Law Student Volunteer (Fall 2020, Spring 2021 or Summer 2021)

Law Student Volunteer, Academic Year
441 G Street, NW
6th Floor
Washington, DC 20530-0001
United States
About the Office: 

The Office of Information Policy manages the Department's responsibilities related to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which includes processing FOIA requests for the Senior Leadership Offices with the Department, coordinating and implementing policy development and compliance government-wide for the FOIA, adjudicating all appeals from denials by any Department component under the FOIA, and handling the defense of certain FOIA Matters in litigation.  In addition, OIP promotes transparency and accountability across the government through training for FOIA professionals and reporting on FOIA administration. 

Location: Washington, D.C.

Our office places a high value on diversity of experiences and perspectives and encourages applications from all qualified individuals from all ethnic and racial backgrounds, veterans, LGBT individuals, and persons with disabilities.
Job Description: 

Applicants will work primarily with one of three teams in the Office. 

1. Administrative Appeals Intern will assist with the adjudication of FOIA appeals, will conduct legal research and provide legal advice involving inquiries and assignments related to the application of FOIA access laws. 

2. Initial Request Processing Intern will assist in responding to FOIA requests, conduct research and analyze the contents of records to make disclosure determinations under FOIA, interpret and apply applicable statutes, rules, regulations, and executive orders as they pertain to FOIA requests. 

3. Initial Request Litigation Intern will assist in responding to FOIA requests, conduct research and analyze the contents of records to make disclosure determinations under FOIA, interpret and apply applicable statutes, rules, regulations, and executive orders as they pertain to FOIA requests, and will also assist on cases in litigation, including reviewing court filings and drafting declarations. 

Please indicate in your application which team/s you are primarily interested in working with. 

For the Fall semester, interns should be able to start in early September.  For the Spring semester, interns should be able to start by early January.  We accept both full and part-time students during the academic year, and ask that all interns commit to at least 16-20 hours a week, for approximately 12 weeks.  Interested candidates may be offered the opportunity to continue their service into the Summer.  Please indicate in your application whether you are interested in full-time or part-time, and for part-time indicate the number of hours per week you are interested in working. 


Applicants should have excellent academic credentials, strong research and writing skills, be detail oriented and have good interpersonal skills.  This position is limited to U.S. Citizens only and successful applicants must also pass a background check prior to starting in our office.  

Volunteer (Uncompensated); The Office will work with you to meet school requirements for academic credit or work study whenever possible.
Application Process: 

Candidates should submit an application packet in PDF form to the Office of Information Policy including the following:

1. A cover letter describing your interest in an internship with the Office of Information Policy

2. Resume

3. Your most recent available academic transcript

4. Writing Sample

5. A list of three References

Please email packet to Laurie Day at

No telephone calls please. 

For Spring 2021 internships, applications are due by November 10, 2020.  Please mark "Spring Law Clerk" in the subject line of your email.  OIP expects all interns to be able to work physically in the office.  However, given the uncertainly surrounding COVID-19, OIP will work with interns to provide flexibility as circumstances may warrant during the semester, but also ensure that students fulfill their school requirements. 

For Summer 2021 internships, applications are due by January 30, 2021.  Please mark "Summer Law Clerk" in the subject line of your email. 

For Fall internships, applications are due by June 1, 2021.  Please mark "Fall Law Clerk" in the subject line of your email. 

Number of Positions: 
Updated September 10, 2020

*         *         *

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, protected genetic information, pregnancy, status as a parent, or any other nonmerit-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 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.