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Legal Careers

Spring 2017 Volunteer Law Clerk Position

Hiring Organization
Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD)
Hiring Office
Washington, D.C.
Location:
601 D St NW
Washington, DC 20004 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice handles environmental and natural resources litigation on behalf of the United States. The work of the Division arises under approximately 150 federal civil and criminal statutes, including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, CERCLA (Superfund), Safe Drinking Water Act, Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, and Tucker Act.

The Division is divided into nine litigating sections: Appellate, Environmental Crimes, Environmental Defense, Environmental Enforcement, Indian Resources, Land Acquisition, Law & Policy, Natural Resources, and Wildlife & Marine Resources.

Nearly one-half of the Division's lawyers bring cases against those who violate the nation's civil and criminal pollution-control laws. Others defend environmental challenges to government programs and activities, and represent the United States in matters concerning the stewardship of the nation's natural resources and public lands.

The Division is also responsible for the acquisition of real property by eminent domain for the federal government, and brings and defends cases under the wildlife protection laws. In addition, the Division litigates cases concerning Indian rights and claims.

The Division’s mission is to enforce the Nation’s environmental laws to ensure clean air, water and land for all Americans; prosecute criminal cases under federal pollution and wildlife laws; defend environmental and natural resources laws and federal agency programs and actions; litigate cases under statutes providing for the management of public lands and natural and cultural resources; litigate cases to protect the rights of Indians under treaties, acts of Congress, and Executive Orders, and defend the United States in claims brought by Indians; prosecute eminent domain proceedings to acquire land on behalf of the United States for authorized public purposes; conduct the Division’s appellate litigation in federal circuit courts of appeals and state appellate tribunals, and assist the Office of the Solicitor General with appeals to the United States Supreme Court; and advise the Attorney General, Congress, the Office of Management and Budget, and the White House on matters of environmental and natural resources law.

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

In general, interns assist the Division’s trial lawyers in preparing cases for filing and supporting the litigation effort post-filing, and assist the Division’s appellate lawyers in researching issues on appeal. Responsibilities typically include conducting legal research, drafting pleadings, discovery, and memoranda of law dealing with a variety of federal environmental and natural resource issues. The Division handles cases covering a broad spectrum of issues including the listing of endangered species and civil and criminal enforcement of federal pollution control laws. An internship provides an outstanding opportunity to work on cutting edge issues of environmental law.

Qualifications

Law students may work in volunteer positions only while attending law school. Law school graduation terminates eligibility, except for graduate law students enrolled at least half time and who are not practicing law. ENRD prefers students with strong academic qualifications, research and writing skills, and those who have an interest in litigation, environmental law, and/or public interest law. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and successfully complete a security clearance prior to appointment. Applicants must have been residents of the United States for 3 of the previous 5 years prior to applying, with exceptions made for active duty military and Foreign Service employees.

Application Process

You may apply for a volunteer legal internship in Washington, DC by submitting via email to applyintern.enrd@usdoj.gov
Email links icon
 the following materials:
• Section application form (posted at www.justice.gov/enrd/internships)
• Cover letter stating hours/days available to work;
• Resume (which includes your country of citizenship);
• Writing sample;
• Copy of your most recent transcript (official or unofficial);
• Three references with contact information, including telephone and email (letters of recommendation not required); and
• Specify the year and term (i.e., Spring 2017) that you’re applying for in your application and in the subject line of your application email. You must apply separately for each term.

Positions will be filled on a rolling basis.

Spring 2017 applications will be accepted through September 25th.

Salary

Uncompensated; some law schools may offer academic course credit or work-study credit.

Number of Positions
50+
Travel
None.
Relocation Expenses
Not 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 August 1, 2016