Honors Program Interviews

If you are selected to interview for an Honors Program entry-level attorney position with the Department of Justice this fall, then we want your interview experience to be a positive one. The information below explains how to schedule your interview, identifies components with restricted interview dates, tells you where to find interview locations, provides guidance on how to deal with travel emergencies (i.e., cancelled flights), provides information about government-funded travel and reimbursement for certain out-of-pocket costs, and answers other important questions. We strongly recommend that you print a copy of this information and bring it with you if you travel by commercial carrier. The links below will take you directly to the subject listed.

Notice of Selection: The Department will update candidate status online to show selection for an interview (Honors Program) or for further consideration (Summer Law Intern Program).  At that time, the online status will also show which component(s) selected the candidate in the "Selected By" column.  Due to space constraints, a code will be used for each component and, within components, branches/sections/or locations (HP).  For the SLIP, generally only the selecting component will be listed.  The Department will send an email message to Honors Program candidates (using the e-mail address provided in the application) with specific instructions on (1) what materials to submit to the interviewing component prior to the interview; (2) how to schedule their interview and, (3) as needed, government-funded travel.  SLIP candidates will receive a message addressing pre-interview submissions; however, the components will contact those candidates directly to set up telephone interviews.  All e-mail notification messages from the Department are issued from mail@avuedigitalservices.com. We recommend that you add this address to your contacts to ensure that you receive messages issued on behalf of the Department through our private contractor. A separate message is issued for each hiring component.  If you are selected by more than one component, you will receive more than one notification message. Your online status will be updated to indicate selection for an interview, but will not identify which component or components selected you. 

Pre-Interview Submissions and Requirements: Most components require interview candidates to submit writing samples, resumes, or transcripts prior to the scheduled interview. Click here for required pre-interview submissions. Do not submit a writing sample or other materials unless you are selected for an interview and the interviewing component lists a requirement.

Component Contact Information and Directions:  Click here for component contact information, interview locations, and directions to the interview sites.

INTERVIEWS AND TRAVEL

Government-Funded Travel:  If you do not live in the regular commuting area for the location where your interview is scheduled, the Department may, at our discretion, provide government-funded travel.   Candidates living outside the continental United States, interviewing in multiple locations, or whose travel is exceptionally costly may, at our discretion, be offered an alternative form of interview.  The majority of hiring offices will conduct interviews in Washington, D.C. and its surrounding area. The major exceptions are the Executive Office for Immigration Review, which will interview for the Office of the Chief Immigration Judge in several major U.S. cities, the Antitrust Division (which interviews for its field offices in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York), and the U.S. Attorney’s Offices.  If we book your travel on a commercial airline, the Department will pay directly for your travel and issue an e-ticket to minimize your out-of-pocket expenses. Please review the information on reimbursable and non-reimbursable costs associated with travel (below).

Reasonable Accommodations: If you have special needs (e.g., American sign interpreter, wheelchair access, etc.) and require a reasonable accommodation for travel or for your interview, please send an e-mail message to Deana Willis listing your needs in advance of travel and/or your interview so that appropriate arrangements can be made.  All DOJ interview sites are handicapped accessible.

The Interview Period:  Most interviews will take place between October 17 and November 4, 2016, excluding weekends. Interviews are conducted during regular business hours. Most interviews last one hour in duration although there are exceptions.  For interviews scheduled in Washington, D.C., we include a 30 minute break between consecutive interviews.  Component interview locations vary - please check your schedule carefully upon receipt and plan accordingly.  U.S. Attorney’s Offices interview periods are established by each office and vary between two hours and all day.  If you have more than one interview with different hiring offices, travel time is built into your schedule to move from one interview to the next, whether the interview is in the same building, across town, or requires significant travel.  Candidates interviewing with multiple branches or sections within the same component may be scheduled multiple consecutive interviews.

 Scheduling Your Interview:  Complete a Travel Survey form after receiving notice from the components that selected you for an interview.    Before identifying your preferred dates, review the list of components with interview schedule restrictions below.  Once your Travel Survey is complete, email it to the Department’s Conference Center Staff (CCS) at DOJHonorsProgram@usdoj.gov using the Subject line:  Last Name, First Name – Travel Survey.  It is very important for applicants to use this standard format on the Subject line.  Even local candidates who do not need to travel must submit a Travel Survey to schedule an interview.  Instructions are on the survey form. Submit only one Travel Survey, no matter how many interviews you have or where they will take place: we use master list to book all your interviews and travel.  DO NOT attempt to update a previously submitted survey by submitting an amended one.  Instead, contact Felicia Foushee at (202) 305-9738 for assistance.  Do not contact the Department to confirm receipt of your Travel Survey.  We track interview scheduling and, if we cannot account for a candidate, we will follow up directly with that person.

The Scheduling Process: The Conference Center Staff (CCS) staff will make every effort to consider the preferred week and day listed on your Travel Survey, but cannot guarantee your preferred schedule because of variables affecting Government-contracted travel and component availability, so it is critical that you list all dates when you are unavailable for travel or interviews.  When booking flights, we must consider the availability of commercial travel at the government rate, as well as the planned interview schedule.  Please be patient during the scheduling process -  the process is complex and can take some time.

Disclosing Conflict Dates: Be sure to list all dates that you are unavailable for travel or for interviews on your Travel Survey. The Department will not schedule you for any listed dates or, if we inadvertently do so, will make appropriate corrections.  Some hiring offices have limited interview availability dates that we must accommodate. If you have personal concerns that may impact on your travel availability, please list them on your Travel Survey to alert the CCS staff.  Once travel and interviews are scheduled, we will not amend your schedule due to your omission or oversight. 

Components with Restricted Interview Dates:  Honors Program interviews will be scheduled from October 17 - November 4, 2016.  Due to mission requirements, not all components are available every day during the interview period.  The hiring components/offices listed below have interview date restrictions that you must consider when listing your preferred interview dates on your Travel Survey.  If the availability dates present an absolute conflict, contact Deana Willis before submitting your Travel Survey. 

 

INTERVIEWING OFFICE

INTERVIEW DATE AVAILABILITY

Criminal Division, Asset Forfeiture Fellowship

No interviews October 27, 28, 29, and 30.

Civil Division, Appellate Branch

No interviews October 18, .

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Weeks 1 and 2 only (October 17 - 30)

Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)

Candidates interviewing only with Office of the Chief Immigration Judge (OCIJ) will interview at the nearest Immigration Court.

All candidates interviewing with Office of the General Counsel (OGC), Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), Office of Legal Access Programs (OLAP), Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO), or Office of Communications and Legislative Affairs (OCLA) will interview in Falls Church, VA (including candidates also interviewing with OCIJ).  

 

 

 

BIA, OGC, OLAP, OCAHO, OCLA & OCIJ

Falls Church, VA

All dates available

 

OCIJ Only

San Diego, CA  (OCIJ Interviews only)

Week 1:  All dates available

Week 2:  No interviews Monday, Oct 24

Week 3:  All dates available

Los Angeles, CA (OCIJ Interviews only)

Week 1:  All dates available

Week 2: All dates available.

Week 3: No interviews Friday, Nov 4.

San Francisco (OCIJ Interviews only)

Week 1:  All dates available

Week 2:  All dates available

Week 3:  All dates available

New York, NY (OCIJ interviews only)

Week 1:  No Interviews Monday, Oct 17

Week 2:  No interviews Monday, Oct 24 or Friday, Oct 28

Week 3:  No interviews Monday, Oct 31.

Chicago, IL (OCIJ interviews only)

Week 1:  All dates available

Week 2:  No interviews Friday, Oct 28

Week 3:  All dates available

Orlanda, FL (OCIJ interviews only)

Week 1: No interviews Monday, Oct 17 or Tuesday, Oct 18.

Week 2: All dates available.

Week 3: No interviews Monday, Oct 31 or Friday, Nov 4.

Miami (OCIJ Interviews only)

Week 1: No interviews Monday, Oct 17 or Friday, Oct 21.

Week 2: No interviews Monday, Oct 24 or Friday, Oct 28.

Week 3: No interviews Monday, Oct 31 or Friday, Nov 4.

Gaye L. Tenoso Indian Country Fellowship

November 3 and November 4 only. 

Tax Division

Tax-Civil Section;  No interaviews Oct 17 or Nov 1.

Tax-Criminal Section;  No interviews Oct 17.

USAO (Northern District of Ohio)

No interviews Oct 17, Oct 19, Oct 20, Oct 21, Oct 24 or Oct 28.

USAO ( Southern District of New York)

Week 1 only (Oct. 17 or Oct 19 only) for candidates traveling to NYC for interviews.  This District will contact candidates in the New York metropolitan area (or nearby) directly to schedule interviews.   

 

Getting Your Interview Schedule:  We will notify you via email once your interview schedule is confirmed and any applicable travel arrangements are finalized.  You should receive an email from the CCS Staff not later than the Wednesday prior to the week in which your interview is scheduled, which may or may not be the first interview week you requested. We will send your interview schedule (date and time only) to you using the email address listed on your Travel Survey.  To avoid confusion, we strongly recommend you use the same email address you listed on your application, as that is our primary means of contacting you.  We have a master list of interview candidates and we review it periodically throughout the interview scheduling period to ensure we do not overlook anyone.  However, if you do not receive an email message with your interview schedule from the Department by October 25, 2016, send a second copy of your Travel Survey and a brief message advising that you are still awaiting scheduling by email message to DOJHonorsProgram@usdoj.gov, with the subject line:  Your Last Name, Your First Name – Travel Survey Follow-Up for immediate assistance.  If you do not receive assistance within a day, contact the Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management (OARM) immediately at (202) 514-8900 and ask to speak to someone who can assist with Honors Program interviews.

Travel Itineraries: If you are traveling by commercial air or rail from outside the local commuting area, you will receive a travel itinerary (commercial travel) by e-mail from SATO/CWT Travel in addition to your email message from the CCS Staff with your interview time and date.  Local travelers will receive only the email from the CCS staff with their interview time and date.  If travel is required and you received your interview schedule but did not receive a travel itinerary, contact the CCS Staff schedulers at (202) 616-3803 for assistance. All travel should be finalized and itineraries issued by close of business Tuesday, October 25, 2016.

Interview Locations:  Interview locations and directions are posted on the DOJ Legal Careers, Attorney General’s Honors Program website at http://justice.gov/legal-careers/component-contacts-pre-interview-submissions-honors-program-summer-law-intern-program.

 Overnight Stays: It is our policy to arrange same day interviews, no matter how many components selected you for an interview. If that is not possible, you may be asked to remain overnight or travel to your interview city the day prior to morning interviews. If your interview or travel schedule requires an overnight stay, you will be authorized reimbursement of lodging costs up to the current government “per diem” lodging rate.  Current government rates are available at www.gsa.gov.  You are responsible for making your own hotel reservations.  Be sure to retain a copy of the actual lodging receipt (not a reservation, not a credit card charge) as it is required for reimbursement.  You may ask the hotel whether it will honor the government rates, but be advised that they are not obligated to do so.  If the hotel is willing to honor the government rate, you must explain your circumstances, advise that you do not have a government identification card and are not a current DOJ employee, but are traveling on group invitational travel.  We strongly recommend you retain the name of the person who confirmed the rate for you. Many candidates have found excellent rates via online discount websites.  You may also stay with friends or family but will not be eligible for lodging reimbursement.

TRAVEL POLICIES (CHANGES, EMERGENCIES, TRAVEL BY PERSONAL VEHICLE)

Missed Connecting Flight: If your flight is late and you miss a connecting flight, it is permissible to work directly with the airline to reschedule.  Please notify the assigned scheduler and the component contact if your revised travel schedule impacts on your interview.  You can find component contacts here.

Emergencies Prior to Departure: If an illness or an emergency arises prior to your departure, please contact the designated scheduler and the component contact. If you are unable to reach the designated scheduler, please call (202) 616-3803. If it is after duty hours, leave a message and follow up the next day.  If during duty hours (8:00 am – 5:00 pm Eastern), call the Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management at (202) 514-8900 and ask for someone who can assist with an HP travel emergency.  If after hours and you are within 24 hours of departure, please contact the CWT/SATO emergency line at 1-877-905-9644 (PRESS OPTION 2, then the option for "Domestic Flights").

Emergencies While In Transit: If an emergency, or unexpected/exigent circumstance arises while you are in transit, or impacts on your return travel (e.g., illness, flight cancellation, weather delay, airport closures) and it is within regular business hours, please contact the assigned scheduler indicated on your itinerary. If you are unable to reach the designated scheduler, please call (202) 616-3803.  An alternate contact is the Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management at (202) 514-8900.  Ask for someone who can assist with an Honors Program interview travel emergency.  If you cannot reach anyone at these numbers or it is after duty hours, default to the emergency contact number for CWT/SATO Travel listed on your itinerary.  The after hours CWT/SATO emergency line for a travel emergency while in transit is 1-877-905-9644 (PRESS OPTION 2, then the option for "Domestic Flights").

If travel cannot resume until the next day, we request that you attempt to find lodging within the government per diem rate.  The airlines often offer assistance to stranded travelers.  If necessary, you may ask CWT/SATO to book lodging, if possible for a traveler in your status (e.g., without a government employee ID card) and, if necessary, to make alternative travel arrangements. You must follow up with your scheduler as soon as possible during regular business hours for further instructions regarding submitting your request for reimbursement to include the new lodging costs. When making a hotel reservation, be sure to explain that you are on government-funded invitational travel and request government rates and tax exemption when you check into the hotel. The hotel is not obligated to honor this rate without presentation of a government identification card, but many will.  In order to be reimbursed, you must retain and submit the original hotel receipt (e.g., not a reservation printout, not a credit card receipt).

Non-Emergency Changes to Government Travel Reservations: Regrettably, we cannot make changes to your interview schedule or government travel reservation except in the case of emergency, however, we may agree to an alternate form of interview.  Once government commercial travel is authorized, you are NOT authorized to change your travel schedule or modify your flights or rail travel independently. You are NOT authorized to contact airlines or other commercial carriers directly to make changes to your flights or rail travel. Government travel is booked through government contracts. Only authorized DOJ personnel can make changes, and changes incur additional costs, so are limited to emergencies and authorized changes. If you independently cancel the first leg of government-scheduled air travel, the carrier may cancel all further legs of travel. If you modify your travel arrangements without authorization, you may be liable for increased travel costs.

Special Rules for Travel by Personal Car: Individuals within driving distance of their interview site who wish to drive their personal car must indicate that preference on the Travel Survey. If CCS determines that the cost is less than government rate commercial travel costs - or if you are willing to accept reimbursement of government rate commercial travel costs in lieu of actual cost to you - you may drive to your interview. Please note that approval to drive must be received in advance. Check with the CCS staff if you have questions. You will be reimbursed at the current government mileage rate (see http://www.gsa.gov/) plus road tolls. Repair costs, gasoline, towing and alternate means of transportation expenses in the event of a breakdown are not reimbursable. Also note that election to drive does not entitle you to per diem or lodging at Government expense if same-day travel by commercial carrier is available unless it is more cost effective to the government.

ARRIVING FOR YOUR INTERVIEW

Security: DOJ buildings have stringent security measures. Please bring a photo ID and the email notifying you of your interview time and date to help expedite clearing security. We recommend that you arrive at least 20 minutes prior to your interview (30 minutes for the FBI) to get through the security procedures and to find your interview room. Many components request that you call from the Security Desk so they can send an escort. See Component Contacts and Interview Locations for details.

What to Bring to An Interview: It is permissible to bring your luggage with you to the interview.

We suggest the following:

— Travel Itinerary (non-local travelers only)
— Your scheduler's name and telephone number (in case of emergency)
— The name and telephone number of the Component Contact for each component with which you are interviewing
— Addresses of Component Interview Sites
— Updated resume and law school transcript (in case the interviewer requests a copy)
— Government-issued photo identification (for access to buildings)
— An umbrella (recommended)
— Writing sample (if specified in Writing Samples, above)
— Notepad and pen

Due to the number of interviews and the decentralized interview process, OARM is unable to provide the names of specific interviewers. We recommend that you request a business card from your interviewer(s) at the close of your interview.

Reimbursement Policies / Requesting Reimbursement for Travel-Related Expenses

 The Department will pre-pay certain costs, such as commercial air fare. The Department may authorize reimbursement for other expenses.  Reimbursement is not automatic - you must submit a reimbursement request within two weeks after your interview using the Honors Program reimbursement form. Please retain receipts for lodging and for any other expenses totaling $75 or more.  PLEASE NOTE: Travel Authorizations contain estimated costs. Estimates are generally higher than actual reimbursable costs. You will not receive reimbursements that exceed your actual costs, and the government per diem rates are the reimbursement ceiling for lodging and meals/incidental expenses.  We cannot reimburse claims less than $1.00.

Lodging: Candidates whose flights arrive and depart on the same date are not authorized an overnight stay.  If your travel schedule requires it, you will be authorized reimbursement for an overnight stay. Lodging costs will be reimbursed up to the current Government per diem rate: the Department cannot prepay lodging. Current government per diem rates for Washington, D.C. and other cities is available at http://www.gsa.gov/.  Many candidates find affordable lodging through online websites that offer discounted rates.  If you are traveling to the Washington, D.C. metro area, the hotels in Crystal City neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia (just outside the District of Columbia) often offer shuttle service to Reagan National Airport and are accessable by Metrorail.  Crystal City is a short commute into Washington, DC and the stations near the Robert F. Kennedy Main Justice building by Metro (generally 10 - 15 minutes or less).  See www.wmata.com for Metrorail station and route information.  Please note that the Metro is undergoing signficant modifications - be sure to check its website prior to travel for any delay that may impact on your schedule. 

You are responsible for making your own hotel or lodging reservations and retaining a copy of the original receipt to submit with your reimbursement request.  You must submit an actual hotel receipt.  A copy of a reservation print out, an internet booking, or credit card charge is insufficient.   If you stay with family or friends, then no reimbursement is possible. 

Reimbursement for lodging is limited to one night unless your interview schedule and travel, as scheduled by DOJ, requires additional time.  We recommend that you ask the hotel if it will honor the Government rate at the time you make your reservation. Please discuss their documentation requirements for the Government rate when making the reservation.

Meals & Incidental Expenses:  Candidates who are in a travel status in excess of 12 hours will receive a pro-rated per diem allowance to cover costs of meals and other incidental expenses, subject to the rates specified in the Federal Travel Regulations. For current per diem amounts, see www.gsa.gov.Travelers are reimbursed at 75% of the M&IE rate on travel days. 

Taxi Fare / Public Transportation / Courtesy Shuttles: Candidates encouraged to use public transportation and shuttles whenever possible and where such transportation is readily available, typically train stations, airports, and hotels.   Candidates with multiple interviews should walk or use public transportation if reasonable and schedules permit.  Otherwise the use of cab or other modern travel services is permitted.  Please refer to the information listed in the directions to the interviewing component.  To receive reimbursement, candidates must save and submit all receipts.

Special Needs/Reasonable Accommodations: Costs associated with reasonable accommodations based on a disability or special need that affects your travel may be authorized. Contact Deana.Willis@usdoj.gov for a case-by-case determination before you travel.

Baggage fees: Interview candidates should check with the airline in advance regarding baggage fees. Most airlines permit travelers one carry-on bag at no additional cost. You may bring your carry-on bag/suitcase with you to your interview or ask your hotel if they offer a baggage hold.

E-Tickets: Candidates should check in using "e-ticket" kiosks at airports or, if possible, online. Some airlines now assess additional charges for counter check- in. Please note that the Department will not reimburse candidates for additional costs associated with check-in when a cost-free option is available.

How to Request Reimbursement / Reimbursement Form: Reimbursement is not automatic - you must submit a reimbursement request within two weeks of your interview using this reimbursement form. You are required to submit original receipts for lodging and for other expenses totaling $75 or more, and for taxi fare.  Please retain copies of your reimbursement request until your claim is settled.

Processing Time:  It can take 4 to 6 weeks to process a reimbursement request.  Reimbursement request processing may also be impacted by the November and December holiday periods.  Please review your request carefully to ensure that all the information is accurate prior to submitting it.  If you list an incorrect address or inaccurate bank information, the Department must track down a missent or misdelivered payment prior to authorizing a replacement payment.  To follow up on a submitted request, contact the CCS Staff at (202) 616-3803

Updated September 27, 2016