Volunteer Legal Intern

Newark Immigration Court
Law Student Volunteer, Academic Year
Newark, NJ 07102
United States
About the Office: 

The Newark Immigration Court falls under the jurisdiction of the Office of the Chief Immigration Judge, which is a component of the Executive Office for Immigration Review under the Department of Justice. The Newark Immigration Court primarily hears non-detained cases that involve a variety of topics, including asylum, cancellation of removal, adjustment of status and other types of issues.  It is located in downtown Newark and is accessible by New Jersey Transit, buses, and the PATH.

Job Description: 

The types of projects assigned vary depending on the court’s docket and will include:

  • Research and preparation of memoranda on complex legal issues;
  • Drafting decisions on motions pending before the court; and
  • Drafting decisions on applications for relief from removal, such as asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under Article 3 of the U.N. Convention Against Torture.

The internship will entail in-depth research and analysis of novel legal issues, as well as preparation of legal memoranda for the immigration judges.  Interns can expect to complete assignments that may later be used as writing samples.  The legal interns will work under the supervision of the court’s Judicial Law Clerks/Attorney Advisors but will also have substantial interaction with the individual Immigration Judges.  Interns will also have the opportunity to observe a variety of hearings and learn about a range of issues within immigration law. 

This internship is an unpaid/volunteer position. However, students may be eligible for academic credit or work study funding.  Students who are interested in receiving credit or funding are strongly encouraged to contact the appropriate person at their law school to determine their eligibility.


All law students are eligible and encouraged to apply. Prior knowledge of immigration law is helpful but not necessary.  Demonstrated commitment to public service is valued.  Strong research and writing skills are required.

 A commitment of 40 hours per week for 10 weeks is required.  All applicants must be U.S. citizens, must have resided in the U.S. for 3 of the last 5 years, and will be subject to a thorough background check.

Available for academic course credit or work-study funding
Application Process: 

To be considered for a position, interested students must submit the following:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Three professional/academic references (recommendation letters not necessary)
  • One legal writing sample
  • Law school transcript (an unofficial copy is acceptable)

Interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis, and students are encouraged to apply early.  Applications must be received no later than Monday, May 21, 2018 at 11:59 pm.  Late and/or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Please send all questions and applications to Iman Saad and Laura Murchie, Judicial Law Clerks, at the Newark Immigration Court, at Iman.Saad@usdoj.gov and Laura.J.Murchie@usdoj.gov.  

Application Deadline: 
Monday, May 21, 2018
Updated April 19, 2018

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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 color, race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, marital status, disability (physical or mental), age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as a parent, membership or non-membership in an employee organization, on the basis of personal favoritism, or any other non-merit 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.

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 targeted/severe disabilities are encouraged to register for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Shared List of People with Disabilities (the Bender Disability Employment Registry) by submitting their resume to resume@benderconsult.com and referencing "Federal Career Opportunities" in the subject line.  Additional information about the Bender Registry is available at www.benderconsult.com.  Individuals with disabilities may also contact one of the Department’s Disability Points of Contact (DPOC).  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 who have lived outside the United States for two or more of the past five years will likely have difficulty being approved for appointments by the Department Security Staff. The two-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.

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 his  or her retirement was due to a permanent service-connected disability or that he/she was transferred to the permanent disability retired list (the statement or retirement orders must indicate that the disability is 10% or more).


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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.