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Volunteer And Paid Student Internships

Employment Opportunities

The Division offers competitive student volunteer internship positions in Washington, D.C. each academic semester, including the summer, for both law and undergraduate students. These positions are volunteer (without compensation) but may be used for work-study credit. The Division also participates - subject to budget restrictions - in the Pathways Program, which provides paid internship opportunities for students. Information about eligibility and the application process for volunteer and paid student internship opportunities is set forth below.

Interns gain a unique and exciting view of the work and mission of the Division. Interns will assist Division attorneys and/or specialists in a variety of assignments, including conducting legal and factual research, preparing documents and exhibits, interviewing witnesses, summarizing depositions, analyzing records, and other case-related work. Interns in the Policy and Strategy Section, as well as interns in some other sections, will assist the Division with a full range of civil rights policy work, including legislative proposals, policy development, and engaging civil rights stakeholders.

The Department of Justice is an equal opportunity/reasonable accommodation employer. The Division is committed to recruiting a talented, diverse, and highly qualified workforce, and we welcome applications from all accredited law schools for our law school intern program and from all two- and four-year colleges for our undergraduate program.

Volunteer Student Internship Program


Applicants must be U.S. citizens; dual citizens will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Applicants further must meet the residency requirement. Specifically, for a total of three years (not necessarily consecutive years) of the five years immediately prior to applying for a position, the applicant must have: (1) resided in the U.S.; (2) worked for the U.S. overseas in a Federal or military capacity; or, (3) been a dependent of a Federal or military employee serving overseas.

Applicants must be students. The following students are eligible: undergraduate students who are enrolled at least half-time; public policy graduate students; first-year (second semester), second- and third-year law students; and law school graduates who are enrolled in graduate law programs (e.g., L.L.M. programs) at least half-time. All students must be in good academic standing and will be required to provide official documentation from their school. First-year, first-semester law students may apply after December 1 for internships the following summer.


The Division seeks eligible applicants with excellent interpersonal skills; strong written and verbal communication skills; strong research and analytical skills; and demonstrated interest or experience in the enforcement of civil rights laws.

How to Apply

Interested students should submit a resume, brief writing sample (no more than 10 pages of your own work), transcript (unofficial is acceptable), references, and a cover letter highlighting your qualifications, as well as, your interest and experience in the work of the Division and the Section(s) to which you are applying, and indicating the dates/time period you are available to work. Any applicant eligible for veterans' preference is encouraged to include that information in your cover letter or resume and attach supporting documentation (e.g., the DD 214 or other substantiating documents) to your submissions. Applications must be e-mailed to the Section-specific email address provided below or, if email is not available, faxed to (202) 514-6603. You must submit a separate application for each section in which you seek employment; include the name of the Section in the subject line of each application.

For more information about each section's volunteer intern program and the number of positions available, click on the links below.


Applications are considered on a rolling basis, and positions, particularly for summer interns, may be filled before the deadlines indicated. Applicants are encouraged to apply early in the process. If space remains after the deadlines indicated, the website will be updated to indicate which sections still have openings available.

The deadlines below are based on colleges/universities on a semester system.  If the college/university you attend is on a quarter system, please email the section you are interested in (using the email link below) to receive applicable deadlines for the term for which you wish to participate. 

Summer Interns

Applications from 2Ls will be considered from October 15 through February 1 (and from 1Ls from December 1 through February 1).

For Summer 2024, several sections will participate in the Equal Justice Works Career Fair on October 12-13, 2023, and consider applications from 2Ls in advance of the October 15th opening date.  Please check the EJW website to see which sections are participating this year.

Fall Semester

Applications will be considered from March 1 through June 1.

Spring Semester

Applications will be considered from July 1 through October 1.

Civil Rights Division Offices & Sections

Paid Student Internship Program

The Pathways Internship Program (Pathways) 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. To be eligible for Pathways, students must have been accepted for enrollment or be enrolled and seeking a degree (diploma, certificate, undergraduate or graduate degree program, etc.) in a qualifying educational institution on a full or half-time basis. Students who successfully complete the program may be eligible for conversion to a permanent job in the civil service. For positions eligible for conversion (recent graduates), the job must be related to the intern's academic career goals or field of study; the conversion is also subject to budgetary constraints. 

To be eligible for employment under Pathways, students must maintain a grade point average of 2.5 or better with no grade below a "C" or equivalent during the internship. Students may be employed year round and work schedules are flexible to accommodate school schedules. Students hired under Pathways are placed in excepted appointments and are eligible to earn annual and sick leave.

Vacancy announcements for positions in Pathways will be posted on the Division website and at To be considered, you must follow the application instructions set forth in the vacancy announcement. Additional information about Pathways may be found at:;;


Updated September 18, 2023