Law Student Volunteer, Summer

Law Student Volunteer, Summer
Washington, DC 20044
United States
About the Office: 

The Environment and Natural Resources Division litigates in five key areas: pollution, lands and natural resources, wildlife, Indian resources, and land acquisition. Attorneys represent many federal government agencies by preparing and arguing civil and criminal enforcement cases, appeals, and by defending challenged federal government agency actions arising from well over 100 federal environmental laws. Cases are at the cutting edge of environmental protection. The Division's work protects our environment for future generations.

Job Description: 

Assignments will vary. In general, interns assist the Division’s trial lawyers in preparing cases for filing and supporting the litigation effort post-filing, and assist the Division’s appellate lawyers in researching issues on appeal. Responsibilities typically include conducting legal research, drafting motions, discovery, and memoranda of law dealing with a variety of federal environmental and natural resource issues. The Division handles cases covering a broad spectrum of issues including the protection of endangered species and civil and criminal enforcement of federal pollution control laws. An internship provides an outstanding opportunity to work on cutting edge issues of environmental law.

Internship Locations:  Washington, D.C.; Sacramento, CA; Denver, CO; Boston, MA; Seattle WA (openings vary at each site)

Minimum Weeks Required:  Summer – 8 weeks (full summer strongly preferred). School year – complete semester or quarter.


First-year (second-semester), second-year and third-year law students are eligible to apply. Joint degree and LL M students are also eligible to apply, provided they meet the eligibility requirements set forth below. First-year, first-semester law students may apply after December 1st for internships the following summer. The Department follows the National Association of Law Placement guidelines that prohibit employer contact with first-year (first-semester) students regarding summer employment prior to that date. Law students may work in volunteer positions only while attending law school. Law school graduation terminates eligibility, except for graduate law students enrolled at least half time and who are not practicing law. Prefer students with strong academic qualifications, research and writing skills and who have an interest in litigation, environmental law, and/or public interest law. Applicants must be U.S. Citizens and successfully complete a security clearance prior to appointment.

Work-study credit possible
Application Process: 

Washington, DC: ENRD has streamlined its application process for Washington, DC internship applications. Washington, DC internship positions now are advertised through the Symplicity job posting service (available in most law school placement offices) or this website. Fall 2014: ENRD is accepting applications for its Fall 2014 Washington, DC internships from January 30, 2014 until March 23, 2014.  To apply for a Fall 2014 internship in Washington, DC submit by email to the following materials:

  • Section Application Form
  • Cover letter stating hours/days available to work;
  • Resume (which includes your country of citizenship);
  • Writing sample;
  • Copy of your most recent transcript (official or unofficial); and
  • Three references with contact information, including telephone and email (letters of recommendation not required).

Spring and Summer 2015: ENRD will begin accepting applications for its Spring and Summer 2015 Washington, DC internships in August. This website will be updated and an announcement will be listed through the career services offices on the Symplicity system at that time. Questions about this program may be directed to

All Field Office locations: (Denver, CO; Sacramento, CA; Boston, MA; Seattle, WA)

To apply to an ENRD Field Office, submit by email or U.S. postal mail the following materials (email and mailing address follow):

  • Resume (which includes your country of citizenship);
  • Cover letter stating location preference(s) and hours/days available to work;
  • Writing sample;
  • Copy of your most recent transcript (official or unofficial); and
  • Three references with contact information, including telephone and email (letters of recommendation not required).

Submit field office internship application materials to:
E-mail: (Application via e-mail highly preferred)

OR, mail application to:
P.O. Box 7611
Ben Franklin Station
Washington, D.C. 20044
ATTN: Lisa Daniels Applications will be acknowledged by e-mail upon receipt.

Application Deadlines:

Washington DC program
Fall 2014:  March 23, 2014

Annual Application Deadlines for Field Office Positions:
Decisions regarding field office internships are made on a rolling basis
April 1 for Fall (September-December)
September 1 for Spring (January-April)
January 1 for Summer (May-August)

Number of Positions: 
Up to 50 per semester - Available positions vary according to semester and location.
Updated July 15, 2014

*         *         *

Department Policies

Equal Employment Opportunity:  The U.S. Department of Justice is an Equal Opportunity/Reasonable Accommodation Employer.  Except where otherwise provided by law, there will be no discrimination because of color, race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, marital status, disability (physical or mental), age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as a parent, membership or non-membership in an employee organization, on the basis of personal favoritism, or any other non-merit factor.  The Department of Justice welcomes and encourages applications from persons with physical and mental disabilities. The Department is firmly committed to satisfying its affirmative obligations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to ensure that persons with disabilities have every opportunity to be hired and advanced on the basis of merit within the Department of Justice.

Reasonable Accommodations:  This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency.  Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Outreach and Recruitment for Qualified Applicants with Disabilities:   The Department encourages qualified applicants with disabilities, including individuals with targeted/severe disabilities to apply in response to posted vacancy announcements.  Qualified applicants with targeted/severe disabilities may be eligible for direct hire, non-competitive appointment under Schedule A (5 C.F.R. § 213.3102(u)) hiring authority.  Individuals with targeted/severe disabilities are encouraged to register for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Shared List of People with Disabilities (the Bender Disability Employment Registry) by submitting their resume to and referencing "Federal Career Opportunities" in the subject line.  Additional information about the Bender Registry is available at  Individuals with disabilities may also contact one of the Department’s Disability Points of Contact (DPOC).  See list of DPOCs.    

Suitability and Citizenship:  It is the policy of the Department to achieve a drug-free workplace and persons selected for employment will be required to pass a drug test which screens for illegal drug use prior to final appointment.  Employment is also contingent upon the completion and satisfactory adjudication of a background investigation. Only U.S. citizens are eligible for employment with the Executive Office for Immigration Review and the United States Attorneys' Offices. Unless otherwise indicated in a particular job advertisement, non-U.S. Citizens may apply for employment with other organizations, but should be advised that appointments of non-U.S. Citizens are extremely rare; such appointments would be possible only if necessary to accomplish the Department's mission and would be subject to strict security requirements.  Applicants who hold dual citizenship in the U.S. and another country will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Veterans:  There is no formal rating system for applying veterans' preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, the Department of Justice considers veterans' preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring. Applicants eligible for veterans' preference must include that information in their cover letter or resume and attach supporting documentation (e.g., the DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and other supporting documentation) to their submissions. Although the "point" system is not used, per se, applicants eligible to claim 10-point preference must submit Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, and submit the supporting documentation required for the specific type of preference claimed (visit the OPM website, for a copy of SF 15, which lists the types of 10-point preferences and the required supporting document(s). Applicants should note that SF 15 requires supporting documentation associated with service- connected disabilities or receipt of nonservice-connected disability pensions to be dated 1991 or later except in the case of service members submitting official statements or retirement orders from a branch of the Armed Forces showing that his  or her retirement was due to a permanent service-connected disability or that he/she was transferred to the permanent disability retired list (the statement or retirement orders must indicate that the disability is 10% or more).


*         *         *


This and other vacancy announcements can be found under Attorney Vacancies and Volunteer Legal Internships. The Department of Justice cannot control further dissemination and/or posting of information contained in this vacancy announcement. Such posting and/or dissemination is not an endorsement by the Department of the organization or group disseminating and/or posting the information.