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Legal Careers

Law Student Volunteer

Hiring Organization
Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD)
Hiring Office
Denver Field Office
999 18th Street, Suite 370, South Terrace
Denver, CO 80202 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) 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.  
The Spring 2021 law clerk positions offered in the Denver Field Office is a joint position specifically for the Environmental Enforcement Section (EES) and Environmental Defense Section (EDS). For more information on the work completed by these Sections please visit:

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

ENRD's Denver Field Office is seeking up to two (2) law students (one full-time or two part-time) with a strong interest in gaining practical experience in environmental law and litigation for the Spring 2021 semester. This is a joint position, meaning that the selected individual(s) will be working with attorneys in both the Environmental Enforcement and Environmental Defense Sections. 
While assignments will vary, law clerks are typically called upon to conduct legal research; draft legal memoranda; draft portions of motions, briefs, and written discovery; present findings on research assignments to attorneys and client agency counsel; and attend settlement and case planning sessions with client agency counsel and technical experts. Law clerks may also attend or assist with local site visits, witness interviews, depositions, and hearings taking place in or near Denver, dependent on current case load. Our attorneys make every effort to provide each student with challenging work in as many areas of our practice as possible.
Full and part-time positions are available for the Spring 2021 semester. In an effort to provide a broad assignment experience, selected part-time students will be paired together to work cooperatively on a full-time assignment load.


Student applicants must: (1) hold full or dual United States citizenship, to be identified in the cover letter or resume; (2) have resided within the United States for three of the past five years, unless military/diplomatic service was involved; (3) be in good standing at their law school, with a strong interest in gaining practical experience in environmental law; and (4) complete a minimum of two semesters of law school before the Spring 2021 semester, with successful completion of at least one introductory environmental law course.  
To ensure a broad and rewarding educational internship experience, a minimum of 20-24 hours a week is recommended for part-time applicants.

Application Process

Applications for the Spring 2021 law clerk position(s) with the Denver Field Office will be accepted September 23, 2021- October 14, 2021. Interviews will be completed by November 2, 2020. Hiring decisions will be made on a rolling basis. 
Please email completed application to:  
In the email subject line please note: "Denver Field Office - Spring 2021 Law Clerk Application" 
Full-Time Applicants:
- Cover Letter (1 page)
- Current Resume 
- Unofficial Law School Transcript
- Writing Sample (11 pages maximum)
- 3 References
Part-Time Applicants: 
- Cover letter (1 page - must also indicate hours/days available to work) 
- Current Resume 
- Unofficial Law School Transcript 
- Writing Sample (11 page maximum) 
- 3 References


Uncompensated, but will work with law school programs that offer academic course credit

Number of Positions
One (1) Full-Time or Two (2) Part-Time Law Clerk Positions to jointly work with the Environmental Enforcement Section and Environmental Defense Section in the Denver Field Office
Relocation Expenses
Relocation expenses are not authorized.

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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.

Updated September 22, 2020