Law Student Volunteer

Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada
Law Student Volunteer, Academic Year
501 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Suite 1100
Las Vegas, NV 89101
United States
About the Office: 

The United States Attorney's Office serves as the principal litigator for the federal government in the District of Nevada. Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSAs) in the District’s two offices (Las Vegas and Reno) have the responsibility and authority to prosecute violations of federal criminal statutes and defend the government in civil actions.

AUSAs in the Office’s Criminal Division work with numerous federal law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, ATF, and DEA, to investigate federal crimes and build criminal cases. After charges are filed, these AUSAs represent the United States in federal court, from a defendant’s initial appearance through trial.

The Office’s Civil Division represents the federal government in virtually all civil litigation involving the United States in Nevada and offers perhaps the most challenging and diverse caseload of any law office, public or private, in the country. The AUSAs in the Civil Division defend agencies of the United States, enforce regulatory agencies’ authority, and recover funds from violators of federal criminal, regulatory, and civil laws on behalf of victims and taxpayers.

For more information, please visit the Office’s website (

Job Description: 

An internship with the U.S. Attorney’s Office offers a unique and challenging experience for the highly motivated law student: an opportunity to work on some of the most significant, complex, and visible cases being litigated today. 


Interns in the Criminal Division will work with experienced AUSAs to:

  • Research legal issues presented in the Office’s criminal cases.
  • Draft indictments, motions, briefs, legal memos, and trial documents.
  • Evaluate potential charges against targets of investigations.
  • Prepare cases for hearing or trial.
  • Participate in witness interviews and review evidence.
  • Assist appellate attorneys with legal research, brief drafting, and oral argument preparation in Ninth Circuit criminal cases.
  • Participate in hearings before a U.S. Magistrate or District Judge (if the intern has completed courses covering evidence and professional responsibility). Hearings may include detention hearings, evidentiary hearings, and oral arguments.
  • Observe court proceedings, including trials, evidentiary hearings, and sentencings.


Interns in the Civil Division will work with experienced AUSAs to:

  • Research substantive legal issues on a wide variety of claims including those arising under the Federal Tort Claims Act, constitutional torts, employment discrimination (Title VII), the False Claims Act, Administrative Procedures Act, and enforcement of public land management matters.
  • Research substantive and procedural issues arising under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Federal Rules of Evidence, and Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.
  • Assist attorneys in preparing responsive and affirmative documents, including but not limited to drafting complaints, answers, motions, briefs, discovery requests, declarations, and orders.
  • Participate in and help prepare for depositions and hearings before a U.S. Magistrate or District Court Judge. (Interns may only make argument or take or defend depositions if they have completed courses covering evidence and professional responsibility.)
  • Participate in alternative dispute resolution proceedings, including early neutral evaluations, mediation, and court ordered settlement conferences.

To be eligible for this position, an applicant must (1) be a law student who has completed all first-year courses (law graduates are not eligible for this position); (2) be available to extern a minimum of 16 hours per week for at least ten weeks; (3) be a U.S. citizen who has lived in the United States for three of the last five years; and (4) pass a background investigation due to the sensitive nature of the work performed by the Office.

This internship position is unpaid, but we will gladly work with law schools and students to assist in arranging for any available course credit.
Application Process: 

Applicants must submit a cover letter, resume, unofficial law school transcript, and a legal writing sample by email to Tony Lopez ( The cover letter should identify (1) whether the applicant seeks to intern for the Criminal or Civil Division; and (2) the office (Las Vegas or Reno) to which the applicant is applying. The application deadline for Fall 2018 is June 15, 2018.

Application Deadline: 
Friday, June 15, 2018
Number of Positions: 
5 (3-4 Criminal; 1-2 Civil) across two offices (Las Vegas; Reno).
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.