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Legal Careers

Law Student Volunteer, Summer

Hiring Organization
National Security Division (NSD)
Hiring Office
Counterterrorism Section
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Counterterrorism Section (CTS) is responsible for the design, implementation, and support of law enforcement efforts, legislative initiatives, policies and strategies relating to combating international and domestic terrorism. The Section seeks to assist, through investigation and prosecution, in preventing and disrupting acts of terrorism anywhere in the world that impact on significant United States interests and persons. The Section's responsibilities include:

· investigating and prosecuting domestic and international terrorism cases;

· investigating and prosecuting terrorist financing matters, including material support cases;

· participating in the systematic collection and analysis of data and information relating to the investigation and prosecution of terrorism cases;

· coordinating with U.S. government agencies (including the Departments of State, Defense, Homeland Security, and the Treasury; the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. intelligence community) to facilitate prevention of terrorist activity through daily detection and analysis and to provide information and support to the field;

· investigating and prosecuting matters involving torture, genocide and war crimes that are linked to terrorist groups and individuals;

· formulating legislative initiatives and DOJ policies and guidelines relating to terrorism;

· conducting training conferences, seminars and lectures on terrorism-related topics including substantive law, policy, procedure and guidelines for foreign and domestic law enforcement personnel, intelligence officials, the private sector and the general public;

· assisting the Anti-Terrorism Task Force Coordinators in the U.S. Attorney's Offices through the Regional Coordinator system by facilitating information sharing between and among prosecutors nationwide on terrorism matters, cases and threat information;

· participating in the foreign terrorist organization designation process with the Departments of State and Treasury and other Department of Justice components;

· staffing the FBI's Strategic Information Operation Center (SIOC) during crisis incidents;

· sharing information and trouble-shooting issues with international prosecutors, agents and investigating magistrates to assist in addressing international threat information and litigation initiatives; and

· providing legal advice to federal prosecutors concerning numerous federal statutes.

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

The Counterterrorism Section (CTS) seeks exceptionally qualified candidates for volunteer internship opportunities. Summer internships are full-time and run for 10 weeks.

The mission of CTS is to prevent and disrupt acts of terrorism in the United States and around the world. We investigate and prosecute domestic and international terrorism cases, support the counterterrorism efforts of other federal departments and agencies, and work with foreign governments to assist in their criminal investigations and prosecutions of terrorists. CTS intern responsibilities include: conducting legal research and analysis, assisting with the drafting of motions and other pleadings, and assisting with presentations and supporting materials.


Open to all law students, joint degree or LL.M. students. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and able to obtain and maintain a security clearance. Applicants must be enrolled in an accredited U.S. law school at the time of application and throughout their internship. Strong analytic, research and writing skills are required. Prior interest or experience in national security or criminal litigation is highly preferred. Courses such as Criminal Procedure, Evidence and Trial Practice are also helpful. Interns cannot participate in another internship while interning with CTS.

Application Process

If interested in applying, please send a cover letter indicating the period in which you are interested, a resume, a legal writing sample (not to exceed ten pages), an unofficial law school transcript (if available), and the contact information for three references, via email, to

Please combine all materials into ONE PDF.


Student volunteers are uncompensated, however, if your school offers interns academic credit or work study, we will work with you to meet school requirements whenever possible.

Number of Positions

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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, 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.

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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 April 7, 2016