Entry-Level Attorneys



Many distinguished attorneys began their careers through the Attorney General’s Honors Program -- the largest and most prestigious federal entry-level attorney hiring program of its kind.

Eligibility for the Honors Program

Eligibility is generally limited to graduating law students and recent law school graduates who entered judicial clerkships, graduate law programs, or qualifying legal fellowships within 9 months of law school graduation and who meet additional eligibility requirements.

Participating Components

Every year, various components and U.S. Attorneys' Offices hire entry-level attorneys through the Honors Program. The number of entry-level attorney positions varies from year to year.  Review the list of the components participating this year.

Selection Criteria

Justice takes pride in the fact that we consider the “whole candidate” when making selections for employment. Selections are made based on many elements of a candidate’s background including a demonstrated commitment to government service, academic achievement, leadership, law review or moot court experience, legal aid and clinical experience, past employment, and extracurricular activities that relate to the work of Justice and the relevant component.

Every year the Department hires a significant number of entry-level attorneys through the Honors Program. Selectees represent diverse backgrounds and  interests, and come from law schools throughout the country.  The Honors Program is centrally managed by the Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management, but each participating component reviews the applications submitted and makes independent hiring decisions.

How to Apply

Candidates interested in starting their career as an entry-level attorney with Justice must apply through the Attorney General’s Honors Program via an on-line application. For employment beginning in 2017, the application opens on July 31, 2016, and closes on September 6, 2016 We highly recommend that applicants read the application tips and checklist and assemble requested information before starting the online application.  If you need an accommodation in order to complete the application, please contact Deana Willis at (202) 514-3397 for assistance.  For technical assistance in submitting your application, please contact the AVUE Help Desk via Live Chat at the top right of the screen within the Avue Platform (available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time).

Key Dates

  • July 31: Application Opens
  • Early September (day after Labor Day): Application deadline
  • Late September:  Interview candidates selected
  • October 17 - November 4:  Main Honors Program interview period
  • Late November - February:  Offers Extended

If you are Selected for an Interview

If you are selected for an interview for the Honors Program, see Honors Program Interviews for information about selection, the notification process, interview and travel schedules, and reimbursement.

Also see Component Contacts, Pre-Interview Submissions, and Interview Locations.

Additional Information

A Clock!Applications for the Honors Program 2016-2017 will open on July 31, 2016 and close on September 6, 2016. 




Updated June 29, 2016