Law Student Volunteer, Summer 2021

Civil Division, Appellate Division, Asset Forfeiture Division, Criminal Division
Law Student Volunteer, Summer
Miami, FL 33132
United States
About the Office: 

The mission of the United States Attorney's Office (USAO) for the Southern District of Florida (SDFL), is to enforce and defend the laws of the United States of America through the prosecution of criminal cases brought by the Federal government and the prosecution and defense of civil cases in which the United States is a party. Interns are assigned to one of the Divisions within the office (Criminal, Appellate, Asset Forfeiture or Civil) for the duration of the internship. The Criminal Division prosecutes violations of federal criminal law including narcotics, fraud, environmental, bank robbery, firearms, child exploitation, and human trafficking crimes. The Civil Division defends government agencies and employees who have civil actions filed against them. It also handles cases involving discrimination, bankruptcy, immigration and the Federal Tort Claims Act. The Appellate Division represents the government in both criminal and civil appeals. The Asset Forfeiture Division works in both the criminal and civil areas to seize property which has been identified as subject to forfeiture to the government. Within their respective sections, interns receive a variety of assignments and have the opportunity to work with numerous Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs). The goal of the Office is to introduce interns to the federal legal system and to develop and refine their legal research and writing skills, and above all to make their time at the office enjoyable and worthwhile.

Job Description: 

Interns will assist AUSAs with trial preparation, legal research, and drafting of court pleadings suitable for filing in the U.S. District Court. Interns will also work with AUSAs on a variety of subject matters within the section to which they are assigned. Interns are strongly encouraged to attend and observe court proceedings and to attend office training programs.

Internship Locations: Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Fort Pierce, Florida

Minimum Weeks Required: 240 hours, 8 - 12 weeks

Web Site:


Applicant must be a U.S. citizen.

First-year (second semester), second-year, and third-year law students with strong academic record. Applicant must be enrolled in an accredited law school at least half-time. Law school graduates are not eligible.

Due to the nature of the work performed at the USAO, applicants who are offered an internship with the USAO must pass a required background investigation before beginning employment. This check can take up to three months to complete.  This includes fingerprint, a credit check and subject to a favorable adjudication of a background investigation.

Applicant must be able to commit a minimum of 240 hours over the course of the semester.

Interns are uncompensated. School credit is possible at the discretion of the law school. Interns are responsible for all parking expenses incurred.
Application Process: 

Applicants are required to submit a cover letter, resume, current law school transcript, and legal writing sample (no more than 5-10 pages in length) via e-mail to

DEADLINE DATE IS February 8, 2021.

All documents should be sent in PDF format. The subject line of the email should specify the semester for which the student is applying (e.g., Fall, Spring, or Summer Semester). The cover letter should be addressed to the Volunteer Law Internship Coordinator and should indicate the applicant’s location preferences (e.g., Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and/or Fort Pierce, Florida). Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered. Additionally, applications received after the application deadline will not be considered.

Start dates:  Summer Semester program typically begins after Memorial Day.

Application Deadline: 
Monday, February 8, 2021
Relocation Expenses: 
Number of Positions: 
District-wide (including Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Ft. Pierce Offices): 10-20 students for the Summer Semester.
Updated December 4, 2020

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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, 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).


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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.