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Legal Careers

Summer Volunteer Law Clerk

Hiring Organization
USAO Western District of North Carolina
227 W. Trade Street, Suite 1650
Charlotte, NC 28202 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The United States Attorney's Office (USAO) is responsible for representing the federal government in virtually all litigation involving the United States in the Western District of North Carolina. This includes all criminal prosecutions for violations of federal law, including drug trafficking, firearms violations, corporate and financial institution fraud, bankruptcy fraud, mail fraud, healthcare fraud, computer fraud, public corruption, money laundering, terrorism, tax violations, securities fraud, human trafficking, child pornography, immigration offenses, environmental crimes, hate crimes, federal wildlife violations, and any of the more than 900 federal offenses that have been codified by Congress.  It also includes civil lawsuits by and against the federal government, such as affirmative enforcement actions brought pursuant to the False Claims Act, the Anti-Fraud Injunction Statute or Controlled Substances Act;  defensive matters, including catastrophic medical malpractice, personal injury/tort, constitutional torts, and employment discrimination; and financial litigation, including asset forfeiture, monetary collections as a result of criminal fines and civil judgments, and bankruptcy. 

To learn more, please visit:

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

Our goal is to introduce law student interns to the federal legal system, to develop their legal skills, and, above all, to create an enjoyable summer experience.  Law student interns will be assigned to work on matters in the office’s Criminal and Civil Divisions, providing exposure to a wide variety of practice areas, Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs) and other USAO personnel.  Interns can expect to conduct legal research, and assist in preparation for, and participate in a variety of proceedings including interviews, depositions, court hearings and trial preparation, among other things. 

Interns who qualify for certification under North Carolina’s Third-Year-Practice Rule may also have the opportunity to appear in court under the supervision of an AUSA.  All interns will also be encouraged to attend court proceedings, including hearings and trials, as work schedules permit.


Current first and second--year law students are encouraged to apply.

A desire to learn more about a career in public service, superior research and writing skills, an eye for detail, and a commitment to fairness and integrity are essential.

The summer program requires a minimum 8 week full-time (40 hours per week) commitment.

Must be a United States Citizen.  Interns will be subject to a background investigation, which includes fingerprints and credit check, due to the sensitive nature of the work performed by the USAO.

Application Process

Cover letter, resume, law school transcript, and a legal writing sample are required.  Your resume and/or cover letter should include the dates you are available, email address, and telephone number where you can be reached during the day and evening.

Please specify in your cover letter whether you are applying to the Charlotte and/or Asheville office(s) and indicate your preference, if applicable.

Application materials should be submitted via email in .PDF format to  Please indicate "Summer 2023 Law Student Volunteer Intern" in the subject line of the email.

Application Deadline: January 13, 2023



Law student volunteer interns are uncompensated but may receive course credit per school policies.

Number of Positions
1 - 3+
Relocation Expenses
Relocation expenses will not 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, 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 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 September 16, 2022