Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Legal Intern

Law Student Volunteer, Academic Year
washington, DC 20530
United States
About the Office: 

The mission of the Human Rights and Specials Prosecutions Section is to enforce federal laws relating to: (1) complex immigration and border crimes; (2) international human rights violations; and (3) certain federal crimes of violence committed outside the United States.

HRSP is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of select torture, genocide, war crimes and female genital mutilation cases. In addition to the criminal prosecution of these crimes, HRSP detects, investigates, and takes legal action to denaturalize naturalized U.S. citizens who, prior to their naturalization, participated abroad in acts of genocide or in acts of torture or extrajudicial killings committed under color of foreign law. The Section is also responsible for detecting, investigating and taking legal action to denaturalize and/or deport U.S. citizens or residents who participated in Nazi-sponsored acts of persecution between 1933 and 1945.

Additionally, HRSP investigates and prosecutes complex immigration cases involving alien smuggling, trafficking in fraudulent travel and identification documents, and international criminal travel networks, particularly those that pose potential national security threats. In addition, HRSP is the Department’s central point of contact regarding Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (MEJA) investigations and prosecutions which involve felonies committed by overseas military contractors, families of military members and overseas U.S. government employees whose mission supports the Department of Defense. Aside from its operational work, HRSP designs, implements, and supports law enforcement efforts, legislative initiatives, policies and strategies relating to these areas.

Job Description: 

Law interns will conduct substantial legal research and writing assignments in the areas of international, criminal, and immigration law. Law interns will also conduct factual research, review and organize documents, and work on policy matters.

Qualifications: 

Second- and third-year law students; full-time International or Comparative Law LL.M. candidates who are not employed while pursuing their advanced degree.

Applicants must have: (1) a strong academic background; (2) excellent research and writing skills; and (3) experience or interest in criminal and international law.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens. The U.S. Department of Justice is an Equal Opportunity/Reasonable Accommodation Employer.

It is the policy of the Department to achieve a drug-free workplace, and the candidate(s) selected will be required to pass a drug test to screen for illegal drug use. Internship opportunities are also contingent upon the satisfactory completion of a background investigation adjudicated by the Department of Justice.

Salary: 
Volunteer (without compensation) or work-study credit only.
Application Process: 

Please submit via e-mail a cover letter (including dates available), resume, writing sample (not to exceed 10 pages), transcript (official or unofficial), and three references.

All applications must be submitted to the HRSPInterns@usdoj.gov.

Deadlines:

Fall: May 1

Spring: October 1

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

Minimum Weeks Required: Full semester (15 to 20 hours per week; full time externships are also available)

Updated March 8, 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.