Volunteer Intern

Office of International Affairs
Law Student Volunteer, Academic Year
Washington, DC 20530
United States
About the Office: 

The Office of International Affairs (OIA) solicits applications from energetic, organized, and detail-oriented first-year (second semester), second- and third-year law students (L), undergraduate students (UG), and graduate students (G) to fill intern/extern openings. Unpaid positions are available during academic semesters and summers. Many interns/externs receive academic credit for their experience.  OIA works with criminal prosecutors in the United States to secure the return of fugitives from abroad and to obtain from foreign countries evidence and other assistance (e.g. freezing of accounts and forfeiture of funds) needed in criminal investigations and prosecutions. OIA assists federal, state and local prosecutors and law enforcement agents pursuant to a network of bilateral and multilateral treaties and law enforcement agreements. In turn, OIA assures that the United States meets its reciprocal obligations to foreign countries by responding to their requests for the extradition of fugitives and the production of evidence located in the United States. 

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: 

Student interns are utilized by OIA’s geographic and subject matter teams as follows:

Regional Teams

Team 2 – (UG, G, L): Europe & Eurasia

Team 3 – (UG, G, L): Mexico, Central America, Spanish-Speaking Caribbean

Team 4  – (UG, G, L): Asia/Pacific, Africa, & The Middle East

Team 5 – (UG, G, L): Canada, English-speaking Caribbean

Team 6  – (UG, G, L): South America

Specialized Teams

  • Incoming Mutual Legal Assistance - (UG, G, L): OIA serves as the "Central Authority" for the United States with respect to all requests for information and evidence received from and made to foreign authorities under Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs) and multilateral conventions regarding assistance in criminal matters. As the U.S Central Authority under MLA treaties, executive agreements, and various multilateral conventions (referred to collectively as treaties), OIA plays a critical role in executing incoming MLA requests. Specifically, OIA’s Incoming MLA Team reviews all incoming MLA requests and executes them “in-house” or refers them to U.S. law enforcement agencies or other offices for execution. MLA requests will include requests for various types of assistance including but not limited to:  


  • Locating people

  • Serving documents;

  • Providing information;

  • Providing documents, records, and evidence:

  • Providing testimony and statements;

  • Conducting interviews;

  • Conducting searches and seizures;

  • Transferring prisoners for testimonial or other purposes;

  • Locating, restraining, and forfeiting criminal proceeds.


The Incoming MLA Team is a fast-paced, dynamic team. We are committed to providing foreign authorities with assistance to investigate and prosecute criminal offenses in hopes of building diplomatic goodwill and a safer international community.

  • Litigation and Legal Policy (L): In partnership with OIA’s Specialized and Regional Teams, LLP oversees the timely and successful litigation of all international extradition matters in U.S. courts. This coordination includes analyzing incoming extradition requests prior to referral to a U.S. Attorney’s Office, participating in extradition matters in active litigation (reviewing and drafting briefs; attending, and representing the government at, hearings; etc.), and developing a nationwide strategy for extradition litigation. LLP also supports the broader criminal-justice mission of the Department of Justice by leading OIA’s interaction with Department prosecutors relating to international legal issues arising from its pursuit of relevant civil and criminal cases in U.S. courts. LLP coordinates the development of considered and consistent policy positions for OIA on all matters that have, or may have, an impact on litigation.

  • Cyber (UG): OIA’s Cyber Team assists foreign authorities around the world to secure electronic evidence from U.S.-based electronic service providers in support of criminal investigations and prosecutions. Members of the Cyber Team assess foreign requests to ensure that they are legally sufficient to satisfy U.S. legal standards, such as probable cause, and provide guidance directly to OIA’s foreign counterparts to help them understand and meet such standards. Cyber Team attorneys then seek legal process in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Team members also coordinate with prosecutors in U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Federal Bureau of Investigation around the country to obtain and execute legal process in their home districts. Cyber Team members further liaise with major U.S.-based electronic service providers to coordinate evidence production and remain knowledgeable regarding the policies and procedures the providers employ.

  • Docketing Unit (UG): The Office of International Affairs’ Docketing Unit is comprised of experts in procedures for recording and managing the flow of information pertaining to OIA’s case work. The Docketing Unit effectively prioritizes, distributes, and processes all electronic, mailed, and couriered MLAT and Extradition material received for OIA. The unit’s processing includes case analysis and opening, Extradition ribboning, case reassignments and the retrieval of classified/unclassified cables. Additionally, the Docketing Unit prepare, close, and send physical case files for referral as well as facilitate the ordering of archived files from the Federal Records Center.


Junior and Senior undergraduate students, graduate students and first- year (second semester) only, second- and third-year law students are encouraged to apply. Undergraduate and graduate students with a strong writing background and an interest in international matters and criminal law may be particularly interested in these positions. Knowledge of a foreign language is desirable but not essential. United States citizenship is required. A background check and a drug test are part of the application process.

Student Volunteer (uncompensated). Academic or work-study credit possible.
Application Process: 

Please apply by email and list on the subject line of the email the semester for which the internship is sought (W--Winter/Spring, S-Summer, F-Fall); student status (UG-undergraduate, G-graduate, L-law); Team Preference (per above), and any language(s) spoken. Please include the following:


  1. resume (should reflect GPA and/or class rank);
  2. short writing sample, 5 pp or less;
  3. transcript(s); and,
  4. at least two references who are familiar with the applicant’s research, writing and organizational skills. Please include an active phone number for each reference.
  5. cover letter (optional)


Applications should be e-mailed to OIAIntern@usdoj.gov with the subject line filled out per above (e.g. S; UG; Tm 3; Spanish).

Applications are considered on a rolling basis.

Application Deadline: 
Saturday, April 15, 2017
Number of Positions: 
Updated March 23, 2017

*         *         *

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, https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/working-in-government/non-citizens/). 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, www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/SF15.pdf 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.

*         *         *

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.