Law Student Volunteer, Academic Year

Office of the General Counsel
Law Student Volunteer, Academic Year
441 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20530
United States
About the Office: 

The Executive Office for U.S. Trustees is the headquarters of the United States Trustee Program (USTP). The USTP is a litigating component of the Department of Justice (DOJ) with responsibility for overseeing nearly all bankruptcy cases filed in the United States. Its employees in Washington DC and in 93 field office locations across the country handle a wide range of administrative, regulatory and enforcement matters. The USTP's mission is to promote integrity and efficiency of the bankruptcy system for the benefit of all stakeholders - debtors, creditors, and the public. Of particular importance are the USTP's efforts to address fraud and abuse by debtors, creditors and others in the bankruptcy system by taking both formal and informal civil enforcement actions and making criminal referrals to U.S. Attorneys as appropriate.

The USTP places a high value on diversity of experience and cultural perspectives and encourages applications from all interested candidates, including candidates from all ethnic and racial backgrounds, women, LGBT individuals, veterans, and individuals with disabilities.

Job Description: 

Law student volunteers at the Executive Office work for the Office of the General Counsel (OGC). OGC is responsible for coordinating, directing and developing legal policies, procedures and litigating positions for the USTP in enforcing the Bankruptcy Code, and seeing that institutional interests of the USTP are properly asserted and defended. OGC handles its responsibilities through four legal practice groups, each with a specialized focus: Appellate, Chapter 11, Consumer, and General and Administrative.

OGC interns conduct research and assist attorneys in each practice group area on a wide variety of matters, including drafting and editing memoranda and USTP guidance, court pleadings, and appellate briefs, participating in moot courts to prepare attorneys for trial, FOIA and Privacy Act issues, and attending Congressional hearings and preparing summaries for senior leadership. They also participate in DOJ-wide training and events, attend bankruptcy court hearings and visit local field offices.

Working for the Executive Office and the OGC is an excellent introduction to the federal legal system and federal agency operations.


First-year (second semester), second- and third-year law students are encouraged to apply. Superior research and writing skills are essential, as well as an eye for detail, a desire to work as part of a small team of professionals, and a commitment to fairness and integrity in the administration of the bankruptcy system. This is an excellent opportunity for students with a background and interest in policy making, bankruptcy, administrative law, and legislation. Must be a U.S. citizen. Interns must be able to commit a minimum of 20 hours per week for 8 continuous weeks in the fall and spring, and 8 to 10 weeks during the summer.

Volunteer (uncompensated). Course credit, work-study and externship opportunities are available depending on school requirements.
Application Process: 

Applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, current law school transcript and legal writing sample (5-10 pages only) via email to Duane Currie at All documents should be in .PDF format. Applications will be reviewed as they are received, until the application deadline. To be considered for the Spring 2015 internship, please submit your application materials no later than November 15, 2014.

Application Deadline: 
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Number of Positions: 
Spring and Fall: 1-2; Summer: 2
Updated April 7, 2016

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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 targeted/severe disabilities are encouraged to register for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Shared List of People with Disabilities (the Bender Disability Employment Registry) by submitting their resume to and referencing "Federal Career Opportunities" in the subject line.  Additional information about the Bender Registry is available at  Individuals with disabilities may also contact one of the Department’s Disability Points of Contact (DPOC).  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.