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Legal Careers

Spring Intern

Hiring Organization
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
Hiring Office
Office of Chief Counsel
Location:
Washington, DC, DC - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is a unique law enforcement agency within the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), whose mission is to protect our communities from violent criminals, criminal organizations, the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, the illegal use and storage of explosives, acts of arson and bombings, acts of terrorism, and the illegal diversion of alcohol and tobacco products. As a small agency with broad, interrelated missions involving law enforcement, regulatory, compliance, and homeland-security concerns, ATF affords interns with the opportunity to experience a variety of legal disciplines in a dynamic and collegial environment.

ATF's Office of Chief Counsel provides legal advice and services to the Bureau nationwide in support of programs and operations. Headquarters attorneys are divided into 4 practice groups, including: Firearms and Explosives Law; General Law and Information; Litigation; and Management.

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

ATF's Office of Chief Counsel provides student interns with the opportunity to work directly with attorneys on cutting edge legal issues involving some of the most significant and challenging matters within the Agency. Selected interns will focus primarily on constitutional issues, including the Second Amendment, and legal issues relating to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) as they arise in the Agency’s litigation and enforcement of federal firearms laws, regulations, and Agency policies.  The selected intern will conduct thorough and accurate research on issues generated by challenges pursuant to the APA and Second Amendment, legal memoranda addressing the results of legal research, and may draft pleadings, briefs, legal memoranda, and other legal documents related to litigation involving ATF.  Selected interns will have the opportunity to present their work to senior attorneys and Agency officials and we are looking for proactive and engaged interns.

THIS INTERN CAN BE DONE REMOTELY OR IN WASHINGTON, DC.

Qualifications

Students who have completed one full year of law school by spring 2023.

Students must be a U.S. Citizen and will be subject to a security background investigation due to the sensitive nature of the work.

Application Process

Applications for Spring 2023 internships will be accepted until November 15, 2022. Interviews will be on a rolling basis and will generally be conducted by telephone.

Applicants for internship positions must be enrolled in law school and have: (1) a strong academic background; (2) excellent research and writing skills; and (3) experience or interest in constitutional, criminal, or regulatory issues.  We encourage applicants to identify their interests and how they relate to the work of the Section.  Applicants must submit via e-mail (to Jennifer.Ambuehl@atf.gov), a cover letter, a resume, a short or partial writing sample (not to exceed 8 pages), a list of three references and an unofficial law school transcript.  The subject line of the e-mail should include “Spring 2023 Intern Application”. 

Salary

Uncompensated, but will work with law school programs that offer academic credit.

Number of Positions
1-2
Travel
N/A
Relocation Expenses
No relocation expenses will 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 October 27, 2022