Law Student Volunteer, Summer
800 Dolorosa Street
San Antonio, TX 78207
United States
About the Office: 

The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) is an agency within the United States Department of Justice.  Under delegated authority from the Attorney General, EOIR administers the nation’s immigration court system.  The primary mission of EOIR is to adjudicate immigration cases by fairly, expeditiously, and uniformly interpreting and administering the Nation’s immigration laws.  EOIR’s Office of the Chief Immigration Judge (OCIJ) has more than 400 immigration judges who conduct administrative court proceedings, called removal proceedings, in 58 immigration courts nationwide. 

The jurisdiction of U.S. Immigration Courts includes all matters brought before the Court by the Department of Homeland Security. The judges preside over formal immigration hearings to determine whether noncitizens are deportable, excludable, inadmissible, or removable from the United States. In addition, the judges have jurisdiction to consider various forms of discretionary and mandatory relief, including waivers, adjustment of status, cancellation of removal, asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the U.N. Convention Against Torture.

Job Description: 

Law student interns at the San Antonio Immigration Court work with law clerks, attorney advisors, and immigration judges in a collaborative, collegial work environment.  Law student interns observe court proceedings, research legal issues, write legal memoranda, and draft decisions for immigration judges.  Common topics include: asylum, custody redetermination, cancellation of removal, the Convention against Torture, dismissal and termination of removal proceedings, immigration consequences of criminal convictions, reopening of removal proceedings, waiver of inadmissibility, and withholding of removal. 

Although the internship is unpaid, interns may obtain academic credit with the permission of their law schools. Interns must commit to working full-time for a minimum of ten (10) weeks during the summer. Start and end dates are flexible. This position is open to rising 2L and 3L law students. Additionally, the position requires that applicants be United States citizens, and selected candidates must pass a background security check conducted by the Department of Justice.


All interns at the Court must be U.S. citizens, enrolled in law school at the time of their application and their internship, and must successfully complete an FBI background check before beginning their internships. Preference will be given to applicants who demonstrate a strong background and/or interest in immigration law.

Application Process: 

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 5:00 p.m. on Friday, January 18, 2019 (CST). However, please note that interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis and offers may be extended prior to the deadline.

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, transcript, and writing sample no longer than ten (10) pages to:

Eliseo de León

Attorney Advisor

U.S. Department of Justice

Executive Office for Immigration Review

San Antonio Immigration Court

800 Dolorosa Street, Suite 300

San Antonio, Texas 78207

Email applications are preferred. If you have any questions regarding the Volunteer Legal Intern position, please contact Mr. de León via email.

Application Deadline: 
Friday, January 18, 2019
Number of Positions: 
Updated November 20, 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.