Legal Volunteer Intern

Law Student Volunteer, Academic Year
Washington, DC
United States
About the Office: 

The Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties (OPCL) supports the duties and responsibilities of the Department’s Chief Privacy and Civil Liberties Officer (CPCLO). The principal mission of OPCL is to protect the privacy and civil liberties of the American people through review, oversight, and coordination of the Department’s privacy operations. OPCL provides legal advice and guidance to Departmental components; ensures the Department’s privacy compliance, including compliance with the Privacy Act of 1974, the privacy provisions of both the E-Government Act of 2002 and the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014, as well as administration policy directives issued in furtherance of those Acts; develops and provides Departmental privacy training; assists the CPCLO in developing Departmental privacy policy; prepares privacy-related reporting to the President and Congress; and reviews the information handling practices of the Department to ensure that such practices are consistent with the protection of privacy and civil liberties.

Our office places a high value on diversity of experiences and perspectives and encourages applications from all qualified men and women from all ethnic and racial backgrounds, veterans, LGBT individuals, and persons with disabilities.
Job Description: 

Opportunities are available in the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Privacy and Civil ("OPCL") Liberties for qualified candidates interested in summer law internships or academic semester law internships (sometimes called "externships"). Law interns work directly with attorneys on cutting edge legal issues relating to privacy and civil liberties. Typical intern projects have involved researching novel legal issues, reviewing compliance documentation, reviewing proposed legislation, analyzing policy questions involving issues of privacy and civil liberties, and helping to draft the Privacy Act Overview.

Qualifications: 

Interns must be enrolled in an accredited law school and must have:

  • a strong academic background;
  • excellent research and writing skills;
  • interest in privacy and civil liberties issues; and
  • experience, knowledge, or interest in the Privacy Act of 1974, the E-Government Act of 2002, the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014, emerging technologies, cybersecurity, or administrative law.

Summer Interns must have completed at least one year of law school and be willing to commit ten to twelve weeks (full-time) to OPCL. In special circumstances, OPCL may consider a shorter commitment.

Semester-based Interns must have completed at least one year of law school and be willing to commit at least 16-24 hours a week to OPCL. In special circumstances, OPCL may consider a shorter commitment. OPCL will consider semester "full time" positions from law students who attend law schools with formal externship programs.

Because of the sensitive nature of the work, applicants must pass a background check before a formal offer for an internship can be extended.

Salary: 
Uncompensated
Application Process: 

Applicants must submit a cover letter, resume, a short or partial writing sample (not to exceed 10 pages), a law school transcript, and 3 references.

Please send your application to privacy.employment@usdoj.gov.

Spring 2019 applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the deadline, so OPCL advises submitting your application ASAP.

Application Deadline: 
Friday, November 23, 2018
Number of Positions: 
2-3
Updated November 7, 2018

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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.