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Law Student Volunteer, Summer 2018, Los Angeles Detained Immigration Court

Law Student Volunteer, Summer
300 N. Los Angeles Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
United States
About the Office: 

The jurisdiction of United States Immigration Courts includes all matters brought before the Court by the Department of Homeland Security. The judges preside over formal immigration hearings to determine whether immigrants are deportable, excludable, inadmissible, or removable from the United States. In addition, the judges have jurisdiction to consider various forms of discretionary and mandatory relief, including waivers, adjustment of status, cancellation of removal, asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the U.N. Convention against Torture.


The Los Angeles Detained Immigration Court is a detained setting. The immigration judges frequently address the immigration consequences of criminal convictions, bond eligibility for individuals in prolonged detention, and due process safeguards for individuals with mental health needs.  Volunteer legal interns will gain broad exposure to Ninth Circuit case law when determining the eligibility of immigrants for relief from removal. The judges at the Court seek prospective interns with a diversity of perspectives and experiences, who are passionate about discussing the pressing immigration issues the office encounters every day.


The Los Angeles Detained Immigration Court is a fast-paced work environment and requires attention to detail and the ability to meet tight deadlines.  The office environment is welcoming and supportive.

Job Description: 

The internship will require a commitment of 40 hours per week. The position will involve in-depth research and analysis of legal issues, as well as preparation of legal memoranda and draft decisions that immigration judges will take under advisement. Throughout the internship, interns will report directly to their assigned mentor Attorney Advisor for supervision and feedback on their written work.  Interns will also have the opportunity to discuss their written work and research with the judges at the Court.  Interns can expect to complete assignments, which they may later use as writing samples.


In addition, interns will be able to observe all types of matters brought before the Court and participate in field trips to other immigration government offices such as the Anaheim Asylum Office and U.S. Customs and Border Protection in San Diego.


Applicants should demonstrate a strong background and interest in immigration law. All interns at the Court must be United States citizens, enrolled in law school at the time of their application and during the course of their internships, and must successfully complete an FBI background check before beginning their internships.

Although the internship is unpaid, interns may be able to obtain academic credit with the permission of the intern’s law school.
Application Process: 

We will accept applications until February 23, 2018. The hiring process will include an interview in person or by telephone. However, we will make hiring decisions on a rolling basis. Interested students should submit their applications via email to Attorney Advisor Andrea Curley at Andrea.Curley@usdoj.gov, with the subject line “EOIR Summer Internship Application.” Candidates should include the following materials as a single PDF file: resume, transcript (official or unofficial), writing sample (maximum 10 pages), three references, and a cover letter indicating your interest in the position.

Application Deadline: 
Friday, February 23, 2018
Relocation Expenses: 
Number of Positions: 
Updated December 12, 2017

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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 color, race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, marital status, disability (physical or mental), age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as a parent, membership or non-membership in an employee organization, on the basis of personal favoritism, or any other non-merit 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.

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 targeted/severe disabilities are encouraged to register for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Shared List of People with Disabilities (the Bender Disability Employment Registry) by submitting their resume to resume@benderconsult.com and referencing "Federal Career Opportunities" in the subject line.  Additional information about the Bender Registry is available at www.benderconsult.com.  Individuals with disabilities may also contact one of the Department’s Disability Points of Contact (DPOC).  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, https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/working-in-government/non-citizens/). 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, www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/SF15.pdf 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).


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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.