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Interns, Recent Graduates and Fellows

Student Volunteer Program

Federal agencies and departments offer unpaid training opportunities to students in high school and college. These opportunities provide work experience related to your academic program. The program allows you to explore career options as well as develop your personal and professional skills. As a student volunteer, you will be exposed to the Federal work environment and will learn about the missions and responsibilities of various Federal agencies and departments.

Opportunities for Students

Law Students

The Attorney General's Honors Program (Honors Program) is the Department's recruitment program for entry-level attorneys and is the only way the Department hires graduating law students. The Honors Program is highly competitive; the Department reviews many elements of a candidate's background before selecting him or her for employment, including: academic achievement, law review experience, moot court competition, legal aid and clinical experience, and summer or part-time employment. The Department also considers specialized academic studies (including undergraduate and post-graduate degrees), work experience, and extracurricular activities that directly relate to the work of the Department. The U.S. Attorneys offices do not hire entry level attorneys.

The Summer Law Intern Program (SLIP) is the Department's competitive recruitment program for compensated summer internships. Selection for employment is based on many elements of a candidate's background including academic achievement, law review or moot court experience, legal aid and clinical experience, and summer or part-time legal employment. The Department also considers specialized academic studies (including undergraduate and post-graduate degrees), work experience, and extracurricular activities that directly relate to the work of the Department.

Through Volunteer Legal Intern Recruitment, the Department selects approximately 1800 volunteer interns each year. Approximately 800 interns volunteer during the academic year, with approximately 1000 volunteer internships offered during the summer. These positions are without compensation but are highly sought after because of the responsibility and experience they offer. A significant number of volunteer internships are with the 94 U.S. Attorneys' Offices, the 52 Immigration Courts, and other Department field offices nationwide. The remaining internships are with Department offices located in Washington, D.C.

Some volunteer internships qualify either for course credit or as part of a law school's work-study program. Interested students can contact their law schools for specific requirements. There are a very limited number of paid part-time positions.

The Workforce Recruitment Program

This program is managed by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy and the U.S. Department of Defense's Office of Diversity Management & Equal Opportunity (ODMEO). The Workforce Recruitment Program aims to provide summer work experience, as well as full-time employment, for college students and recent graduates with disabilities. The program develops partnerships with other federal agencies and sub-agencies to ensure its success. Each year, federal recruiters interview over three thousand candidates with disabilities at college and university campuses across the nation, and develop a database listing the qualifications of each candidate. Employers in the private and public sectors who are interested in more information about the program should contact the WRP inbox at College career counselors or disability student services providers who would like to schedule a recruitment trip to their campuses should contact Sara Mahoney. Candidates interested in the program must work through their colleges. Due to limited staff resources, the WRP cannot respond to direct student inquiries.

Department of Justice Pathways Programs

The Department of Justice Pathways (DOJ) Programs provide clear paths to Federal employment for students and recent graduates. The Pathways Programs consist of three major subprograms: the Internship Program, the Recent Graduates Program (RGP), and the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program.

  • Internship Program

The Internship Program is designed to provide students enrolled in a wide variety of educational institutions, from high school to graduate level, with opportunities to work in agencies and explore Federal careers while still in school and while getting paid for the work performed. Students who successfully complete the program may be eligible for conversion to a permanent job in the civil service. This Program replaces the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) and Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP).

  • Recent Graduates Program

The Recent Graduates Program affords developmental experiences in the Federal Government intended to promote possible careers in the civil service to individuals who have recently graduated from qualifying educational institutions or programs. To be eligible, applicants must apply within two years of degree or certificate completion (except for veterans precluded from doing so due to their military service obligation, who will have up to six years after degree completion to apply). Successful applicants are placed in a dynamic, developmental program with the potential to lead to a civil service career in the Federal Government.

Justice Fellows Recent Graduates Pathways Program has the same eligibility requirements and offers the same development experiences as mentioned above for specific DOJ mission critical occupations such as Information Technology Specialists, Financial Management Specialists, Budget Analysts, Contract Specialists, and Human Resource Specialists.

  • Presidential Management Fellows Program

The Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program is a flagship leadership development program at the entry-level for advanced degree candidates. Created more than three decades ago, the Program attracts and selects from among the best candidates and is designed to develop a cadre of potential Federal Government leaders.


Updated November 3, 2023