Law Student (Intern) Volunteer, Fall Academic Year

Criminal, Civil, Appellate, Asset Forfeiture Divisions, in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Fort Pierce, Florida
Law Student Volunteer, Academic Year
99 NE 4th Street
Miami, FL 33132
United States
About the Office: 

The United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida (“USAO-SDFL”) is responsible for representing the federal government in litigation involving the United States in the Southern District of Florida, one of the largest Districts in the country. This includes criminal prosecutions for violations of federal law, civil lawsuits by and against the United States, actions to collect judgments and restitution on behalf of victims and taxpayers, and civil rights litigation. The main office of the USAO-SDFL is in Miami, and there are branch offices in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Fort Pierce.

The USAO-SDFL places a high value on diversity of experiences and perspectives and encourages applications from qualified individuals representing all ethnic and racial backgrounds, veterans, LGBT individuals, and persons with disabilities.

About Our Internship Program:

Law Clerk Interns (“Interns”) are assigned to one of the Offices and Divisions within the Office for the duration of the internship.

  • The Criminal Division prosecutes violations of federal criminal law, including narcotics, fraud, environmental, bank robbery, firearms, child exploitation, and human trafficking crimes. Interns assigned to the Criminal Division in the Miami Office will be assigned to one of the following sections: Economic & Environmental Crimes, Major Crimes, Special Prosecutions, International Narcotics and Money Laundering, and Collateral Litigation. Interns in the Criminal Divisions in the Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Fort Pierce offices will work on a wide range of criminal cases.
  • The Civil Division investigates and litigates False Claims Act cases involving Health Care Fraud and other fraud on the United States and defends government agencies and employees who have been named as defendants in civil actions involving discrimination, bankruptcy, immigration, and the Federal Tort Claims Act. Interns in the Civil Division will be assigned to either the Miami or Ft. Lauderdale offices.
  • The Appellate Division works on matters representing the United States in both criminal and civil appeals. Interns in the Appellate Division will be assigned to the Miami office.
  • The Asset Forfeiture Division works in both the criminal and civil areas to seize property which has been identified as subject to forfeiture to the United States. Interns in the Asset Forfeiture Division will be assigned to the Miami office.


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: 

The goal of the USAO-SDFL is to introduce Interns to the federal legal system, to develop and refine their legal research and writing skills, and above all to make their time at the Office enjoyable and worthwhile. During the Fall Academic Term, Interns research and draft memoranda and pretrial, trial, and appellate briefs and motions. Interns work directly with AUSAs on both short and long-term projects.

Interns are strongly encouraged to attend and observe witness interviews, depositions, court proceedings, including trials and appellate arguments and to attend office training programs. While Interns work with a variety of AUSAs, each Intern has one supervising attorney who provides assistance and support consistently throughout the Fall Term.

Internship Locations: Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Fort Pierce. All interns will work in office and not remotely.

Hours/Weeks Required: 160 hours (minimum) 6 – 10 weeks. Under certain circumstances and if feasible, we are amenable to permitting interns to work more than 240 hours if necessary to meet their law school externship requirements. The application cover letter should make clear if the student desires to work more than 240 hours in an academic term.


First-year (second semester), second and third-year law students with strong academic record. Applicant must be enrolled in an accredited law school at least half-time. Law school graduates and graduating students are not eligible.

Due to the nature of the USAO’s work, before beginning employment, Applicants who are offered an internship, must pass a required security background investigation that can take up to three months to complete.

Interns are uncompensated. School credit is possible at the discretion of the law school. Interns are responsible for all parking expenses incurred.
Application Process: 

Applicants must submit their Applicant packet via e-mail to The subject line of the e-mail should specify the Applicant’s First Name, Middle Initial, Last Name - “Fall 2023 USAO-SD Fla Internship Application.”

The Application package shall include the following in ONE PDF document (in the order listed below) labeled: Applicant’s First Name, Middle Initial, Last Name - Fall 2023 USAO-SD Fla Internship Application:

  • A cover letter, addressed to the Volunteer Law Internship Committee, describing the Applicant’s interest in working as a Law Clerk Intern with the USAO-SDFL and indicating the Applicant’s Office preference(s) (e.g., Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and/or Fort Pierce, Florida – more than one is acceptable). If the Applicant specifies the Miami Criminal Division as a preference, the applicant should specify the Section(s) within that Division in which they are interested;
  • Resume;
  • The Applicant’s most recent available law school transcript (2L Applicants may also include their final undergraduate and any post-graduate transcript); and
  • A writing sample (no more than 5-10 pages in length).

Application Deadline: Fall Semester Internship Applications must be submitted by May l preceding the Fall Academic Term. Please note that incomplete applications and applications received after the Application Deadline will not be considered.

Start Date: Fall Semester program typically begins after Labor Day and ends by mid-December.

Number of Positions: 
District-wide: 6-12 students for the Fall Program.
Updated March 16, 2023

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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.