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Legal Careers

Law Student Volunteer, Spring 2024/ Summer 2024/ Fall 2024, Counterintelligence and Export Control Section

Hiring Organization
National Security Division (NSD)
Hiring Office
Counterintelligence and Export Control Section
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
About the Office

The National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section (CES) authorizes, supervises, and participates in the investigation and prosecution of cases affecting national security, including espionage, counterproliferation, export control, embargo, neutrality, atomic energy, and foreign agent registration violations. The CES attorneys work closely with law enforcement agencies and members of the intelligence community, as well as with U.S. Attorney’s Offices around the country to investigate and prosecute crimes within CES’s area of responsibility. Law enforcement agencies or members of the intelligence community will bring matters to the Office’s attention that CES attorneys will help investigate to determine whether criminal prosecution is likely. CES attorneys provide whatever level of assistance is required – from advising on what investigative actions mare appropriate, to providing approval for specific charges, to drafting charging documents, to participating at trials. CES’s aim is to provide the expertise necessary for the specialized charges for which it is responsible. The Office’s work ensures nationwide coordination on such charges. Importantly, CES also coordinates criminal cases involving application of the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA). Thus, when a case involves classified information, CES attorneys help coordinate with the relevant members of the intelligence community who may have an equity in that information, and help ensure that any use of such information comports with the procedures set forth in CIPA.

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

Intern projects include: researching legal questions, drafting memoranda or other legal and policy analysis, factual research, and assisting with presentations and supporting materials.


Open to all law students who satisfy the following requirements. Applicants must be enrolled in an accredited U.S. law school at the time of application and throughout their internship. Strong research and writing skills are required. Prior interest or experience in national security or criminal litigation is highly preferred. Courses such as Criminal Procedure, Evidence and Trial Practice are also helpful. A TS/SCI clearance is preferred but not required.

Application Process

If interested in applying, please send a cover letter, resume, legal writing sample (not to exceed ten pages), an unofficial law school transcript (if available), and the contact information for three references, via email, to Please cc: Please combine all materials into one PDF. The subject line should read: [LAST NAME] - CES 2024 (Spring, Summer or Fall) Internship Application.

Application Deadlines:

Spring 2024: All Students - August 29, 2023

Summer 2024: For Current 2L Students - November 1, 2023

For Current 1L Students - December 15, 2023 (Please note that we will not consider applications submitted before December 1, 2023).

Fall 2024: All Students - April 15, 2024


Internships are unpaid. If your school offers interns academic or work study, we will work with you to meet school requirements whenever possible.

Number of Positions
Relocation Expenses

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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 June 22, 2023