The Office of the Pardon Attorney ("PARDON") is a great place to work because we have a unique mission that is not duplicated anywhere else in the federal government. We offer volunteer internships during the academic year and the summer to current law and non-law students currently enrolled in graduate or an undergraduate degree course. PARDON will accept as many volunteer interns as it has space to accommodate.
About the Office
The Office of the Pardon Attorney assists the President in the exercise of executive clemency. Under the Constitution, the President’s clemency power extends only to federal criminal offenses. Requests for executive clemency for federal offenses are directed to the Pardon Attorney for investigation and review. The Pardon Attorney prepares the Department’s recommendation to the President for final disposition of each application. Executive clemency may take several forms, including pardon, commutation of sentence, remission of fine or restitution and reprieve.
Current Vacancies in the Office of the Pardon Attorney
We are always hiring volunteer legal and non-legal college interns. See below information and instructions for submitting an application for consideration.
(1) Legal Assistant - The competitive job announcement is closed but Shedule A applicants are always welcome to apply directly by emailing us at Pardon.AttorneyVacancies@usdoj.gov
(2) Paralegal Specialist - These positions are competitively advertised on USAJobs at https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/513901400, but Schedule A applicants are always welcome to apply directly by emailing us at Pardon.AttorneyVacancies@usdoj.gov.
Volunteer Job Description
Volunteer interns will assist the Office’s attorneys and paralegals in case-processing tasks, such as obtaining the reports needed to evaluate a clemency case, building electronic case files, preparing drafts of reports to the President on selected cases, as well as preparing responses to correspondence. Special research projects may be assigned by Office attorneys as need dictates, and may include historical and legal research.
Qualifications & Requirements for Law Interns
Second-year law students (Summer students must have completed their first year of law school by their start date). Must have word processing skills and the ability to quickly learn new information technology. Students with an interest in criminal justice, constitutional law, administrative law, or prisoner rights would be good matches for the Office.
Qualifications & Requirements for Non-Law Interns
Non-law undergrad and gradudate students must currently be enrolled at an accredited postsecondary institution. Must have word processing skills and the ability to quickly learn new information technology. Students with an interest in criminal justice, public policy, communications, business administration, constitutional law, administrative law, or prisoner rights would be good matches for the Office.
Additional Information about volunteer positions
Interns during fall and spring semesters are expected to work a minimum of 16 hours per week with a 12-week commitment. Summer interns are expected to work 40 hours per week with a 10-week commitment.
Please note that participation as a student intern is contingent upon the satisfactory completion of a background investigation and suitability review.
Anyone accepted into this program would be an uncompensated volunteer. PARDON works with accredited higher learning institutions that offer academic course credit and work-study. Relocation expenses will not be authorized.
How to Apply for volunteer slots
Deadline for submitting applications for fall semester: June 1
Deadline for submitting applications for spring semester: October 1
Deadline for submitting applications for summer semester: March 1
All potential candidates should attach the following documents to their initial email and should be sure to include “Volunteer Law Internship” or "Volunteer Non-Law Internship" in the subject line:
- Cover letter
- Writing Sample
- Transcript (Unofficial is acceptable)
Office of the Pardon Attorney
145 N Street N.E., Suite 5E.109
Washington, DC 20530
ATTN: Intern Coordinator
Intern applications that are received after the above listed deadlines or that do not have all of the required material (in PDF format) will not be considered.
The U.S. Department of Justice is an Equal Opportunity/Reasonable Accommodation Employer.