Honors Program Application Tips and Checklist

Entry Level Attorneys

A well-written application for the Attorney General's Honors Program takes time to complete, and assembling the information listed below in advance will be a helpful time saver.  Allow yourself plenty of time to work on your application and submit it prior to the deadline.  To be considered for the program, applicants must submit an online application by 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, by an early September deadline.  The deadline date varies from year to year, so please double check for the current year.  Please review the eligibility criteria and instructions before starting the application.

Required Information

  • Email Address: Justice communicates with candidates via email; applicants should have an email address that will not change during the course of the application and hiring process (September - February of the year you apply).

  • References: Names, telephone numbers, and email of 3 references who may be contacted to provide information about you.

Educational Information

  • Undergraduate: Name of your college or university, the type of degree(s), your major(s), the year you graduated, any graduation honors, and the city and state or country where school is located.

  • Law School (J.D. or equivalent): Name of the law school, type of degree, dates attended, year J.D. received or expected, and, for graduates, any graduation honors.

  • Law school transcript: You must attach a copy of your law school transcript (official or unofficial) in a format generated by the law school to your application.  Acceptable unofficial transcripts may not consist of an applicant-generated "grade report" or similar document. Transcripts may not be password protected.  To ensure Justice has the most current information, applicants may provide information relating to their law school’s official grading scale or evaluation process on the "Additional Information" screen.  Please note that you must attach your transcript to Part 1 of your application before proceeding to the second part.  Please attach only your law school transcript unless you are a joint degree applicant with an integrated transcript or you earned a law degree from a school outside the United States and attend/attended a U.S. graduate law program in order to meet U.S. bar admission requirements (attach the LL.M. transcript).

  • Graduate (Non-Legal) Degree: Name of the college or university, the type of graduate degree(s), the degree field, year received, and the city and state or country where the school is located.

  • Graduate Law Degree (LL.M.): Type of degree(s), specialty, year received, name of school, and city and state or country where school is located.

Employment Information

  • Legal and non-legal experience: Name of the employers or organizations, names and telephone numbers of supervisor(s), dates of employment, brief description of responsibilities.

  • Legal internship or externship experience: Names and telephone numbers of supervisor(s), organization name(s), dates of employment, brief description of responsibilities.

  • U.S. Department of Justice experience: The name of the employing component or office, name of supervisor, supervisor's phone number or email address, start and end date, and type of work (paid or unpaid)

Post-Law School Experience

  • Legal Fellowships: Please see the Legal Fellowship requirements for details.

  • Judicial Clerkships: Full name of court(s) served, type of court (e.g., state, federal), dates of clerkship(s), names of judge(s), telephone number in chambers.

Application Tips 

  • User ID and Password: Keep a record of the unique User ID and Password you must create to log on and access your application.

  • Review the eligibility criteria and instructions: If you are eligible to apply to the Honors Program, complete the acknowledgements page and click on Apply to the Department of Justice.

  • Apply to either the Honors Program or Summer Law Intern Program: You may apply to either one, but not to both. However, if you are a current law student and apply to the Honors Program, then accept a clerkship, you may be able to transfer to the Summer Law Intern Program.

  • Resume: A resume is not required (and will not be accepted) as part of the application, however, keep it handy as most of the information ordinarily listed is collected in the online application.

  • Law school career services staff: Talk to them for guidance, including review of the two short answer essays. These questions equate to the body of a cover letter;  approach them with utmost professionalism.  Justice values thoughtful, well-crafted responses that demonstrate who you are, what you can contribute, and why you want to work for the specific components that you identified.  The standard short answer essay questions are:

1. Why did you apply to each of the components you selected?  Please also address the characteristics and qualifications that make you a good match for a position in each component? (Do not inlcude USAOs). (6000 characters maximum, including spaces)

2. If you could tell the selecting official one thing about yourself, what would it be? (2000 characters maximum, including spaces)

Please note that some positions, such as AUSA positions and the Indian Country Fellowship, require you to answer additional questions.  All answers are displayed to all reviewers, so be sure to craft your responses to respond to the specific question posed rather than repeat a response to one of the standard questions.

  • Submit only one application: If you make an error prior to the application deadline, you may withdraw your application and submit a new one. If you submit more than one active application, Justice will only consider  one.

  • Take your time: You do not have to complete the application in one sitting. Prior to certifying and submitting your application, you may update or change information provided you save your changes on the application program. You may print a blank application, a partially completed application, or your completed application. If, after submission but prior to the application deadline, you want to make a change, you must withdraw your application and submit a revised one.

  • Save your information: Always click the “save and continue” button at the bottom of each screen of the application. Some questions on the screen require a response and you will not be permitted to save your information or continue to the next screen if you do not answer a required question.

  • Document Veterans' preference: If you claim veterans’ preference, attach documentation associated with your veterans' preference eligibility when prompted.

  • Do not attach unrequested materials:   Justice will not review unrequested materials, such as resumes.  

  • Print and proofread: your application prior to submission. Make sure it is accurate and free of typos or grammatical errors. Substantive changes cannot be made to the application once it has been certified and submitted unless, prior to the deadline, you withdraw it for correction and resubmit.   

  • Receive E-mail confirmation: After submitting your application you will receive an email acknowledging receipt. If you do not receive one, then check your status online. If your status does not indicate that your application was submitted, check your online application to confirm you properly submitted it. If you are unable to confirm submission, please contact Avue Digital Services using the “Live Chat” or “Concierge Service” links on the top and right of the application screen for assistance.


Applications for Honors Program positions starting in 2021 closed on September 8, 2020.  


Updated September 14, 2020

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