Unpaid Law Student Volunteer, Academic Year- Office of Foreign Litigation

Office of Foreign Litigation, Office of International Judicial Assistance
Law Student Volunteer, Academic Year
1100 L Street, NW
Washington, DC 20530
United States
About the Office: 

The Office of Foreign Litigation (OFL) protects United States Government interests in litigation pending in foreign courts, whether civil or criminal, affirmative or defensive. Most OFL cases are defensive, and they reflect the wide range of the United States Government's international activities. OFL also conducts affirmative litigation, including litigation aimed at fighting cross-border fraud, such as telemarketing fraud, that targets American citizens. When appropriate, OFL represents the interests of the United States Government in foreign criminal proceedings.

The Office of International Judicial Assistance (OIJA) acts as the United States Central Authority for incoming requests for international judicial assistance in civil or commercial matters pursuant to several treaties. Each year, OIJA receives over 600 requests for evidence located within the United States from foreign courts. OIJA also serves as the Central Authority under the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters, the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory (1984), and the Additional Protocol to the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory (1988), for purposes of service, and service requests received from non-Convention states through diplomatic channels.

Job Description: 

Assignments: Although a student intern's responsibilities will vary depending upon the needs of the office, interns typically work on complex international legal topics related to OFL cases and conduct legal research and analysis prior to drafting memoranda. For OIJA, interns review incoming Letters of Request for judicial assistance from foreign courts for treaty compliance, preparing rejection or referral letters, as appropriate. Interns also conduct legal or factual research and prepare memoranda concerning issues arising from requests for judicial assistance or in the context of foreign litigation. The research often entails matters of customary international law.

Internship Location:  Washington, DC

Minimum Work Requirements:  20 hours per week.  We expect that you will work for the full semester per your school’s academic calendar.


Interns must be United States citizens and meet certain residency requirements. 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. Students will preferably be 2Ls and must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00.  Interns must also demonstrate strong research and writing skills. Foreign language proficiency is helpful.  Completion of a basic international law course is preferred. 

Unpaid; academic or work-study credit possible depending on school requirements.
Application Process: 

Please send your cover letter, resume, transcript (official or unofficial), brief writing sample to OFLIntern@usdoj.gov. Indicate the semester for which you are applying in the subject line of your email.

Office of Foreign Litigation
Office of International Judicial Assistance
Civil Division
U.S. Department of Justice
1100 L Street, NW
Washington, DC 20530
ATTN: Intern Coordinator

Application Deadline: Open on a rolling basis.

Relocation Expenses: 
Number of Positions: 
Updated November 29, 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, 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 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, 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.