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: http://www.justice.gov/civil/constitutional-specialized-tort-litigation-section
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 interns with a professionally meaningful experience that is tailored to their goals.
Rising 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. Summer interns must be able to commit a minimum of 35 hours per week for 8-12 weeks.
Applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, current law school transcript, and 5-10 page legal writing sample via email to Evelyn.Kennedy@usdoj.gov. 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. Please submit your application materials by January 15.
1Ls: Under NALP guidelines, we can only accept applications starting on December 1. We recognize that fall semester grades are not usually available until early January. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible after fall semester grades are received.
2Ls/3Ls: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.