Skip to main content

Legal Careers

Law Student Volunteer, Summer

Hiring Organization
USAO Eastern District of Virginia
Hiring Office
Criminal & Civil Divisions
2100 Jamieson Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22314 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The mission of the U.S. Attorney’s Office is to enforce federal law and defend the United States, consistent with the priorities of the Attorney General and the United States Attorney, recognizing the value and dignity of all people and the importance of strong relationships with the members of the judicial and law enforcement communities. The Civil Division is responsible for defending civil actions brought against the federal government, and taking affirmative civil actions to recover government money lost to fraud and to enforce civil rights statutes. The Criminal Division is responsible for prosecuting cases arising from a vast array of federal criminal offenses. Visit us online at

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

This is an uncompensated law student internship for summer 2020. The program will last 10 weeks, from May 26, 2020, through July 31, 2020. (A later start and end date may be negotiable for students from law schools with exam periods finishing in June 2020.) Assignments are primarily research and writing, but interns are responsible for assisting attorneys with all aspects of case preparation, including researching legal issues, drafting pleadings, interviewing witnesses, and providing trial support. Interns may attend but not appear in court. The internship will be located at 2100 Jamieson Avenue, Alexandria, Virginia 22314, near the King Street and Eisenhower Metro Stations (blue and yellow lines). Living accommodations and parking will not be provided. Applicants should contact their law schools about receiving class credit or a public interest stipend.


Applicants must be U.S. citizens actively enrolled in an accredited law school throughout the 2020 summer (rising second­– and third–year students). Prior to hiring, selected applicants must successfully complete a background review.

Application Process

Please submit two (or three) PDF files in accordance with the below:

  • The first should include a cover letter and resume, each no longer than a single page, in a single combined PDF attachment using the filename format LastnameFirstname (e.g., SmithJane.pdf).
  • The second PDF should include a writing sample of no greater than 15 pages in a single combined PDF using the filename format LastnameFirstnameWritingSample (e.g., SmithJaneWritingSample.pdf).
  • If you are a second-year law student, please also submit your current law school transcript using the format LastnameFirstnameTranscript. If you are a first-year law student, please submit your law school transcript using the same format when you receive your grades; if you receive partial grades and wish for them to be considered, please submit a partial transcript when you receive them.  

Additional materials (including references) may be requested during interviews, which will be conducted on a rolling basis as soon as applications are reviewed. To accommodate travel schedules, students who will be near Alexandria, Virginia, during Winter Break periods should submit their applications early and indicate when they will be in the area. Applications for the Criminal Division must be emailed to, and applications for the Civil Division must be emailed to Please address your cover letter: “Dear Summer Intern Coordinators.”

Applications will be accepted starting Sunday, December 1, 2019, and must be received by Wednesday, January 1, 2020. Applicants who submit early applications may be contacted regarding an interview before the application deadline. Applicants will only be contacted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for additional information or to schedule an interview, not to confirm receipt of your application. In‑person interviews will be conducted at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alexandria, Virginia, or in special circumstances by video teleconference in consultation with another U.S. Attorney’s Office. No phone interviews will be held. The Criminal and Civil Divisions will interview and make their hiring decisions separately. Applicants are responsible for arranging and funding their travel and accommodations.


This is an unpaid internship.

Number of Positions
Travel will not be required.
Relocation Expenses
Relocation expenses will not be authorized.

*         *         *

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.

*         *         *

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 December 2, 2019