Frequently Asked Questions

Law Students

SLIP Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility, Credentials, and Citizenship

1. Who is eligible for the Summer Law Intern Program (SLIP)?

The majority of the candidates who apply to the SLIP are second year law students who work at Justice during the summer between their second and third year of law school. Third year law students who will enter judicial clerkships, legal fellowships, Presidential Management Fellowships, or full-time graduate law programs in the fall after graduating are also eligible to apply. Please review the eligibility guidelines for specific information.

2. What factors does the Department consider when selecting summer law interns?

The Department considers many elements of the candidate's background before selecting him/her for employment, including: academic achievement, law review experience, moot court competition, legal aid and clinical experience, specialized academic studies (including undergraduate and post-graduate degrees), work experience and extracurricular activities that relate directly to the work of Justice.

3. Does the Department hire non-US citizens?

Appointments of non-U.S. citizens to attorney and law clerk positions are infrequent. Only U.S. Citizens are eligible for employment with the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR) and U.S. Attorney’s Offices. Non-U.S. Citizens may apply for employment with other Department of Justice components, but appointments of non-U.S. Citizens are extremely rare. Such appointments are made only if necessary to accomplish the Department's mission, and are subject to statutory restrictions on the expenditure of funds, as well as strict security requirements. The following components will not consider non-U.S. citizens for the Summer Law Intern Program: The Antitrust Division, the Civil Division, and the Tax Division. Dual citizens of the United States and another country are considered on a case-by-case basis.

4. Does the Department hire students from my law school?

There are graduates from virtually every ABA-accredited law school working at Justice. Graduates from non-accredited law schools are eligible for employment provided they are admitted to practice before the bar of any State or federal jurisdiction. Click here to view a list of law schools whose graduates are attorneys employed by the Department of Justice. Click here to view a list of law schools whose graduates were hired through the 2009-2010 Attorney General's Honors Program.

5. Must my law school be accredited for me to work at the Department?

Summer legal interns are not required to pass a bar exam; therefore, accreditation does not apply.  Entry-level attorneys are required to pass a bar and be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction) within 14 months of entry on duty. To apply for an attorney position through the Honors Program, you must attend a law school whose graduates are eligible to sit for a bar exam.

6. May I be considered for both the Summer Law Intern Program and the Honors Program simultaneously?

No. If you are eligible for one, you are not eligible for the other.  Justice has unified its applications into one system, however, to permit limited transfers from the Honors Program applicant pool to the Summer Program. This change affects third-year law students who are applying for judicial law clerkships, legal fellowships, Presidential Management Fellowships, or full-time graduate law programs following law school graduation but who have not yet accepted a clerkship, fellowship or been accepted into a graduate law program prior to the DOJ application deadline. Initially, those applicants will be considered through the Honors Program for an entry-level position following law school graduation.

If, after the September DOJ application deadline, the applicant accepts a judicial clerkship, fellowship, (or is admitted to a graduate law program), then the system will permit that applicant to re-enter his or her application for the limited purpose of adding clerkship data (e.g., name of the court, name of the judge, start and end dates of the clerkship) or graduate law program data (e.g., the law school, type of degree program, start and end dates), and requesting transfer out of the Honors Program applicant pool and into the Summer Program pool. The components will be notified of the change electronically. This feature generally remains available until mid-October.

7. If I am a third year law student, but do not plan to enter a judicial clerkship, fellowship, or full time graduate law program following graduation, am I eligible for the Summer Law Intern Program?

No. As a third year student, you would be considered through the Honors Program for an entry-level attorney position.

8. Are first year students eligible for the Summer Law Intern Program?

Generally, no. You must have completed at least one full semester of law school (equivalent to full-time study) before the application deadline in September to be eligible to apply to the SLIP. National Association for Law Placement (NALP) guidelines prohibit prospective employers from contacting first-year, first-semester law students prior to December 1st. Justice is a member of NALP and abides by its guidelines.

First-year, first-semester law students who are interested in work experience at Justice should consider applying for volunteer, work-study and part-time legal employment after December 1st. For additional information, see Volunteer Information on this site.

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The Application Process

1. Where can I find an application?

Applications for the Summer Law Intern Program (SLIP), for employment during the summer of 2012, will be available on Justice’s Career website from July 26 – September 7, 2011, or here.

Individuals who need an accommodation can leave a voice mail message at (202) 514-3397.

2. When is the application deadline?

The absolute deadline for receipt of applications is midnight, Eastern Time, Monday, September 7, 2011 (midnight, Eastern Time; 11:00 p.m. Central Time; 10:00 p.m. Mountain Time; 9:00 p.m. Pacific Time). We regret that we can make no exceptions. Due to the high volume of applications submitted immediately prior to the deadline, we encourage you to apply early. If, however, you are awaiting the announcement of membership to law review or moot court, scholarships or honors, and you expect that information to be available prior to the deadline, then you should not apply early because you cannot update or amend your application once it is certified and submitted.

3. How long does it take to complete the application on-line?

We estimate that it will take most applicants about an hour to complete the online application.  We recommend, however, that you spend as much time as you find necessary to gather the information required by the application and to craft your response to two brief essay questions. Please review the application checklist to ensure that you have the information that you will need to complete the application.

4. May I partially complete my application and return to it at a later time?

Yes. Once you log onto the application, you will be prompted to create a user profile accessed by a unique password that you choose. Please be sure to make a note of your password as you will need it to access the application in the future.

You may enter and exit from the application and make changes to it an unlimited number of times prior to actually certifying and submitting it. You may print a blank application, a partially completed application, or your completed application. But once you certify your application and submit it, the program will not permit you to make further changes to the substantive portions. You can, however, update contact information (e.g., e-mail address, telephone number, address).

We strongly recommend that you print a copy of your application and review it carefully prior to submission. Pay particular attention to dates – we find that many candidates erroneously enter the current year rather than the year of expected law school graduation. The Department does not accept duplicate applications or substantive corrections to your application after you submit it. We regret that we cannot make any exceptions.

5. How do I submit my resume and transcript with the online application?

The application contains fields that prompt you to enter your resume and transcript data. You may enter data either by typing it in, which we recommend, or by "cutting and pasting" the information from an existing document provided that it is in Microsoft Word or WordPerfect format. The program will later assemble your resume and transcript data into a standardized format. The program will prompt you to review the appearance of the information in your resume. You may use hyphens to separate entries or create emphasis; however, we strongly recommend that you avoid using bullets or symbols as they may not transfer to the computer systems used within the Department. Please note, we cannot accept resumes and/or transcripts submitted separately from the online application; however, some components may later request hard copy resumes and/or transcripts from candidates selected for further consideration.

6. How will I know the Department received my application?

Once your application is received, the system will send you an e-mail message, to the email address you designate on your application, confirming receipt of your application. Alternatively, you can check on your status online using your password at  We strongly encourage you to maintain your same email address throughout the hiring process as that will be the means with which you receive communications and notifications regarding your application status.

7. Can I update or correct my application after I certify and submit it?

To protect the integrity of the information you submit on your application, the system does not allow changes to be made to substantive data once it has been certified and submitted. You can update contact information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, or address.

8. Can I submit letters of recommendation, writing samples or cover letters with my application?

No. We do not accept these documents as part of the application or documents mailed separately to the Department. We process and review applications electronically. Candidates who are selected by a component for consideration for employment may be asked to provide writing samples and/or recommendations at a later time. You may also preview the component writing sample requirements on this web site; only candidates who are asked to provide writing samples should submit them.

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The Selection, Interview, and Offer Process

1. If I apply for a SLIP position, will I be interviewed?

Not necessarily. Each hiring component determines whether or not to interview candidates for the SLIP. Some components hire on the basis of information in the application, references and other information specifically requested from the applicant. When a component nominates candidates for consideration for employment, the Department will notify those candidates that they are under consideration for employment by a specific component. PLEASE NOTE: This does not guarantee that a candidate will be interviewed or contacted by the component that is considering them for employment. Some components will conduct interviews by telephone, video teleconference or in field offices. These components will contact candidates individually – this part of the process is not centrally managed in the OARM office.

2. If I am not selected for consideration for employment, how will I be notified?

All candidates who are not selected for consideration for employment by at least one component will be notified by e-mail in late-September. Applicants may also check the status of their applications online by visiting

3. If I am contacted for an interview, what should I bring?

Candidates for the SLIP will be contacted directly by the component that is considering them for employment with instructions about what information they will require from you. Please review Selection for Employment for further details.

4. If I am selected for consideration by a component that conducts interviews, will my travel expenses be repaid?

No. Expenses associated with SLIP interviews (including meals, travel, and lodging) are the responsibility of the candidate.

5. When are offers made?

There is no set schedule for offers of employment. Components that hire on the basis of the application and references may begin making offers in late October. The majority of offers will be made from mid-November through December. The offer process occasionally extends into January.

6. How much time do I have to respond if I receive an offer?

The Department adheres to the guidelines issued by the National Association of Law Placement (NALP) regarding the time period that offers must remain open. Generally, offers will remain open for at least 28 days or until December 30, whichever comes first. Offers made after December 15 for the following summer should remain open for at least two weeks.

If hiring components offer a position for the following summer to candidates previously employed by them (e.g., current intern), then those offers remain open until at least November 1. Candidates should reaffirm these offers within thirty days from the date of the offer. The Department may retract any offer that is not reaffirmed within the 30 day period.

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Information on Your Application Status

1. How can I get information about the status of my application?

Individual applicants may check on the status of their applications through the Internet at:

2. At what points will the Department release status updates to the online system?

Individual Summer Program applicants will be able to see the following status updates: upon referral of applications to components for review, upon selection or non-selection for consideration for employment, upon selection or non-selection as a component finalist, and upon acceptance of an offer.

3. How and when will the Department notify me if I am not selected for consideration for employment?

The Department notifies applicants who are no longer under consideration by email through its contractor, Avue Digital Services. DOJ is tentatively scheduled to select candidates mid-October, and will notify candidates who remain under consideration as soon as the final list is verified. Non-selection notices are issued after selection notices, and may be delayed until all hiring components confirm that they have finalized their selections.

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Conditions of Employment

1. How long do summer internships last?

Summer internships are usually appointments of approximately 90 days, however, some components may permit shorter or longer periods.

2. Does the Department allow students to "split" summers?

Most of the components allow summer interns to split their summer between the Department and other employers or between two Department components. If you are interested in splitting a summer, you should ask your component contact about the component's policy for splitting summers and about the required minimum numbers of weeks (generally, 6 to 8) when you receive your offer. The Department's work schedule is flexible. Students may enter internships between early May and late September, depending on their law school schedule.

3. What kind of background investigation is required? How long does it take?

Summer Program candidates are subject to a complete name and fingerprint check. In addition, summer candidates' pre-employment forms (which cover a period of seven to ten years) are thoroughly reviewed to determine suitability for employment. Some components require a National Agency Check with Inquiries (NACI) through the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). In the future, all components will be requiring a NACI. This process normally takes at least two to three months.

4. Is there a drug test?

It is the policy of the Department to achieve a drug-free workplace, and persons selected for employment will be required to pass a drug test to screen for current illegal drug use prior to final appointment.

5. What kind of problems can cause a candidate to be deemed unsuitable?

The most common suitability issues that arise during background investigations are: past or present illegal drug use, failure to fulfill tax obligations, and failure to comply with financial obligations. After an applicant has received an offer of employment from the Department, OARM can advise him/her as to any issues regarding potential suitability problems.

6. Are there any other issues that impact the hiring of summer interns?

Yes. Candidates for the Summer Program are subject to a residency requirement. Any candidates who have lived outside of the United States for two of the past five years may have difficulty being approved for appointments by the Department's Security Staff. (Federal or military employees (or dependents of federal or military employees) serving overseas are excepted from this requirement.)

7. When will my summer internship begin?

When you accept an offer of employment, the component will ask you when you are available to work and how many weeks you would like to work. Most components are quite flexible about times between May and September. As long as you agree to work the minimum number of weeks required by the component, you may request a work period at any time during the summer.

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Salaries and Benefits

1. What do Summer Law Interns earn?

Summer interns who have completed two full years of law school receive the GS-7, step 1 salary. Students who have not completed two-thirds of their law school's J.D. requirements by the summer of employment are paid at the GS-5, step 1 salary. Third year candidates who will be serving in summer internships between law school graduation and the beginning of a judicial law clerkship, fellowship, or full time graduate law program are paid at the GS-11, step 1 level. Federal salaries vary by locality. For more details, review the information under Salaries and Benefits.

2. Will I be entitled to receive employment benefits as a summer intern?

If a summer intern works for ninety days (90) during the summer, he/she earns annual and sick leave. Summer interns are also eligible to join the Department's gym (prorated fees) and the Justice Federal Credit Union.

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Information about the Hiring Components

1. Which Department components hire summer law interns?

For summer, 2010, eight Department components will formally participate in the SLIP: the Antitrust, Civil, Civil Rights, and Tax Divisions; the Executive Office for Immigration Review; the Professional Responsibility Advisory Office, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Wyoming.

In addition, the Office of the Solicitor General and the Office of Legal Counsel hire 2 to 4 graduating third-year students who will serve in judicial clerkships following graduation from law school. Other components might participate informally. For summer 2011, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania will participate informally. See Participating Components on the Summer Program main page for additional information.

2. How many Department components will consider my application?

The application requires you to rank, in order of your employment preference, up to three components you wish to consider your application. Upon completion of initial review, all eligible applications are referred to all components listed by the applicant. If you are a first-year, second-semester law student or a second year law student, you may select from any of the participating components except the Office of the Solicitor General and the Office of Legal Counsel.

Third-year law students who will graduate in the 2010-2011 academic year and enter judicial law clerkships after graduation may apply to any of the participating components, as well as the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) and the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). OSG and OLC only hire candidates entering a judicial clerkship.

Third-year students who will graduate in the 2010-2011 academic year and enter a legal fellowship or full-time graduate law program may apply to any of the participating components once they accept the fellowship or are accepted into a graduate law program.

Most third-year applicants are routed first to the Honors Program, then, once the clerkship/fellowship/graduate law program is finalized, transfer to the SLIP. This option remains available from the date the application closes until – mid-October.

3. Do components hire summer interns in locations outside of Washington, DC?

The majority of the SLIP positions are in Washington, DC. The Antitrust Division and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) often hire summer interns for positions in other parts of the country.

Please refer to the current listing of participating components to identify available SLIP internships outside of Washington, D.C..

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Offers for Permanent Employment Following Summer Law Internships

The Department permits components to issue offers for permanent employment following law school graduation to interns hired under the Summer Law Intern Program (SLIP) through a “funnel offer” directly into the Attorney General’s Honors Program for the following year. Unlike the practice in private law firms, funnel offers are issued sparingly to a relatively small number of SLIP participants. Interns working at the Department through student programs other than the formal SLIP are not eligible for funnel offers.

Components can, at their discretion; issue funnel offers to SLIP participants prior to September 15th, with a response deadline of November 1st. SLIP participants who receive a funnel offer and intend to accept it must still apply to the Attorney General’s Honors Program and designate the issuing component as an employment preference, so that they are incorporated into the Department’s database for tracking and communications purposes.

If you have already received a funnel offer at the time you complete your Honors Program application, you must list that component as an employment preference on your application. If you were an intern hired through the Summer Law Intern Program who has not received a funnel offer at the time you certify and submit your application, but think that you may receive a funnel offer, then list the component as an employment preference. You may list other components as employment preferences also; however, you must respond to a funnel offer by the appropriate deadline, even if you were selected for an Honors Program interview by another component. The Department will not extend the decision deadline on the funnel offer. If you elect to continue through the interview process, there is no guarantee that you will receive an offer from the component(s) that selected you for an interview or a second offer from the component that issued the funnel offer. If you accept a funnel offer, you will no longer be eligible to interview with any other component.


Updated September 21, 2017

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