legal interns have performed a wide variety of tasks, including:
  • interviewing witnesses;
  • researching legal issues;
  • participating in trial strategy sessions;
  • reviewing documents;
  • attending mediations; and
  • drafting memoranda, complaints, motions, and briefs under the supervision of attorneys.
Interns are assigned an attorney-mentor, and they also work closely with the attorneys for whom they complete assignments. HCE accepts interns for every semester of the academic year and for the summer., For academic semester internships, HCE prefers applicants who can commit at least 20 hours per week for twelve weeks. For summer internships, we ask that applicants commit 40 hours per week for a minimum of ten weeks.

For application procedures, click here.

Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices - Student Internship Opportunities

The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) enforces a federal statute to protect U.S. citizens and work-authorized immigrants from immigration-related employment discrimination. The student volunteer position involves assisting OSC in litigating, investigating allegations of discrimination, such as conducting legal research, reviewing documents, compiling data, drafting letters, preparing legal memoranda, and sitting in on and/or conducting witness interviews, as well as policy-related work, such as preparing comments on proposed regulations and draft legislation, and attending interagency meetings. OSC interns may also work on outreach and education initiatives, including drafting written outreach materials and working on outreach initiatives and proposals.

OSC accepts fall, spring and summer interns. OSC prefers fall and spring applicants who can commit to at least 15-20 hours per week for a minimum of ten weeks during each academic semester. OSC prefers summer applicants who can commit to 40 hours per week for a minimum of ten weeks. OSC is particularly interested in applicants with demonstrated interest or experience in immigration or employment discrimination issues. OSC typically has between three and seven law interns and one to two undergraduate interns during the spring and fall semesters, as well as during the summer.

For application procedures, click here.

Policy and Strategy Section - Student Internship Opportunities

The Policy and Strategy Section was established in 2010 to advance, support, and coordinate the extensive and varied policy and legislative work of the Division. The Policy and Strategy Section provides a focal point for proactive policy development and legislative proposals, integrates and protects Division equities across the federal government, and engages the public in an ongoing dialogue about emerging civil rights issues and the impact of the Division's work. The Section reviews and/or prepares legislative proposals, testimony, and reports to be presented to Congress, and drafts and/or coordinates responses to requests from Congress, the White House, and other federal agencies on pending and proposed legislation.The Section also reviews and recommends regulations, executive orders, and creatively uses other policy tools to support the development of civil rights policy across the range of areas covered by the Division's jurisdiction. The Section is small, but fast paced, and works closely with Division and Department leadership, other DOJ components, other federal agencies, and civil rights stakeholders. Interns will assist attorneys and public policy professionals in all of these areas and will be exposed to the full range of the Section's activities.

The Policy and Strategy Section accepts applications from law school students and public policy graduate students. Applications are considered on a rolling basis for every semester of the academic year, as well as summer.

For application procedures, click here.

Professional Development Office/Electronic Discovery Coordinator (PDO) - Student Internship Opportunities

The Professional Development Office (PDO) is the Division's training office. PDO develops training programs for attorneys and other staff in a number of areas, including electronic discovery issues, advocacy skills, and litigation practice.

The Division's E-Discovery Coordinator is seeking one or two law students to assist with legal research and development of training materials on a wide variety of electronic discovery issues. You will write legal research memoranda and update existing case outlines on e-discovery issues such as discoverability of social media, use of clawback agreements, Federal Rule of Evidence 502, and the scope of litigation holds in specific types of civil rights cases. In addition, you will help develop e-discovery training materials and will be invited to observe meetings of the Division's E-Discovery Working Group. The E-Discovery Coordinator also serves as Deputy Director of the Division's Professional Development Office. Therefore, you will work in the PDO and may be asked to assist with other training programs, including deposition skills, public presentations, and negotiations. Strong research and writing skills are essential. For school-year internships, you must commit to work for a minimum of 8 hours per week for at least six weeks. For summer internships, you must commit to work for a minimum of 16 hours per week for at least six weeks.

For application procedures, click here.

Special Litigation Section (SPL) - Student Internship Opportunities

The Special Litigation Section enforces various civil rights statutes, including the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act ("CRIPA"), 42 U.S.C. § 1997a, which authorizes the Attorney General to conduct investigations and litigation relating to conditions of confinement in state or locally operated institutions, including prisons and jails, to determine whether there is a pattern or practice of violations of residents' federal rights.

Additionally, through the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. § 14141 ("Section 14141"), Section 14141 authorizes the Attorney General to conduct investigations and litigation to reform police departments and agencies involved in the administration of juvenile justice found to be engaging in a pattern or practice of violating federal rights. The Section also enforces the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12132, to ensure that individuals with disabilities can access care in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs and wishes, in accordance with the ADA and the Supreme Court's decision in Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999).

Finally, the Section enforces the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE), 18 U.S.C. § 248, and certain aspects of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000. The Special Litigation Section's website, http://www.justice.gov/crt/split/, provides additional information about the Section's work.

Interns assist attorneys in conducting preliminary inquiries, investigating, litigating, or monitoring compliance with consent decrees. Assignments for interns may include conducting legal and factual research, interviewing witnesses, making presentations, participating in case strategy sessions, and drafting memoranda, motions, or reports. Spanish language proficiency is desirable but not required; students indicating proficiency may be tested.

Attorney mentors work with each intern to ensure that the internship is a productive and rewarding experience. Mentors review interns' work, provide feedback on assignments, give advice, and sponsor opportunities to network with Special Litigation staff.

For the Summer, we prefer that the student work full-time for a duration of at least ten weeks. For the Fall and Spring Semesters, we prefer candidates who can work at least 12 hours per week.

For application procedures, click here.

Voting Section (VOT) - Student Internship Opportunities

The Voting Section has enforcement responsibility for the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act of 1984, the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act of 1986, the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, the Help America Vote Act of 2002, and certain civil provisions of the Civil Rights Acts that relate to voting. To carry out its mission, the Section brings lawsuits against states, counties, cities, and other jurisdictions to remedy denials and abridgements of the right to vote.

Interns will assist by conducting legal and factual research regarding ongoing administrative reviews, investigations and litigation as well as other general research.

The Voting Section accepts interns for every semester of the academic year, as well as the summer. The Section accepts both law interns and undergraduate interns. The Section prefers law interns to work for a minimum of 20 hours per week for at least eight weeks, and undergraduate interns to work for a minimum of 32 hours for at least eight weeks. The Section is particularly interested in applicants with demonstrated interest or experience in voting rights work and/or fluency in one of the languages covered by the Voting Rights Act (Spanish language, Asian languages, and Native American and Native Alaskan languages).

For application procedures, click here.

General Information Office of the Assistant Attorney General
 
Leadership
Jocelyn Samuels
Acting Assistant Attorney General
Contact
Civil Rights Division
(202) 514-4609
Telephone Device for the Deaf (TTY) (202) 514-0716
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