A primary mission of OIP is to encourage and oversee agency compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). OIP is responsible for developing government-wide policy guidance on all aspects of FOIA administration. OIP also provides legal counsel and training to agency personnel. To assist agencies and the public in understanding the many substantive and procedural requirements of the FOIA, OIP publishes the United States Department of Justice Guide to the FOIA ("FOIA Guide"), which is a comprehensive legal treatise addressing all aspects of the FOIA. All agencies are required by law to report to the Department of Justice each year on their FOIA compliance through submission of Annual FOIA Reports and Chief FOIA Officer Reports. In its oversight role, OIP reviews those reports, develops guidelines for those reports, issues guidance and provides training to agencies to help them complete the reports, and compiles summaries and assessments of agency progress in administering the FOIA law.
OIP also manages the Department of Justice's obligations under the FOIA. This includes adjudicating administrative appeals from denials of access to records made by Department components under the FOIA or the Privacy Act of 1974, processing initial requests for records of the Offices of the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General and Associate Attorney General, as well as other Senior Management Offices; and assisting with the defense of such FOIA requests that enter litigation. The Office of Information Policy employs highly qualified attorneys to serve as Attorney-Advisors in carrying out each of these responsibilities.
Applicants must have a J.D. degree, be an active member of at least one bar (any U.S. jurisdiction), and have at least one year of post-J.D. legal experience. The ideal candidate will have outstanding legal research and writing skills, administrative and/or civil litigation experience, and knowledge of the FOIA. Turnover in Attorney-Advisor positions is sporadic and difficult to predict, therefore there is no established hiring cycle. For a listing of OIP's current experienced attorney vacancies, please visit the Department's Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management Attorney Vacancies page.
Government Information Specialists
The Office of Information Policy employs highly qualified Government Information Specialists (GIS) to carry out its responsibilities in handling FOIA requests made to the Department's Senior Leadership Offices. A Government Information Specialist is responsible for conducting research, performing complex records searches, typically involving the use of ediscovery platforms, consulting with other Department components and federal agencies, and analyzing the contents of records according to all applicable legal and policy requirements in order to make a disclosure determination under the FOIA. Additionally, OIP's GIS promote transparency through the training of FOIA professionals throughout the government.
Applicants must have outstanding research, communication, and writing skills. The ideal candidate will have at least a four-year degree, along with strong analytical and organizational skills. Turnover in Government Information Specialist positions is sporadic and difficult to predict, therefore there is no established hiring cycle. For a listing of OIP’s current Government Information Specialists vacancies, please visit USAJobs, which is the Federal Government’s official job website.
Internship Programs (Law Students, Graduate and Undergraduate)
Summer Legal Intern Program (SLIP)
Each year the Office of Information Policy selects four law students to participate in the Department's competitive Summer Law Intern Program. These compensated interns are assigned to work with one of the four teams in the office which are the Administrative Appeals Staff, Compliance Staff, Initial Request Processing Staff and the Initial Request Litigation Staff. Applicants should have excellent credentials, strong research and writing skills, good interpersonal skills, and be detail oriented. Students should also demonstrate an interest in working with the FOIA.
Law students who have completed at least one full semester of legal study by the application deadline are eligible to apply. For information concerning the program and the application process, please visit the Department's SLIP page.
Law Student Volunteer, Academic Year and Summer
The Office of Information Policy selects law students each fall and spring semester, as well as during the summer to serve as unpaid interns. The Office will work with you to meet school requirements for academic credit or work study whenever possible. Interns are assigned primarily to work with one of the four teams in the office.
Applicants should have excellent credentials, strong research and writing skills, be detail oriented and have good interpersonal skills.
Qualified law students who are interested in positions with OIP should submit an application package in PDF form including the following: 1) cover letter describing your interest in an internship with the Office of Information Policy; 2) resume; 3) most recent available academic transcript; 4) writing sample; 5) three references. Application packets should be emailed to Laurie.Day@usdoj.gov and should indicate the semester for which you are applying (fall, spring, or summer). Please note that because of the time required for conducting a background check, candidates should apply at least 3 months prior to the start of the semester. The deadline for Summer applications is January 20th. The deadline for Fall applications is May 15th. The deadline for Spring applications is September 15th.
U.S Department of Justice Equal Employment Opportunity Policy