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Legal Careers

Law Student Volunteer, Fall 2016

Hiring Organization
Office of the Deputy Attorney General (ODAG)
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Office of the Deputy Attorney General (ODAG) at the United States Department of Justice seeks highly qualified law students to serve as volunteer interns during the Summer and Fall semesters of 2016.  A position as an ODAG intern provides an excellent opportunity to gain experience working in the leadership office of the Nation’s primary law enforcement agency and will provide interns with unique exposure to the justice system and its relationship with the White House, other federal agencies, state and local governments, and the public.  The internship is designed to provide students with a challenging experience that reflects the demands and rewards of public service.

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

Assignments reflect the broad range of challenging, complex, and sensitive issues that come before the Department’s leadership, many of which involve programs and initiatives of national significance. Legal interns will conduct legal and non-legal research and analysis, prepare memoranda and talking points, and assemble briefing books and other materials relating to legal and policy issues for the Deputy Attorney General, Associate Deputy Attorneys General, and other members of the office.

Summer Semester:  The internship program will last from June 2016 through August 2016
Fall Semester:  The internship program will last from August 2016 through December 2016

ODAG will consider part time and full time intern applicants. Part time interns are expected to work at least 15 hours per week for 10 consecutive weeks. Full time interns are expected to work at least 20 hours per week for 10 consecutive weeks. Interns may work Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 am and 6:00 pm. Applicants should indicate in their letter of interest whether they are applying to be a part time or full time intern.

Start dates will be determined upon selection and successful completion of all required background investigations.

Internships are only offered as student work-study programs and are not for compensation. Students accepted for an internship may earn academic credit while working in our office. If credit hours are desired, ODAG will coordinate with your institution and follow any necessary protocol to facilitate the awarding of credits.


Internship applicants must be United States citizens, and must have completed at least one year of law school before the start of the internship. Excellent research and writing skills with knowledge of Lexis/Nexis and Westlaw are required.

Please note that participation as a student intern is contingent upon the satisfactory completion of a background investigation. No intern will be allowed to work in any capacity before his or her background investigation is successfully completed. 

Application Process

Applicants are encouraged to submit a thorough application that illustrates qualifications, character, and commitment to public service. A completed application includes:

  • A letter of interest (no more than one page in length);
  • Resume with 3 references;
  • Writing sample (2 to 4 pages in length);
  • Transcripts (unofficial transcript acceptable); and
  • Two letters of recommendation.

Please send all documents in .PDF format. All typed documents shall be double-spaced and use 12 point font. The letter of interest should be addressed to the "ODAG Intern Coordinator."

Because ODAG receives numerous applications, we request that students only submit one complete application. Submitting duplicate or incomplete applications may affect efficient processing of your application. If applying for multiple semesters, please submit one application and indicate the semesters for which you are applying in your letter of interest and also reference each semester in the subject line of the email (see instructions and example below).

Please apply by forwarding a complete application to:

By Fax:  202-514-9077

By Email:

Please use the following subject line format if applying by email:  ODAG Internship Application – NAME – Semester 2016.  Example:  ODAG Internship Application (Legal) – JOHN DOE – Summer/Fall 2016

Application Deadlines

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis before and after the application deadline, so we encourage you to apply early. Positions are available for Summer and Fall semesters.

Application Deadline:
Summer Semester:  April 15, 2016
Fall Semester:  July 20, 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 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 1, 2016