Unpaid Law Student Volunteer, Summer- Consumer Protection Branch

Consumer Protection Branch
Law Student Volunteer, Summer
Washington, DC 20001
United States
About the Office: 

The Consumer Protection Branch (CPB) is responsible for protecting the health, safety, and economic security of the American consumer. CPB leads the Justice Department's efforts to enforce federal consumer protection statutes throughout the United States. Much of the litigation handled by CPB brings Congressional and media interest.

CPB is the only office in the Civil Division to handle criminal, as well as, civil litigation. CPB attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal and civil cases, including these areas:

- Adulterated, counterfeit, and misbranded food, drugs, and medical devices

- Hazardous and unsafe consumer products

- Fraudulent business opportunity, debt relief, lottery, mass-mailing and telemarketing schemes

- Automobile odometer tampering schemes

- Defensive litigation in challenges to federal policies, initiatives, and regulations about food, drugs, devices, and other consumer protection efforts

Recent examples of CPB cases include:

- Conviction of CEO for his role in the largest salmonella related recall in the United States

- Conviction of compounding pharmacy owner for racketeering related to nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak.

- $280 million judgment against Dish Network for do-not-call telemarketing violations

- $1.375 billion settlement with Standard & Poor's for defrauding investors

- Defense of FDA against attempt to stop approval of a generic drug

CPB works closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Federal Trade Commission, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, US Postal Inspection Service, and FDA's Office of Criminal Investigation.

Job Description: 

CPB legal interns work closely with attorneys on a broad range of challenging substantive assignments, including legal research projects, drafting pleadings and motions, attending court hearings and case meetings, and trial preparation. Interns are given ample opportunity to work on the many types of cases handled by CPB.

Examples of recent projects include:

- Research and prepare a memo about what privilege, if any, may apply between a corporation and a third-party consultant within a specific federal circuit

- Draft a motion seeking court authorization to disclose grand jury testimony

- Draft motions in limine on evidentiary issues for upcoming criminal trial

- Draft jury instructions in a criminal prosecution

- Research and prepare a memo about when a franchisor may be liable for the acts of a franchisee under a federal consumer protection statute

Interns have the opportunity to attend presentations about recent cases by CPB attorneys, in addition to participating in Department-wide training programs and special intern events.


Must have completed at least one year of law school by the start of the internship. Candidates should have strong analytical and writing abilities. Top third of class preferred. However, CPB considers the entire background and experience of candidates in assessing an application.

10 weeks minimum required; 40 hours per week.

Selected candidates must successfully complete a background investigation.

Academic or work-study credit possible. Transit subsidies are available.
Application Process: 

Applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, transcript (official or unofficial), and writing sample to CPB.lawintern@usdoj.gov. Include in the subject line of your message: "Law Intern Application - [Last Name]."

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Early applications encouraged.

Relocation Expenses: 
Number of Positions: 
Updated May 3, 2018

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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 color, race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, marital status, disability (physical or mental), age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as a parent, membership or non-membership in an employee organization, on the basis of personal favoritism, or any other non-merit 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.

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, https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/working-in-government/non-citizens/). 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, www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/SF15.pdf 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 his  or her retirement was due to a permanent service-connected disability or that he/she was transferred to the permanent disability retired list (the statement or retirement orders must indicate that the disability is 10% or more).


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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.