Consumer Protection Branch

Internships and Student Positions

The Consumer Protection Branch is responsible for the enforcement of several federal consumer protection statutes, many of which provide for both criminal and civil remedies. Because of its small size (currently 30 attorneys), the Office's enforcement efforts focus on cases in which consumers are unable to protect themselves. In addition, the Office defends the government in suits challenging policies of consumer protection agencies. For more information about the work of the Office, please see the Office's Monograph.

The Office offers three types of positions for undergraduate and graduate college students, both paid and unpaid. Students are selected on the basis of their GPA, availability, and commitment to the mission of the Consumer Protection Branch. Students must pass a background check. Individuals who have used illegal substances in the past twelve months are not eligible to be considered.

Both paid and unpaid students are eligible for reimbursement of their commuting costs on the Washington Metro system. Effective July 1, 2009, transit subsidy recipients may receive up to $230 per month or his/her actual commuting cost, whichever is lower. The Office is located on 5th Street, NW, between the Judiciary Square and Gallery Place subway stations on the Red Line.

Unpaid Internships

Unpaid student internships are available on a semester basis. In most instances, interns need to commit to working at least 28 hours per week. Interns work directly with the Office's paralegals and attorneys. Duties include assisting the Office's attorneys and paralegals in creating and maintaining electronic litigation data bases and files as well as reviewing and responding to incoming written consumer complaints. Training is provided during the first part of the internship. The Office's attorneys give weekly luncheon presentations to the interns about a particular case or investigation. When the Supreme Court is in session, reserved seating is obtained for each intern to observe an entire argument. Although these positions are unpaid, school credit may be extended if all requirements are met.

Paid Part-Time Positions (Minimum 12 hours per week)

Paid part-time student positions are offered under the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP). As long as students are registered for classes at a college or university, they are eligible to work under this program. The pay scale for these positions is tied to the number of credits students have accumulated and fall within U.S. Government GS Levels 2-5. Students also accrue paid annual leave and paid sick leave in correlation with the number of hours worked each pay period.

Students work directly under the supervision of the Office's paralegals. Duties include general clerical work and multiple other tasks in support of a busy litigation office. Students being considered for these positions must commit to working a minimum of 12 hours per week during at least two semesters and a minimum of 32 hours per week during at least one summer. In addition, within certain guidelines, students are free to set their own schedules at the beginning of each semester and again at the beginning of the summer break.

Other Paid Position (Minimum 32 hours per week)

On occasion, the Office has a need for a full-time secretary/receptionist. The guidelines for this position are the same as the part-time positions under STEP. This position is ideal for an evening student who would prefer a full-time or almost full-time position. In addition to trial support, this student is responsible for answering the telephone in the front office, as well as managing files and faxes, opening and sorting mail, plus routing consumer calls and logging in consumer mail.


Current GPA
Name of the college or university that the student is attending
Total number of credits accumulated
Current standing; i.e., sophomore, junior, graduate student, etc.
Expected graduation date

FAX your resume, along with the above requirements, to:
Consumer Protection Branch (202) 514-8742

For unpaid internships, fax to the attention of Ken Maddox

For paid positions, fax to the attention of Aubrey Sizer


Updated October 20, 2014

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