This letter is designed to encourage qualified applicants to apply for an Internship at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas (USAO-SDTX). The USAO-SDTX has branch offices in Houston (headquarters), Corpus Christi, Brownsville, Laredo, and McAllen. This office handles criminal prosecutions for violations of federal law, civil lawsuits by and against the government, appellate proceedings, and actions to collect judgments and restitution on behalf of victims and taxpayers. In other words, our attorneys spend a tremendous amount of time trying cases in federal court.
The USAO is interested in recruiting law students of varied backgrounds and skills to assist Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs). The law student internship program provides participants with supervised and direct responsibility for criminal, civil, appellate, and post-appellate litigation. This includes research and writing assignments, trial and witness preparation, attendance at depositions and mediations, the opportunity to view court proceedings, and much more. Some of the outstanding memoranda written by law student interns have been sent to government agencies through-out the country.
Law students from all three classes are welcome to apply; however, first year students are only eligible for the summer internship program. During the fall and spring semesters, this office expects interns to work a minimum of ten (10) hours per week. During the summer, interns are expected to work full-time for at least six weeks. These are unpaid positions (barring receipt of a Federal Bar Association Blask Fellowship – www.fbasouthtexas.org) and course credit may be available depending on the law student making the appropriate arrangement with their law school. This office will work with law students who are interested in split summers. Each law student is required to successfully pass a background investigation adjudicated by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and be a United States citizen. The investigation will address a variety of areas such as credit history, drug usage, arrests, and mental health treatment. Applicants who may have issues in these areas must be prepared to provide supporting documentation showing that all matters have been resolved as part of the pre-investigation process. The completion of the background investigation can sometimes take several months, therefore, law students are asked to apply for internships a semester before they actually begin working at the USAO.
The USAO-SDTX is currently accepting applications for the Spring Internship, the Summer Internship, and those students interested in beginning in the spring and working through the summer. The Spring Program begins in March 2014 and the Summer Program begins in May 2014, with both programs ending in August 2014. Under no circumstances may an intern work for more than six (6) months due to the limitations of the background investigation. Applications for the Spring Program are due by the end of October. Applications for the Summer Program are due by the end of January 2014. Applications for the Fall Program are due by the end of June 2014.
In order to apply, applicants must send a cover letter, resume, short writing sample (10 pages maximum), and unofficial school transcript to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, please click here.
OCDETF Regional Coordinator
AUSA in Charge of the Law Student Program
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas
1000 Louisiana, Suite 2300
Houston, Texas 77002
Internship Opportunities for Law Students
What do our interns do? The United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Texas, has one of the most active and diverse criminal and civil dockets of the 94 federal judicial districts. The office’s law student internship program provides participants with supervised and direct responsibility for civil, criminal, appellate and post-appellate litigation. This can include research and writing, trial and witness preparation, attendance at depositions, mediations, moot courts in preparation for oral arguments and much more.
Who’s eligible? The office prefers to hire second or third-year law students, but will consider exceptional first-year students. United States Citizenship is required. In addition, Interns must successfully pass a detailed background investigation before entering on duty.
What’s the time commitment?: During the fall and spring semesters, we ask that our interns work a minimum of 10 hours per week. During the summer, we ask that our interns work full-time for at least six weeks
Are split summers permitted? Yes.
Is course credit available? Maybe. Our office will work with law schools as much as possible to help our interns get credit. We make no guarantees, however – it’s ultimately up to the intern to make the appropriate arrangements with his or her school.
Do interns get paid? No. These are unpaid positions. For summer interns, however, the Federal Bar Association offers Blask Fellowships – a number of our interns have been awarded these fellowships. For more information, visit www.fbasouthtexas.org.
How to apply: Send a cover letter, resume, short writing sample (10 pages maximum) and unofficial transcript to email@example.com. Alternatively, mail these materials to:
United States Attorney's Office
Southern District of Texas
ATTN: Michael Wright
Houston, Texas 77002
When to apply: Because this is a time-consuming process-the background investigation process can take several months to complete-and student internships are contingent upon the satisfactory completion of a background investigation, law students should submit their applications as soon as possible by the following deadlines:
Fall Program: applications for the fall semester due by the end of June
Spring Program: applications for the spring semester due by then end of October
Summer Program: applications for the summer semester due by the end of January
Applicants who have tentatively been selected for positions with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Texas will find below a list of security and administrative forms required for employment.
Law Student Intern Employment Security Forms
Office of Personnel Management Web Site