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Legal Careers

Law Student Volunteer (Summer 2023)

Hiring Organization
Office of Justice Programs (OJP)
Hiring Office
Office for Civil Rights
Job ID
JP-23-OCR-SVOL
Location:
810 7th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20531 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), is a federal agency that provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, assist victims and enhance the rule of law by strengthening the criminal and juvenile justice systems.  OJP's offices support state and local crime-fighting efforts, fund thousands of victim service programs, help communities manage sex offenders, address the needs of youth in the system and children in danger, and provide vital research and data.

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is responsible for ensuring that recipients of federal financial assistance from the DOJ are not engaged in prohibited discrimination. The OCR ensures that no person, based on race, national origin, color, sex, religion, disability, or age is excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, subjected to discrimination under, or denied employment in connection with any activity, program, or service receiving federal funding. The primary objective in accomplishing this mission is to secure prompt and full compliance with all civil rights laws and regulations so that needed federal financial assistance may commence or continue.

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

OCR legal interns conduct legal research and writing on issues of civil rights compliance in DOJ-funded programs and on issues of constitutional law and jurisdiction affecting the rights of incarcerated individuals. Interns also assist staff attorneys with assigned cases by reviewing civil rights complaints of discrimination and assisting with investigations. Interns will have the opportunity to join legal staff at DOJ-sponsored events. Our goal is to introduce legal interns to the federal legal system and civil rights matters, to assist in developing their legal skills, and to offer a rewarding internship experience.

Qualifications

First-year (second semester), second- and third-year law students are encouraged to apply.

• Strong analytical, research and writing skills, attention to detail, and a demonstrated interest in civil rights and public interest law.
• Must be a U.S. Citizen.
• Must be able to commit to work 40 hours per week for a minimum of 10 weeks.

Application Process

Please submit:

1) Cover letter

2) Resume

3) Current law school transcript

4) Legal writing sample 5-10 pages in length

Submit all application materials in one, combined pdf document via email to Student.Employment@ojp.usdoj.gov, subject line JP-23-OCR-SVOL.  Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis prior to the application deadline.

PLEASE NOTE: You may be required to travel to your nearest federal servicing office to secure a DOJ Personal Identity Verification (PIV) credential (badge). This credential may be required to allow you access to the DOJ/OJP IT network via a government-issued laptop. Obtaining a PIV credential outside of the Washington, DC, metropolitan area may require two appointments. If offered an internship, you agree to travel to obtain a PIV credential, if required.

Salary

Volunteer (uncompensated). Course credit, work-study, and externship opportunities are available depending on school requirements.

Number of Positions
3
Travel
Opportunities to accompany legal staff to local agencies subject to our work may be possible when the opportunity exists. Travel may be required to obtain a DOJ credential (badge). See Application Process for more details.
Relocation Expenses
Relocation expenses will not be authorized.

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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, 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 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 November 15, 2022