Law Student Volunteer, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Summer 2019

Law Student Volunteer, Academic Year
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Room 2314
Washington, DC 20530
United States
About the Office: 

The Office of Tribal Justice (OTJ) coordinates DOJ's policies and positions on American Indian and Alaska Native issues. OTJ works with federally recognized tribes on a variety of issues, and fulfills the roles of liaison and primary point of contact for tribes dealing with DOJ and other federal agencies. OTJ also provides legal expertise on Indian legal issues within DOJ and to other federal agencies and serves as the clearinghouse for DOJ correspondence relating to Indian matters.

Job Description: 

The internship is designed to give students the opportunity to gain first-hand experience working on challenging projects and cases principally involving issues of federal Indian law. Interns work closely with attorneys in OTJ on a wide range of Indian law issues and projects. Work may include legal research, drafting legal memoranda and briefs, participating in public policy development, reviewing proposed legislation, and responding to citizen correspondence. Also, interns may have the opportunity to attend Congressional hearings, oral arguments before the Supreme Court, and high-level meetings with OTJ attorneys.

Internship Location:  Washington, DC

Minimum Weeks Required:  10

Web Site:


All full-time, second- or third-year law students. Students should have excellent academic credentials, good writing skills, basic knowledge of federal Indian law and some familiarity with tribes.

Academic credit for work experience possible.
Application Process: 

Please submit a resume, together with a cover letter, official transcript, a writing sample and dates available. Emailed applications are preferable.

Office of Tribal Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Room 2314
Washington, DC 20530

ATTN:  Intern Coordinator
Telephone:  (202) 514-8812
Fax:  (202) 514-9078


Application Deadline:  Open until filled. Fall positions typically filled by July 15. Spring positions typically filled by October 15. Summer positions typically filled by March 15.


Number of Positions: 
Updated May 11, 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 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.