Volunteer Legal Intern, Spring 2020

Office of the General Counsel
Law Student Volunteer, Academic Year
5107 Leesburg Pike
Suite 2600
Falls Church, VA 22041
United States
About the Office: 

The Office of General Counsel (OGC) for the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) is soliciting applications for legal interns during the spring of 2020.  Part of the Department of Justice, EOIR includes the nation’s immigration courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer, as well as other components.  It is an adjudicative agency charged with interpreting immigration laws and conducting hearings on immigration issues.

Our office places a high value on diversity of experiences and perspectives and encourages applications from all qualified men and women from all ethnic and racial backgrounds, veterans, LGBT individuals, and persons with disabilities.
Job Description: 

This internship offers excellent exposure to the legal and policy considerations involved in the operation of an Executive Branch agency.  The legal intern will work on a variety of projects under the direct supervision of the Associate General Counsels in the office.  EOIR OGC has a broad subject matter portfolio, described in more detail on EOIR’s website.


  • OGC provides specialized legal advice on a wide range of substantive immigration law issues, including asylum and refugee issues, unaccompanied minors, eligibility for immigration relief, detention issues, mental competency, and criminal grounds of removability.                      


  • OGC coordinates EOIR’s involvement in litigation involving the agency and serves as the principal point of contact for U.S. Attorneys offices, other DOJ offices (including the Office of Immigration Litigation (OIL)), and other government agencies.  OGC responsibilities include reviewing legal pleadings involving novel or complex immigration law issues, coordinating EOIR’s decision-making process on whether to recommend further review of adverse federal court decisions, and working on formal memoranda or other correspondence to the Office of Solicitor General or OIL regarding such recommendations.


  • OGC's Fraud Prevention Program makes referrals for investigation of immigration fraud complaints it receives from EOIR staff and adjudicators, respondents in EOIR proceedings, and members of the public.  It assists federal and state law enforcement agencies in investigating and prosecuting immigration-related fraud, including notario fraud.


  • OGC regulates the professional conduct of immigration attorneys and representatives practicing before EOIR in order to protect the public, preserve the integrity of immigration proceedings and adjudications, and maintain high professional standards among immigration practitioners.  EOIR's Disciplinary Counsel investigates complaints involving alleged misconduct associated with practice before EOIR's immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals to determine whether an attorney or representative has engaged in criminal, unethical, or unprofessional conduct.


  • OGC conducts Privacy Act reviews and responds to all Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act requests.
Application Process: 

Application Includes:


  • Cover letter;
  • Resume;
  • Writing sample (no longer than 10 pages); and
  • Law school transcript (unofficial)


The cover letter should explain why you are interested in an internship with EOIR OGC.  The letter should also include the number of hours per week you are able to devote to the internship position and your law school’s specific requirements for an intern position.  Applications should be sent to Casey Martinez via e-mail at Casey.L.Martinez@usdoj.gov, SUBJ: “2020 Spring Internship – [NAME].”


Note:  Applicants must be U.S. citizens and have been physically present in the United States for 36 out of the last 60 months by the start date of the internship unless they qualify for certain limited exceptions.

Application Deadline: 
Friday, October 11, 2019
Updated September 10, 2019

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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, protected genetic information, pregnancy, status as a parent, or any other nonmerit-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 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.