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Legal Careers

Unpaid Law Student Volunteer, Academic Year- T-CSTL/Bivens

Hiring Organization
Civil Division (CIV)
Hiring Office
Constitutional & Specialized Tort Litigation/Bivens
175 N Street N.E.
Washington, DC 20002 - United States
About the Office

In its landmark decision, Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), the Supreme Court held that federal officials can be sued personally for money damages for on-the-job conduct that violates the Constitution. Cases in which federal employees face personal liability cut across everything the government does in all three branches of government. Whether they are engaging in every-day law enforcement, protecting our borders, addressing national security, or implementing other critical government policies and functions, federal officials of every rank face the specter of personal liability.
The Constitutional Torts Staff represent current and former federal officials at all levels of government nationwide. Our office is one of the few in which a government attorney enters into a traditional attorney-client relationship with the employees that we represent, with all the responsibilities that imposes. Our clients range from line-level employees to senior policy makers with cabinet rank. Constitutional Tort Attorneys defend individual federal employees who are sued under Bivens or otherwise face personal liability arising out of their on-the-job conduct. Constitutional Torts Attorneys also represent the United States and its agencies when both the government and individual employees are sued. The vast majority of cases we handle involve claims for damages against federal employees who are personally sued for alleged constitutional violations under Bivens, but our attorneys are also responsible for other cases involving individual liability, including common law tort suits, statutory claims and professional licensing matters. Our cases are complex and usually involve novel questions of official immunity and constitutional law. The subject matter of our work is as broad and varied as the work of the federal government itself. And while our practice focuses on dispositive motions, it also includes discovery and taking cases to trial.
Additional information about the Constitutional & Specialized Tort Litigation Section is available at:

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

Semester interns are an integral part of the Constitutional Torts team. We ensure that interns are assigned to a variety of cases and have the opportunity to work with many attorneys. Interns are assigned numerous legal research and writing projects and are expected to produce first-rate legal memoranda, motions, or briefs. Interns may also be asked to assist with written discovery, deposition preparation, and trial preparation. Our interns are encouraged to attend moot courts and to provide feedback to attorneys preparing for oral arguments. The ability to attend moot courts, mock trials, and depositions are subject to those events being scheduled during the time-period of the internship. We strive to provide our semester interns with a professionally meaningful experience that is tailored to their goals.  


Second- and third-year law students are encouraged to apply. Superior research and writing skills, an eye for detail, and a desire to work as part of a small team of professionals are essential. Excellent opportunity for students with a background or interest in litigation, constitutional law, tort law, law enforcement, immigration, and national security issues. Must be a U.S. Citizen. Semester interns must be able to commit a minimum of 20 hours per week for 8-12 weeks.

Application Process

Applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, current law school transcript, and 5-10 page legal writing sample via email to The cover letter should be addressed to "Evelyn Kennedy." It is best to send all documents in .PDF format. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis before and after the application deadline. To be considered for a Fall semester internship, please submit your application materials by June 1. To be considered for a Spring semester internship, please submit your application materials by November 1. 


Uncompensated but eligible for transit subsidy and academic course credit (depending on school requirements).

Number of Positions
Relocation Expenses

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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 August 28, 2023