Unpaid Law Student Volunteer, Academic Year- Office of Immigration Litigation- Disctrict Courts Section

Office of Immigration Litigation- Disctrict Courts Section
Law Student Volunteer, Academic Year
450 5th St, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
About the Office: 

The Office of Immigration Litigation, District Court Section (OIL-DCS) is a highly active litigation section in the Civil Division of the Department of Justice. OIL-DCS handles immigration matters at the district court level in any of the 94 federal district courts nationwide and provides centralized expertise on district court-related immigration matters. The section’s work spans complex areas of federal law. OIL-DCS work frequently addresses questions of federal jurisdiction, statutory interpretation, administrative law, and constitutional law – all in the context of federal immigration law, regulations, and policy. Some OIL-DCS attorneys possess specialized expertise in specific subject areas, such as detention, employment-based immigration, denaturalization, and/or terrorism- related immigration issues. In addition to district court cases, OIL-DCS handles matters in the courts of appeals that arise from its district court cases. The District Court Section is one of the few sections within the Department of Justice in which an attorney can handle cases at both the trial and appellate levels. Most of the OIL-DCS’s litigation responsibilities are defensive in nature. Immigration litigation defense consists of a wide range of individual and class action cases, including petitions for writs of habeas corpus, Administrative Procedure Act challenges to denials of immigration benefits, actions for declaratory or injunctive relief, mandamus actions, and constitutional claims. OIL-DCS also affirmatively files and prosecutes denaturalization cases. OIL-DCS employs approximately 81 attorneys and 17 support staff.

Job Description: 

Volunteer Legal Interns will be assigned to one of OIL-DCS’s six litigation teams. Responsibilities may vary depending upon an intern’s time commitment, but will generally include conducting legal research, preparing memoranda, and providing other litigation support. Under the supervision of an attorney-mentor, Volunteer Legal Interns typically draft motions to dismiss, motions for summary judgment, oppositions in substantive or procedural matters, appellate briefs, or complaints in affirmative denaturalization cases. Interns will also be expected to prepare and deliver a mock oral argument on of their assigned cases before a panel of subject-matter experts. Any Department-wide or internal trainings offered will also be made available for Volunteer Legal Interns to attend.

Qualifications: 

Applicants must have completed one year of law school by the start date of the internship, have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, be a U.S. citizen, and be able to pass a background check. Applicants must commit to working at least 10 weeks for at least 20 hours per week.

Travel: 
This position is unpaid, but the Department offers a transit subsidy. OIL-DCS will also work with law schools to ensure Volunteer Legal Interns receive academic credits for their work.
Application Process: 

Applicants should email a cover letter, resume, unofficial law school transcript, and 5-10 page writing sample to oildcs.legal.interns@usdoj.gov

Please consolidate the materials into a single PDF document.

Relocation Expenses: 
N/A
Number of Positions: 
4
Updated May 17, 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 targeted/severe disabilities are encouraged to register for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Shared List of People with Disabilities (the Bender Disability Employment Registry) by submitting their resume to resume@benderconsult.com and referencing "Federal Career Opportunities" in the subject line.  Additional information about the Bender Registry is available at www.benderconsult.com.  Individuals with disabilities may also contact one of the Department’s Disability Points of Contact (DPOC).  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 who have lived outside the United States for two or more of the past five years will likely have difficulty being approved for appointments by the Department Security Staff. The two-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.

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 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.