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Legal Careers

Law Student Volunteer, Academic Year, Public Integrity Section

Hiring Organization
Criminal Division (CRM)
Hiring Office
Public Integrity Section
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
About the Office

The Public Integrity Section (PIN) oversees the investigation and prosecution of all federal crimes affecting government integrity, including bribery of public officials, election crimes, and other related offenses.  PIN investigates and prosecutes some of the most sensitive, complex, and contentious public corruption cases handled by the Department, including cases involving elected and appointed officials at all levels of government.  PIN also serves as a source of advice and expertise for federal prosecutors and agents regarding the handling of public corruption cases nationwide and plays a key role in developing Department policy concerning public corruption and election crime investigations and prosecutions.  PIN handles cases in Districts across the country, either on its own or in partnership with the local U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The Election Crimes Branch within the Section supervises the Department’s nationwide response to election crimes, such as voter fraud and campaign-finance offenses.  The Director of the Election Crimes Branch reviews all major election crime investigations throughout the country and all proposed criminal charges relating to election crimes. 

The Section is comprised of attorneys with a wealth of prosecution experience at the federal and state level, as well as other experience in all three branches of federal government.  PIN alumni have served in a range of important posts in the federal legal system, including as Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, federal judges, U.S. Attorneys, and various other leadership positions in the Department, U.S. Attorney’s Offices, and other federal agencies.

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

Legal interns work closely with PIN trial attorneys on a range of investigative and litigation issues related to PIN’s efforts to combat public corruption.  Interns research complex legal questions, draft motions and responses, assist with appeals, conduct factual analysis, and update PIN’s internal resources.  Assignments often touch upon substantive criminal law (relating primarily to bribery and fraud), evidence, the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, constitutional criminal procedure, and election law.  Legal interns work on a variety of projects during their internships and typically produce significant written work product.  Interns are offered opportunities to observe witness interviews, meetings with attorneys and agents, trials, hearings, and other proceedings.  Interning for PIN is an intensive but rewarding experience that has been invaluable for prior interns, many of whom have clerked after graduation for federal district and circuit court judges, been accepted into the Honors Program, or joined a U.S. Attorney’s Office.


All applicants must be currently enrolled in law school and have a strong academic background, excellent research and writing skills, mature judgment, an openness to learning, and a commitment to public service.  Applicants should recognize and be committed to the non-partisan nature of the Public Integrity Section’s work.

Summer interns work full-time (40 hours a week) for at least 10 weeks.  Fall and spring semester intern usually work part-time (16-20 hours a week) throughout the semester (10-12 weeks), although we have worked with law schools that permit full-time work in exchange for credit. Interns must reside in the Washington, D.C. area during their internship, though hybrid work is allowed.  Applicants should specify in their cover letter the term or terms for which they would like to be considered.  If applying for a spring or fall internship, applicants should also identify whether they are available full-time or part-time.

Because of the sensitive nature of PIN’s work, all offers are contingent upon the satisfactory completion of a background investigation.

Application Process

To apply, please submit an application package consisting of a single PDF that includes a cover letter, resume, law school transcript (official or unofficial), legal writing sample (not to exceed 10 pages), and three references. Email application materials to

Applications for the spring, summer, and fall semesters will be accepted on a rolling basis.



Number of Positions
4 to 8
Relocation Expenses

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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 9, 2023