Unpaid Law Student Volunteer, Academic Year- Aviation and Admiralty Litigation

Torts-Aviation and Admiralty Litigation
Law Student Volunteer, Academic Year
1425 New York Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20005
United States
About the Office: 

The Aviation and Admiralty Litigation office defends and prosecutes lawsuits involving aviation and admiralty torts. A substantial amount of our cases arise from accidents.

Aviation tort lawsuits are brought under the Federal Tort Claims Act. Our primary aviation client agency is the Federal Aviation Administration. After an aircraft crash, the United States might be sued for alleged negligence in the fields of air traffic control, navigational charting, navigational equipment operation, marking of obstacles, aircraft inspection, or operation of its own aircraft. Other major aviation clients include the U.S. military, multiple agencies involved in aerial firefighting, and the Department of Commerce for cases involving weather-related accidents.

In the admiralty practice, we represent the United States in its role as a ship owner and regulator of the nation's coastal and inland waterways. We defend the Coast Guard in search and rescue activities. We defend the Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Commerce in navigation aid, obstruction, and charting cases. We represent the U.S. Navy in ship collision and other cases. We bring frequent affirmative claims, such as suing for cargo damage. The United States has a unique role in civil enforcement matters arising from oil spills, and can bring actions under the Clean Water Act, the Oil Pollution Act, and other statutes. Our office took affirmative action for the damages arising out of the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and BP oil spill.

The office is comprised of around 35 attorneys and 10 support personnel. The office is a close-knit group, affording opportunities for forging strong professional ties, mentor relationships, and lasting friendships.

Job Description: 

Legal research and writing focused on aviation and admiralty matters in federal court. Significant exposure to all aspects of federal court litigation with opportunities to work closely with Department of Justice trial attorneys.


First- or second-year law student at accredited school. Must be US citizen and must be able to work part-time during spring academic semester. School programs that permit academic credit are recognized.

Ideal candidate will be a member of the school's law review or comparable journal with demonstrated legal writing and research skills. No prior experience with aviation or admiralty law necessary.

Extension of internship to summer possible.

Uncompensated volunteer position.
Application Process: 

Deadline for spring semester internship application is January 18, 2016. Email a cover letter, resume, transcript (unofficial is acceptable) and writing sample to -- eric.johnson5@usdoj.gov. Please put in subject line "Law Student Intern Spring 2015" with applicant's name, e.g., "Law Student Intern Spring 2015. Eric Johnson."

Please indicate dates of availability during spring semester. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.


Number of Positions: 
Updated November 29, 2018

*         *         *

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).


*         *         *


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.