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Legal Careers

USDOJ Consumer Protection Branch Law Intern

Hiring Organization
Civil Division (CIV)
Hiring Office
Consumer Protection Branch, US Department of Justice
450 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001 - United States
About the Office

The Consumer Protection Branch (CPB) is responsible for protecting the health, safety, and economic security of American consumers.  CPB leads the Justice Department's efforts to enforce federal consumer protection statutes throughout the United States. CPB attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal and civil matters. Much of the litigation handled by CPB brings Congressional and media interest.

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

The Consumer Protection Branch (CPB) is responsible for protecting the health, safety, and economic security of American consumers. CPB leads the Justice Department's efforts to enforce federal consumer protection statutes throughout the United States. Much of the litigation handled by CPB brings Congressional and media interest.

CPB is the only office in the Civil Division to handle criminal and civil, as well as affirmative and defensive litigation.  CPB attorneys handle a wide variety of cases, including:

- Adulterated, counterfeit, and misbranded food, drugs, and medical devices;

- Unlawful prescribing or dispensing of opioids and other controlled substances;

- Hazardous and unsafe consumer products;

- Fraudulent lottery, mass-mailing and telemarketing schemes;

- Automobile odometer tampering;

- Defending the actions of the Food and Drug Administrative, Federal Trade Commission, and Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Recent CPB cases include:

- Injunctions against telecom carriers that facilitated hundreds of millions of fraudulent robocalls;

- Injunctions against physicians and pharmacies for unlawfully dispensing opioids;

- Hospital pharmacist sentenced to prison for attempting to spoil COVID-19 vaccine doses;

- Foreign nationals sentenced to prison for operating fraudulent telemarketing schemes;

- Defense of FDA’s emergency use authorizations for drugs and vaccines related to COVID-19.

CPB works closely with the Food and Drug Administration, Federal Trade Commission, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, US Postal Inspection Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, and FDA's Office of Criminal Investigation.

CPB legal interns work closely with attorneys on a broad range of challenging and substantive assignments, including legal research projects, drafting pleadings and motions, attending court hearings and case meetings, and trial preparation. Interns are given ample opportunity to work on the many types of cases handled by CPB. 

Interns have the opportunity to attend presentations about recent cases by CPB attorneys, in addition to participating in Department-wide training programs and special intern events.

Internships available for Fall, Spring, and Summer terms. Must have completed at least one year of law school by the start of the internship.

Practice Areas: Consumer, Criminal-Prosecution, Health, Litigation


Candidates should have strong analytical and writing abilities. Top third of class preferred. However, CPB considers the entire background and experience of candidates in assessing an application.

10 weeks minimum required. Fall and Spring: 20 hours/week min.; Summer: 40 hours/week min.

Selected candidates must successfully complete a background investigation.

Class Levels: 1L, 2L and 3L

Application Process

Students should submit a cover letter, resume, transcript and writing sample to: Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

Early applications encouraged.


Positions unpaid. Transit subsidies available.

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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 November 2, 2023