The Attorneys of the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) Section defend the United States in a wide range of complex, and often controversial, suits filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act. 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b). Suits often arise from medical care or treatment, regulatory activities, law enforcement, and maintenance of federal lands. Attorneys in this section have handled the defense in litigation related to Hurricane Katrina, which sought billions of dollars in damages for losses caused by flooding, sensitive law enforcement cases involving informants, and suits brought by individuals who were detained on immigration charges following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
FTCA Section attorneys also serve as the principal point of contact for other Department of Justice components, such as the United States Attorneys Offices, and other federal agencies. Our attorneys assist in litigation development and settlement strategy, and have particular expertise in the evaluation and settlement of catastrophic injury cases. The FTCA Section’s Director has authority to act on settlements by federal agencies of up to $1,000,000.
In addition, FTCA Section attorneys make appeal recommendations on all adverse judgments entered in FTCA cases. They also provide comments on FTCA-related Congressional legislation that may have an impact on taxpayer liability. Further, the FTCA Section is responsible for administrative adjustment of tort claims filed as a result of DOJ employee conduct nationwide.
The FTCA Section's summer law intern program is highly-regarded. Its interns (or "law clerks") are given substantive "lawyer's work" which is utilized in the office's practice. On average, a summer law clerk will have completed six to ten substantive assignments which often include issues involving federal rules of procedure, evidence, and a variety of state law issues. Where possible, the clerks are encouraged to attend moot courts, local depositions and court appearances. An extensive brown bag lunch series is conducted throughout the summer. Speakers include FTCA attorneys as well as outside speakers who discuss the breadth of today's legal profession in both private practice and public service. Past speakers have included a prominent legal treatise co-author and law firm partner, a corporate lobbyist, local and federal judges, an Assistant White House Counsel, a World Bank attorney, a big law firm recruiting director, an FBI agent, and Counsel for a Congressional Committee. The series also includes educational and fun events such as an annual Potomac River cruise, a custom Docent's Tour of the National Gallery of Art, a Trivia Night, a Supreme Court Curator's Tour, attendance at a Supreme Court opinion reading session, and a Nationals game.
The office's friendly and open-door atmosphere fosters and encourages mentoring relationships between FTCA attorneys and law clerks. Clerks receive close review of their assignments and a candid written evaluation is provided at the conclusion of the summer.
Clerkship Location: 175 N Street, N.E. (Adjacent to NoMa/Gallaudet Metro Stop in Northeast Washington, D.C.)
Weeks/Hours: Law clerks work full-time (40 hours per week) for ten weeks, minimum.
Students who will have completed at least one year of law school by the start of the clerkship. Candidates should be excellent writers in excellent academic standing. The office, however, considers the entire background and experience of applicants in assessing an application.
Candidates must also be U.S. citizens or nationals, must have resided at least three of the past five years in the United States, and must successfully complete a background investigation.
Applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample (no more than ten pages and mostly legal analysis), and law school transcript, where available. Unofficial transcripts are accepted.
Applications should be sent by email to Gail K. Johnson at email@example.com
Please indicate that you are applying for a summer position in the subject line of your email.
Application Deadline: Applications for the summer are accepted on a rolling basis, post-NALP December deadline for first-year law students. Positions will typically be filled by late December 2018 or early January 2019. Early applications are encouraged.