The Appellate Staff of the Civil Division prepares appellate briefs and presents oral argument in all federal courts of appeals, representing the United States and its agencies and officers in some of the most high-profile and sensitive litigation in the country. The Staff also prepares recommendations for or against further review in cases that the government loses in the district courts or courts of appeals, as well as recommendations for or against intervention or amicus participation in cases in which the government is not a party. In addition, the Staff prepares draft certiorari petitions, briefs in opposition to certiorari petitions, invited amicus briefs (in cases where the Supreme Court calls for the government’s views), and Supreme Court merits briefs on behalf of the Solicitor General's office. The Staff's litigation covers a wide variety of important legal issues, including cases involving separation of powers, federalism/preemption, First Amendment, Second Amendment, administrative law, False Claims Act, Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act, commercial litigation, intellectual property law, tort claims, and representation of individuals charged with constitutional violations of a person's rights (Bivens cases).
Interns typically perform legal research, write memoranda, and prepare initial drafts of appellate briefs. In addition to case law and treatise research, assignments often entail searching legislative history to aid in statutory interpretation issues. Interns also participate as judges in moot courts with staff attorneys, present moot oral arguments in cases for which they have completed assignments, and are encouraged to attend oral arguments in the District of Columbia and Federal Circuits.
Internship Location: Washington, DC
Minimum Weeks Required: 8 weeks for rising 2Ls, 6 weeks for rising 3Ls. We will try to accommodate split summers for rising 3L students.
Students who will have completed at least one year of law school by the start of the internship. Law school graduates are not eligible. Candidates must have excellent writing skills and high academic standing. Candidates must also be U.S. citizens or nationals, must have resided at least three of the past five years in the United States, and must successfully complete a background investigation.
All applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and law school transcript (if available; unofficial versions accepted). Applicants who are currently 1Ls are also required to submit an undergraduate transcript (unofficial versions accepted). Please consolidate all application materials into a single PDF file labeled with your name. An undergraduate transcript is optional for upperclass students. Applications should be sent by email to Melissa Patterson, Ben Shultz, Sonia Carson, and Jeff Sandberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our office hires summer interns on a rolling basis and in accordance with the NALP guidelines. Upperclass students are encouraged to apply at their earliest convenience during the fall semester, preferably by October 15 (though later applications may be considered). Current 1Ls are encouraged to apply promptly after December 1.