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Legal Careers

Unpaid Law Student Volunteer, Summer- C-ForLit

Hiring Organization
Civil Division (CIV)
Hiring Office
Office Of Foreign Litigation, Office of International Judicial Assistance
1100 L Street, NW
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
About the Office

The Office of Foreign Litigation (OFL) protects United States Government interests in litigation pending in foreign courts, whether civil or criminal, affirmative or defensive. Most OFL cases are defensive, and they reflect the wide range of the United States Government's international activities. OFL also conducts affirmative litigation, including litigation aimed at fighting cross-border fraud, such as telemarketing fraud, that targets American citizens. When appropriate, OFL represents the interests of the United States Government in foreign criminal proceedings.

The Office of International Judicial Assistance (OIJA) acts as the United States Central Authority for incoming requests for international judicial assistance in civil or commercial matters pursuant to several treaties. Each year, OIJA receives over 600 requests for evidence located within the United States from foreign courts. OIJA also serves as the Central Authority under the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters, the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory (1984), and the Additional Protocol to the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory (1988), for purposes of service, and service requests received from non-Convention states through diplomatic channels.

As the federal agency whose mission is to ensure the fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans, the Department of Justice is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment. To build and retain a workforce that reflects the diverse experiences and perspectives of the American people, we welcome applicants from the many communities, identities, races, ethnicities, backgrounds, abilities, religions, and cultures of the United States who share our commitment to public service.

Job Description

Assignments: Although a student intern's responsibilities will vary depending upon the needs of the office, interns typically work on complex international legal topics related to OFL cases and conduct legal research and analysis prior to drafting memoranda. For OIJA, interns review incoming Letters of Request for judicial assistance from foreign courts for treaty compliance, preparing rejection or referral letters, as appropriate. Interns also conduct legal or factual research and prepare memoranda concerning issues arising from requests for judicial assistance or in the context of foreign litigation. The research often entails matters of customary international law.

Internship Location:  Washington, DC

Minimum Weeks Required:  10 weeks


Interns must be United States citizens and meet certain residency requirements. Candidates must have lived in the United States for at least three of the past five years.  The three-year period is cumulative, not necessarily consecutive. Interns must also demonstrate strong research and writing skills. Foreign language proficiency is helpful.  Completion of a basic international law course is preferred.

Application Process

Please send your cover letter, resume, transcript (official or unofficial), brief writing sample to Indicate that you are applying for a full-time position in the subject line of your email.

Office of Foreign Litigation
Office of International Judicial Assistance
Civil Division
U.S. Department of Justice
1100 L Street, NW
Washington, DC 20530
ATTN: Intern Coordinator

Application Deadline: Open on a rolling basis.


Unpaid; academic or work-study credit possible depending on school requirements.

Number of Positions
Relocation Expenses

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Department Policies

Equal Employment Opportunity:  The U.S. Department of Justice is an Equal Opportunity/Reasonable Accommodation Employer.  Except where otherwise provided by law, there will be no discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex - including gender identity, sexual orientation, or pregnancy status - or because of age (over 40), physical or mental disability, protected genetic information, parental status, marital status, political affiliation, or any other non-merit based factor.  The Department of Justice welcomes and encourages applications from persons with physical and mental disabilities. The Department is firmly committed to satisfying its affirmative obligations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to ensure that persons with disabilities have every opportunity to be hired and advanced on the basis of merit within the Department of Justice. For more information, please review our full EEO Statement.

Reasonable Accommodations:  This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency.  Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Outreach and Recruitment for Qualified Applicants with Disabilities:  The Department encourages qualified applicants with disabilities, including individuals with targeted/severe disabilities to apply in response to posted vacancy announcements.  Qualified applicants with targeted/severe disabilities may be eligible for direct hire, non-competitive appointment under Schedule A (5 C.F.R. § 213.3102(u)) hiring authority.  Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to contact one of the Department’s Disability Points of Contact (DPOC) to express an interest in being considered for a position. See list of DPOCs.   

Suitability and Citizenship:  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 which screens for illegal drug use prior to final appointment.  Employment is also contingent upon the completion and satisfactory adjudication of a background investigation. Congress generally prohibits agencies from employing non-citizens within the United States, except for a few narrow exceptions as set forth in the annual Appropriations Act (see, Pursuant to DOJ component policies, only U.S. citizens are eligible for employment with the Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Trustee’s Offices, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Unless otherwise indicated in a particular job advertisement, qualifying non-U.S. citizens meeting immigration and appropriations law criteria may apply for employment with other DOJ organizations. However, please be advised that the appointment of non-U.S. citizens is extremely rare; such appointments would be possible only if necessary to accomplish the Department's mission and would be subject to strict security requirements. Applicants who hold dual citizenship in the U.S. and another country will be considered on a case-by-case basis. All DOJ employees are subject to a residency requirement. Candidates must have lived in the United States for at least three of the past five years. The three-year period is cumulative, not necessarily consecutive. Federal or military employees, or dependents of federal or military employees serving overseas, are excepted from this requirement. This is a Department security requirement which is waived only for extreme circumstances and handled on a case-by-case basis.

Veterans:  There is no formal rating system for applying veterans' preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, the Department of Justice considers veterans' preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring. Applicants eligible for veterans' preference must include that information in their cover letter or resume and attach supporting documentation (e.g., the DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and other supporting documentation) to their submissions. Although the "point" system is not used, per se, applicants eligible to claim 10-point preference must submit Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, and submit the supporting documentation required for the specific type of preference claimed (visit the OPM website, for a copy of SF 15, which lists the types of 10-point preferences and the required supporting document(s). Applicants should note that SF 15 requires supporting documentation associated with service- connected disabilities or receipt of nonservice-connected disability pensions to be dated 1991 or later except in the case of service members submitting official statements or retirement orders from a branch of the Armed Forces showing that their retirement was due to a permanent service-connected disability or that they were transferred to the permanent disability retired list (the statement or retirement orders must indicate that the disability is 10% or more).

USAO Residency Requirement:  Assistant United States Attorneys must reside in the district to which appointed or within 25 miles thereof.  See 28 U.S.C. 545 for district specific information.

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This and other vacancy announcements can be found under Attorney Vacancies and Volunteer Legal Internships. The Department of Justice cannot control further dissemination and/or posting of information contained in this vacancy announcement. Such posting and/or dissemination is not an endorsement by the Department of the organization or group disseminating and/or posting the information.

Updated October 16, 2023