Fall 2018 Law Clerk - Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.
Law Student Volunteer, Academic Year
601 D Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
United States
About the Office: 

The Environment and Natural Resources Division litigates in five key areas: pollution, lands and natural resources, wildlife, Indian resources, and land acquisition. Attorneys represent many federal agencies by preparing and arguing civil and criminal enforcement cases, appeals, and by defending challenged federal agency actions arising from well over 100 federal environmental laws. Cases are at the cutting edge of environmental and natural resources practice. The Division’s work protects our environment for future generations.

Job Description: 

Assignments will vary. In general, interns assist the Division’s trial lawyers in preparing cases for filing and supporting the litigation effort post-filing, and assist the Division’s appellate lawyers in researching issues on appeal. Responsibilities typically include conducting legal research, drafting pleadings, discovery, and memoranda of law dealing with a variety of federal environmental and natural resource issues. The Division handles cases covering a broad spectrum of issues including the listing of endangered species and civil and criminal enforcement of federal pollution control laws. An internship provides an outstanding opportunity to work on cutting edge issues of environmental law.


ENRD prefers students with strong academic qualifications, research and writing skills, and those who have an interest in litigation, environmental law, and/or public interest law. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and successfully complete a background clearance prior to appointment. Applicants must have been residents of the United States for 3 of the previous 5 years prior to applying, with exceptions made for active duty military and Foreign Service employees.

Application Process: 

Applications for Fall 2018 law clerk positions at ENRD's D.C. office will be accepted from March 1st, 2018 – April 22nd, 2018.

During those dates, you may also apply for a volunteer legal internship in Washington, DC by submitting via email to applyintern.enrd@usdoj.gov the following materials:

Section application form

Cover letter stating hours/days available to work;

Resume (which includes your country of citizenship);

Writing sample;

Copy of your most recent transcript (official or unofficial);

Three references with contact information, including telephone and email (letters of recommendation not required); and

Specify the year and term (i.e., Fall 2018) that you’re applying for in your application and in the subject line of your application email. You must apply separately for each term.

Positions will be filled on a rolling basis.

Application Deadline: 
Sunday, April 22, 2018
Relocation Expenses: 
Number of Positions: 
Updated February 26, 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 targeted/severe disabilities are encouraged to register for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Shared List of People with Disabilities (the Bender Disability Employment Registry) by submitting their resume to resume@benderconsult.com and referencing "Federal Career Opportunities" in the subject line.  Additional information about the Bender Registry is available at www.benderconsult.com.  Individuals with disabilities may also contact one of the Department’s Disability Points of Contact (DPOC).  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 who have lived outside the United States for two or more of the past five years will likely have difficulty being approved for appointments by the Department Security Staff. The two-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.

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.