The Civil Division of the Department of Justice, which represents the Federal Government in court, handles many of the most challenging and highest visibility cases. Its attorneys routinely litigate matters involving billions of dollars and highly-contentious issues of national importance. Backing up Civil Division attorneys are support staff, administrative professionals, and information technology specialists without whom the Civil Division’s work would be impossible. Currently-enrolled students can gain valuable experience working with the Civil Division in a variety of roles that can help guide or jumpstart their careers, whatever their career goals may be. Further information on attorney employment, non-attorney employment, and student programs can be found below.


The Civil Division of the Department of Justice, which represents the Federal Government in court, handles many of the most challenging and highest visibility cases.  Its attorneys routinely litigate matters involving billions of dollars and highly-contentious issues of national importance.

We invite you to consider a challenging and rewarding career as an attorney with the Civil Division. The Civil Division is the largest litigating Division within the Justice Department, and we offer new attorneys experience unobtainable elsewhere in the legal profession. We are committed to diversity in the workplace, and we welcome exceptional legal professionals whose insight and experience will enhance our representation of the U.S. Government and the American people.

Unlike many of their private sector counterparts, new Civil Division trial attorneys quickly receive substantial litigation responsibilities. They determine strategy and tactics, prepare pleadings and briefs, and manage discovery and trial proceedings. Civil Division attorneys may handle cases alone or as a member of a team, depending on the matter at hand. New attorneys can expect to serve as "first chair" at either the trial or appellate level during their first year with the Division.

Hiring for all Department of Justice attorneys is coordinated through the Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management (OARM). The DOJ hires entry-level attorneys through the highly competitive Attorney General Honors’ Program and experienced attorneys via lateral hire. To learn more about working as an attorney with the Department, please visit OARM's webpage.

For the Department of Justice’s official attorney vacancies listing, please visit OARM’s Attorney Vacancies page.

Individuals interested in exploring a career as a Civil Division attorney should view the Civil Division Recruitment Brochure for more information about the Civil Division.

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The Civil Division employs an array of talented individuals who work directly with attorneys on fast-paced, high profile litigation. We hire law clerks, paralegals, investigators, claims examiners, litigation support specialists, and administrative support personnel such as information technology experts, human resources personnel, and budget analysts. New employees receive a variety of training opportunities through both on-the-job and formal classroom training. Working for the Civil Division is a rewarding experience. You can achieve your career goals and apply skills and talents to carry out the DOJ’s vital mission.

The Civil Division utilizes a variety of hiring flexibilities including Direct Hire, student employment, and veteran hiring, in addition to posting vacancies on USAJobs, which is the Federal Government’s official job website.

Select the following hyperlink for current Civil Division vacancies. Information on student vacancies can be found below.

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Law student volunteer internships

Law students are eligible to apply for volunteer internships with the Department any time after December 1st of their first year of law school. These volunteer internships are available only to law students who are attending law school and to graduate law students who are both enrolled at least half time and not practicing law. Each Civil Division office independently administers its legal internship program. Law students should apply directly to offices participating in the program, providing the information requested by the office. For more information about the volunteer internship program, please visit OARM. For information about current volunteer internship opportunities, click here: Opportunities for Law Students.

Compensated Summer Law Internship Program (SLIP)

SLIP is a competitive, paid DOJ program selection for which is based on many aspects of a candidate’s background. These aspects include academic achievement, participation in law review or moot court, and clinical or legal aid experience. In addition to a student’s law school achievement and experience, the Department considers specialized academic studies, work experience, and extracurricular activities related to the Department’s mission. For more information about SLIP, or to apply for a summer position, please visit OARM’s SLIP webpage.

Student opportunities other than for law students

The Civil Division is proud to be a strong participant in DOJ student programs. Students can participate in programs that provide invaluable job experience in a real-world work environment. Students at all education levels can participate: high school, vocational school, college (two- and four-year programs), graduate school, and law school. Some student opportunities can lead to permanent employment with the DOJ.

Paid student employment programs

Currently enrolled students may be employed under the DOJ Pathways Internship Program. Interns working under the program can work up to 40 hours per week and earn paid sick leave. Those whose appointments are longer than 90 days earn paid annual leave.

To be eligible under the Pathways Program, you must be a student currently enrolled in an accredited high school; college (including 4 year college/universities and community colleges); professional, technical, vocational, and trade schools; advanced degree programs; or other qualifying educational institutions pursuing a qualifying degree. Students must maintain a 2.5 GPA with no grade lower than a C and be enrolled at least half-time.

For more information about the Pathways Program, please visit the OPM Pathways site.

When vacancies are available, you can visit the DOJ Pathways site.

Volunteer internships

The Department of Justice offers unpaid, academic program-related work experience to high school and college students. These volunteer internships afford interns the opportunity to develop professionally and to explore career goals. Students interested in volunteer internships with the Civil Division should send the following application materials to Civil.Personnel@USDOJ.gov: cover letter; resume; short writing sample; and transcript, if they have one. For more information about DOJ volunteer internship programs, please visit the DOJ Student Programs page.

Personnel Management Branch
P.O. Box 14660, Ben Franklin Station
Washington, D.C. 20044-4660
Telephone: (202) 307-0261
Fax: (202) 514-7968
E-mail: Civil.personnel@usdoj.gov

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is an Equal Opportunity / Reasonable Accommodation Employer. Except where otherwise provided by law, there will be no discrimination because of color, race, regional, national origin, politics, marital status, disability, age, sex, sexual orientation or on the basis of personal favoritism. DOJ welcomes and encourages applications from persons with physical and mental disabilities and will reasonably accommodate the needs of those persons.  DOJ 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.

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Updated February 14, 2019

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