Law Student Volunteer, Academic Year, Capital Case Section

Capital Case Section
Law Student Volunteer, Academic Year
1331 F Street, N.W., 6th Floor
Washington, DC 20530-0001
United States
About the Office: 

The Capital Case Section (CCS) was created in response to the Department's increased involvement in capital litigation. CCS’s mission is two-fold: First, CCS is responsible for assisting the Attorney General’s Review Committee on Capital Cases in its evaluation of potential death penalty matters. CCS conducts an analysis of all cases in which a United States Attorney charged or could have charged a crime punishable by death. CCS advises the Committee in relation to the factual and legal issues relevant to the Committee’s recommendation to the Attorney General regarding whether to seek the death penalty.  CCS attorneys also provide legal, procedural, and policy guidance to the United States Attorneys’ Offices handling capital investigations and prosecutions.

Additionally, CCS provides direct litigation support to USAOs handling capital cases. This support takes various forms depending upon the needs in a given case.  CCS employs prosecutors who have previously tried capital cases and are available to serve as co-counsel with AUSAs in their pending capital prosecutions. CCS attorneys may also assist in a more limited fashion. CCS supports all phases of pre-trial litigation, provides guidance in selecting death qualified juries and helps construct penalty phase evidentiary presentations. CCS also provides training and resource materials to federal prosecutors handling capital cases. CCS maintains trial and appellate materials related to federal capital prosecutions which are shared with USAOs across the United States.

Job Description: 

Interns work directly with attorneys on issues pertaining to cases in litigation and under review for potential pursuit of the death penalty. The unit is small and the work varies with the demands on the office at any given point in time.

Internship Location:  Washington, DC

Minimum Weeks Required:  10 - 12

Minimum Hours Required: 20 hours per week


Applicants for law internship positions must be enrolled in law school and have: (1) a strong academic background; (2) excellent research and writing skills; and (3) a sincere interest in criminal prosecution.

We work with law schools to fulfill the requirements necessary for credit.
Application Process: 

To be considered, applicants should e-mail one consolidated .pdf file (required) which includes a cover letter, resume, legal writing sample (10 pages or less), and law school transcript to the two individuals listed below.  Emails with multiple files will not be considered.

U.S. Department of Justice
Criminal Division
1331 F Street,  N.W., 6th Floor
Washington, DC 20530-0001


No calls please. 

Application Deadline:  Rolling basis

Number of Positions: 
1-3, dependent on the needs of the office at any given time
Updated October 17, 2019

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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, protected genetic information, pregnancy, status as a parent, or any other nonmerit-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 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.