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Legal Careers

Volunteer Law Clerk

Hiring Organization
Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)
Hiring Office
Fort Worth Immigration Adjudication Center
Location:
819 Taylor Street
Fort Worth, TX 76102 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The primary mission of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) is to adjudicate immigration cases by fairly, expeditiously, and uniformly interpreting and administering the nation's immigration laws. Under delegated authority from the Attorney General, EOIR conducts immigration court proceedings, appellate reviews, and administrative hearings.

The Fort Worth Immigration Adjudication Center (IAC) is unique among EOIR’s immigration courts in that all cases heard by the Fort Worth IAC are heard remotely. This means that the Court routinely handles cases from anywhere in the country. In a given week, the Court has likely heard cases from the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 10th Circuits. As a result, volunteer clerks will have the opportunity to compare and apply varying legal standards while assisting to adjudicate applications for relief. Likewise, the IAC handles both detained and non-detained cases, ensuring that clerks will enjoy variety in their work.

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 Fort Worth Immigration Adjudication Center (IAC) is hiring a volunteer legal intern for the summer of 2023. Legal interns gain an understanding of immigration law and procedure as it relates to removal and deportation issues. Interns become familiar with the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Code of Federal Regulations, and immigration case law promulgated by the Board of Immigration Appeals and the federal courts. Prior knowledge of immigration law is helpful but not necessary.

Volunteer clerks generally work full-time hours during the summer. Clerks will have the opportunity to work directly with immigration judges and observe immigration court proceedings.

Typical assignments include legal research, drafting substantive decisions, and writing bench memoranda on specific legal issues. Every assignment will require the clerk to research and apply the applicable statutes, regulations, and case law to the facts of an ongoing case. Clerks work under the supervision of the Court’s attorney advisors who will offer guidance and mentorship to clerks as needed.

Telework is not available for volunteer clerks. All work will be performed on site at the Fort Worth Immigration Adjudication Center. The Court will accommodate students interested in completing the internship for academic credit.

Qualifications

Successful candidates must possess:

  • Strong research, writing, and analytical skills
  • An attitude open to learning and correction
  • An ability to work effectively in a fast-paced, independent work environment

Note: All volunteer clerks must (1) be United States Citizens subject to limited exceptions, (2) be enrolled in law school at the time of their application and their internship, and (3) successfully complete a FBI background check before beginning their internship.

Application Process

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and should include the following materials in a single PDF file:

  1. Resume (1 Page);
  2. Cover letter (1-2 Pages);
  3. Law school transcript (official or unofficial);
  4. Legal writing sample (5-10 pages); and
  5. List of three (3) references.

The hiring process will include an interview in person or by telephone. Interested students must submit their applications via email to Brennan Davis at Brennan.A.Davis@usdoj.gov, along with the subject line “EOIR Summer 2023 Internship Application.”

Salary

This is an unpaid, volunteer position. However, the office will work with an applicant's law school to facilitate externship credit.

Number of Positions
2, each for six weeks.
Travel
Travel is not required for this position.
Relocation Expenses
Relocation expenses are not authorized for this position.

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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, 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.

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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 15, 2022