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Legal Careers

Law Student Volunteer, Summer

Hiring Organization
USAO District of Wyoming
J.C. O’Mahoney Federal Courthouse
2120 Capitol Avenue, Suite 4002
Cheyenne, WY 82001 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Criminal Division prosecutes violations of federal criminal law – types of cases include, but are not limited to: mail, wire, tax and securities fraud; environmental crimes; firearm crimes; bank robbery; drug crimes; assaults. The Civil Division attorneys act as defense counsel for government agencies and employees. Types of cases include, but are not limited to: discrimination (race, sex, age, disability, religion); public land issues (quiet title, condemnation, land-use, access to public land, endangered species); bankruptcy; immigration; Federal Tort Claims Act (malpractice, etc.); constitutional torts (Bivens). Civil Division attorneys also act as plaintiff’s counsel in areas, which include, but are not limited to: medicaid and medicare fraud; the False Claims Act; and any other cases in which the United States has been injured financially or where injunctive relief is needed. In addition, in Yellowstone National Park, and to a lesser extent in Grand Teton National Park, the District of Wyoming U.S. Attorney’s Office is responsible for prosecuting class A, B and C misdemeanors that arise in the Parks.

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

In Cheyenne, assignments include:  drafting responsive motions, dispositive motions, memoranda of law, and appellate briefs. Volunteers become familiar with the Federal Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure, the Federal Rules of Evidence, the local rules of practice for the Wyoming United States District Court, and the local and Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. In addition, volunteers may attend depositions, meetings with agents, and accompany the attorneys to observe court proceedings.  Law students who have completed two years of law school may be able to handle proceedings on behalf of the government under the guidance of an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA).  In Yellowstone, undergraduate volunteers will assist an AUSA with the processing and preparation of misdemeanors for prosecution and will assist with proceedings in U.S. Magistrate Court.  In Yellowstone, law student volunteers will handle proceedings on behalf of the government under the guidance of an AUSA.

Internship Locations: 

Cheyenne (up to 2) & Yellowstone National Park in Mammoth Hot Springs (up to 2); the USAO may consider posting a volunteer in Lander or Casper depending on circumstances.

Please note:  Mammoth Hot Springs is situated within Wyoming and within Yellowstone National Park, and is a community of about 600 persons located approximately 6 miles south of Gardiner, Montana, 55 miles south of Livingston, Montana, and 120 miles northwest of Cody, Wyoming. Yellowstone National Park consists of 2.2 million acres, an area of exclusive federal jurisdiction, and sees over 4 million visitors annually. It should also be noted that most roads crossing the Park are closed from October to May, when weather conditions make driving hazardous. During this time period, only the northern entrance, at Gardiner, Montana, provides access to the Park and the Park’s headquarters in Mammoth Hot Springs, where the U.S. Attorney’s Office is located. Based upon availability and arrangements made with the Park Service, government housing at Mammoth Hot Springs may be available, with the volunteer paying a share of utility costs and a modest fee. If housing is required and is available, the volunteer may need to share accommodations with another Park Service employee or contractor.

Minimum Weeks Required:  8-12 weeks for Cheyenne and 12 weeks for YNP

Web Site:


For the fall semesters in Yellowstone, the USAO is interested in considering undergraduate students in a criminal justice or related degree program, who must engage in a semester-long internship to satisfy degree requirements.

For the summer in Yellowstone, the USAO will hire one to two law student volunteers.  Law student volunteers must be between their second and third years of law school.  Please check the USAO’s website  (link above) on the “current vacancies” page to determine whether the USAO is hiring law student volunteers for thte summer in Yellowstone.

For volunteer opportunities in Cheyenne (and for Casper and Lander, if hiring occurs in the branch offices), candidates must be first-year (second semester), second- or third-year law students.  Students chosen will be subject to a background check.  Volunteers must be U.S. citizens.

Application Process

Cover letter, resume, references (professional and/or personal), most recent transcript, writing sample,  e-mail address and telephone number where student can be reached both day and evening.

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Wyoming
J.C. O’Mahoney Federal Courthouse
2120 Capitol Avenue, Suite 4002
Cheyenne, WY 82001

All applications (both law and non-law) should go to the e-mail address listed below.  For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Wyoming, including types of cases handled, office organization, locations and staffing, please see our web site. 

ATTN: Jonell Christianson, Human Resources Specialist

Telephone: (307) 772-2648

Email Address:



Work study, if available; fellowships; internships or externships (with credit).

Number of Positions
1 - 4

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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 June 10, 2020