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Legal Careers

Law Student Volunteer, Academic Year

Hiring Organization
USAO District of Minnesota
300 South Fourth Street, Suite 600
Minneapolis, MN 55415 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The 94 United States Attorney's Offices located throughout the country conduct most of the criminal prosecutions and civil litigation handled by the Department of Justice. These offices serve as the critical prosecuting arm of the Department of Justice, responsible for ensuring that the investigative efforts of the law enforcement agencies are pursued, and as the nation's legal advocates and defenders in civil suits brought by and against the federal government.

Minnesota's Criminal Division is comprised of four sections: Fraud and Public Corruption, Major Crimes and Priority Prosecutions, OCDETF and Violent Crime, and Special Prosecutions. Criminal Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSAs) are responsible for prosecuting all federal crimes committed in Minnesota, from acts of terrorism to public corruption, white-collar crime, organized crime and gang activities, internet-related crimes, and many other criminal acts.

Minnesota's Civil Division represents the United States in all civil actions brought to federal or state court in Minnesota in which the federal government is a party. Civil AUSAs represent the interests of the United States as a defendant whenever it or one of the federal agencies, its officers or agents is sued. These defensive matters include employment disputes, medical malpractice, wrongful death, auto accidents, other tort actions, etc. Civil AUSAs also represent the interests of the United States as a plaintiff in affirmative litigation. This work includes civil fraud litigation and civil rights investigations and litigation conducted under the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

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

The USAO for the District of Minnesota seeks part-time, volunteer law interns to join us to support the missions of both the Criminal and Civil Divisions of the Office. Law interns perform research and writing projects, and assist in appellate work and trial preparation. Interns will be given assignments in as many different divisions and units as possible, providing exposure to a wide variety of practice areas and a number of Assistant U.S. Attorneys. Interns also attend court proceedings as well as monthly brown bag lunches at which AUSAs, the defense bar, the federal judiciary, and federal agents speak. The goal is for law interns to see the federal legal system at work, develop their legal skills and, above all, enjoy their experience.

Law interns are expected to volunteer with the Office for at least 10 hours per week. The work schedule is flexible to accommodate each intern's class commitments. The Spring term runs from approximately January 11, 2016 until two weeks prior to the beginning of each intern's final exams. Interns may be located in either the St. Paul or the Minneapolis USAO offices.


The USAO is seeking law students who have completed their first or second year of law school, with excellent legal research, analysis, writing, and professionalism skills, and a demonstrated passion or interest in public service. Applicants must be U.S. citizens. Due to the sensitive nature of the work performed by the Office, all offers to candidates are conditioned upon the successful completion of a required, thorough federal background check.

Application Process

Please submit the following by October 9, 2015:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Law school transcript
  • Legal writing sample - NTE 10 pages
  • Two letters of recommendation

Submit completed applications electronically to:

or in hard copy to:

United States Attorney's Office
Attn: Human Resources Office
600 United States Courthouse
300 South Fourth Street
Minneapolis, MN 55415


Student volunteers, uncompensated. The United States Attorney's Office will work with law schools that offer academic course credit or work-study.

Number of Positions

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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 April 7, 2016