Law Student Volunteer - Spring 2019

Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer
Law Student Volunteer, Academic Year
5107 Leesburg Pike
Suite 2519
Falls Church, VA 22041
United States
About the Office: 

The Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) is one of three adjudicatory components within the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). Administrative Law Judges in OCAHO hear cases and adjudicate issues arising under provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) relating to: (1) knowingly hiring, recruiting, referring for a fee, or continuing to employ unauthorized workers, failure to comply with employment eligibility verification requirements, or requiring indemnity bonds from employees in violation of section 274A of the INA; (2) immigration-related unfair employment practices in violation of section 274B of the INA; and immigration-related document fraud in violation of section 274C of the INA. Hearings are conducted under applicable laws and regulations, including the general requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act. More information about OCAHO can be found at

Job Description: 

The law student volunteer works with OCAHO's attorneys and Administrative Law Judges on cases, regulations, and legal issues within OCAHO's areas of jurisdiction. Tasks may include conducting legal research, drafting legal memoranda, drafting orders and decisions, reviewing proposed regulations, and assisting with analysis and implementation of new initiatives.


Applicants should have strong legal research and writing skills. Experience with and interest in employment law, immigration law, and/or administrative law is preferred but not necessarily required. First-, second-, and third-year law students, joint degree students, and LL.M. students are eligible to apply. Applicants must be U.S. citizens.

Application Process: 

Interested candidates should send a cover letter, resume, writing sample (preferably no longer than 15 pages), and transcript (unofficial is fine) to Elizabeth Vayo at In either the email or the cover letter, candidates should indicate their anticipated dates of availability for the Spring semester.

The application deadline for the Spring 2019 semester is October 1, 2018. However, applications are considered on a rolling basis and the position may be filled before the application deadline. Candidates are also encouraged to apply early in order to allow time for a background check if selected.

Application Deadline: 
Monday, October 1, 2018
Number of Positions: 
Updated April 25, 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, 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.