The Solicitor General is supported by four Deputies, 16 Attorney Assistants, four recent law-school graduates serving as one-year Bristow Fellows, up to two recent law-school graduates serving during their post-graduate summer as Phillips Fellows, and a highly dedicated support staff. The Office also frequently hires 2L and 3L law students serving in voluntary internships, and 3rd and 4th year undergraduate students serving in voluntary internships. For more information and application details, please see below.
The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) carries a heavy and important workload with a relatively small legal staff. The Office, therefore, typically hires only attorneys with strong academic records and relevant legal experience, such as a federal judicial clerkship at the appellate level or significant appellate litigation experience. Turnover in Assistant positions is also sporadic and often very difficult to predict. There is, therefore, no predictable annual or periodic "hiring cycle."
Please visit the Department's Legal Careers website to obtain information on:
OSG will only accept applications for current vacancies as specified in a given job announcement.
Every year, the Office of the Solicitor General accepts applications for one-year Bristow fellowships. Bristow Fellows assist OSG attorneys in drafting briefs in opposition to certiorari filed against the government in the Supreme Court of the United States, preparing petitions for certiorari and briefs on the merits in Supreme Court cases, preparing recommendations to the Solicitor General regarding authorization of government appeals in the lower courts, and assisting in the preparation of oral arguments in the Supreme Court. OSG usually selects four Bristow fellows each year.
Applicants must be law school graduates with excellent academic records. They typically come to the fellowship after completion of a one-year judicial clerkship, most frequently with a federal appellate court judge. OSG receives applications from a diverse group of graduates from law schools throughout the United States.
The fellowship has a one-year term that cannot lead directly to employment in the Solicitor General's Office. The salary is established at the GS-12 level.
Applications for Bristow fellowships are accepted between July 15 and September 1 of the preceding year. Fellows are appointed for a one-year period typically starting in July of each year. Fellowship selections will be announced no later than December of the application submission year. All application materials must be postmarked no later than September 1 to be considered.
Application Materials Required
- Cover letter containing a statement of interest;
- Resume, including the status of any bar memberships or applications for membership;
- Official law school transcript;
- Three letters from references familiar with the applicant's work and abilities; and
- Writing sample.
Application materials may be sent via regular or express mail to the following address:
Department of Justice
Office of the Solicitor General
950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Room 5142
Washington, D.C. 20530
Attention: Bristow Hiring Panel
You may also email your application to OSGRecruit@usdoj.gov. Please send attachments in pdf format and note “Bristow Applicant” in the subject line.
About Benjamin H. Bristow
Every year, the Office of the Solicitor General accepts applications from current law students for post-graduate summer fellowships. Phillips Fellows provide support to OSG attorneys by performing various research and writing tasks, including assisting with the preparation of briefs on the merits in Supreme Court cases. OSG typically hires up to two Phillips Fellows each year.
Applicants must be third-year law students who will serve in federal judicial clerkships shortly after graduation from law school, most frequently with a federal appellate court judge. They must have strong academic records and excellent research and writing skills. Phillips Fellows typically work in the Office for 2-3 months between graduation and the start of their clerkship. OSG receives applications from a diverse group of graduates from law schools throughout the United States.
The fellowship cannot lead directly to employment in the Solicitor General's Office. The salary is established at the GS-11 level.
Applications for Phillips fellowships are submitted through the Summer Law Intern Program (SLIP) administered by the Department. This program typically accepts applications between late July and early September of the preceding year (i.e., when candidates are about to begin their third year of law school). Candidates may apply for the Department’s Honors Program and transfer to the SLIP upon accepting a federal judicial clerkship. If interested, please list OSG as an “employment preference” in your online application. For more information on the SLIP, including how to apply, please go to Legal Careers.
About Samuel F. Phillips
The Office of the Solicitor General also has a limited number of volunteer student internship positions available during the Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer semesters. Generally, these positions provide administrative and paralegal support to OSG.
Administrative interns provide support in a variety of administrative areas including human resources, information technology, and financial management. Work assignments include drafting responses to external correspondence, and special projects involving the review, filing and/or typing of assignments. OSG accepts 3rd and 4th year undergraduate students to provide support in these areas.
Paralegal interns students must be 2L or 3L students during the time that they will be volunteering. This means students should have finished their first year of law school, but cannot have graduated prior to the time period for which they wish to volunteer. Students who are interested in constitutional law, and who want exposure to a wide variety of offices and issues within the Department of Justice are encouraged to apply. Emphasis is on critical analytical skills, writing, and work experience.
Students work 24-32 hours during the weekday between 9:00 am and 5:30 pm. Both positions require the ability to work independently, think critically, and work well with others. OSG tries to provide all students with varying opportunities, such as attending moot courts for, and Supreme Court arguments by, OSG attorneys.
Administrative and paralegal internship periods depend upon the semester system that a college or university uses. For schools following a quarter system, internship periods are typically 8 to 12 weeks in duration and scheduled as follows:
Winter: January – March
Spring: April – June
Summer: June – August
Fall: September - December
For schools following a semester system, internship periods are typically 12 to 20 weeks in duration and scheduled as follows:
Spring: January – May
Summer: June – August
Fall: September - December
The cut-off for applying for an administrative or paralegal internship for schools using a quarter system are as follows: May 15 (Fall), September 15 (Winter), December 15 (Spring), February 15 (Summer). The application deadlines for students attending schools using a semester system are as follows: September 15 (Spring), February 15 (Summer), and May 15 (Fall).
Interested undergraduate and law students should submit via email the following items by the established deadlines:
- Cover letter to include a statement expressing why you would like to intern in OSG. Also include dates of availability;
- A copy of your transcript; and
- A recommendation from an employer or professor.
Any further questions regarding employment opportunities within OSG should be sent to OSGRecruit@usdoj.gov.