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Legal Careers

Unpaid Law Student Volunteer, Spring 2022- OIL-ENF

Hiring Organization
Civil Division (CIV)
Hiring Office
Office of Immigration Litigation – Enforcement Section (OIL-ENF)
450 5th St., NW
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

OIL-ENF prosecutes affirmative civil enforcement actions arising out of immigration offenses, including the civil prosecution of naturalization fraud. OIL-ENF has principal Departmental authority to coordinate and handle civil denaturalization affirmative litigation against terrorists, violent criminals, child sex abusers and other sex offenders, fraudsters, human rights violators, and war criminals. The section prosecutes such actions in all 94 federal district courts and handles the appeals arising out of such actions in the federal circuit courts of appeals. OIL-ENF also regularly provides advice on criminal naturalization fraud prosecutions under 18 U.S.C. § 1425 and participates in such prosecutions on a case-by-case basis.
The office is located close to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit – a short walk from Gallery Place/Chinatown, Archives/Navy Memorial, and the Judiciary Square Metro stations.

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

This legal internship provides a unique and challenging opportunity for highly-motivated law students to work within the Department of Justice section dedicated to investigating and litigating revocation of naturalization illegally obtained by terrorists, war criminals, sex offenders, and other fraudsters. Interns will work on some of the most significant, complex, and visible immigration enforcement cases being litigated today. Interns, under the direct supervision of a Department of Justice attorney-mentor, will experience all phases of litigation, including but not limited to: case investigation and development; drafting of complaints, briefs, and legal memoranda; participating in discovery, including attending depositions; and attending and preparing for oral argument. Responsibilities will generally include conducting legal research, preparing memoranda, and providing legal support for active cases. Interns will be expected to draft and work with OIL-ENF attorneys to finalize at least one pleading or motion and to prepare and deliver a mock oral argument on an assigned case before a panel of subject-matter experts.


Acceptance of applications will be limited to law students who have completed one year of law school by the start date of the externship and who are enrolled in law school pursuing a Juris Doctor degree. Successful candidates must have outstanding academic records, superior writing skills and be in good academic standing at their law school. Only U.S. citizens or nationals will be considered, and candidates must be able to pass a background investigation to determine suitability for Federal employment following an offer. Applicants must commit to working at least 10 weeks for at least 20 hours per week.
Prior to entering on duty, externs must disclose any stipend or compensation for work done as part of this program to permit appropriate ethics and professional responsibility review by the Department of Justice. Such disclosures will include the sponsor’s identity, a copy of any sponsorship agreement, and the amount of compensation.
All academic degrees and coursework must be completed at a college or university that has obtained accreditation or pre-accreditation status from an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For a list of schools that meet this criteria, see

Application Process

Applicants must submit a cover letter, resume, unofficial law school transcript, a writing sample of no more than 10 pages, and two professional references to The application must be consolidated into a single PDF document.
Applications must be received no later than October 15, 2021.


This position is unpaid. Payment of relocation expenses is not authorized. A benefits package is not authorized. Academic or work-study credit is possible.

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 September 10, 2021