Internships & Career Opportunities

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.


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.


  1. None at this time


We are always hiring volunteer legal and non-legal college interns and externs.   See below information and instructions for submitting an application for consideration.

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, fingerprinting and suitability review.

Salary: 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

Application Deadlines:

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
  • Resume
  • Writing Sample
  • Transcript (Unofficial is acceptable)


U.S. Department of Justice
Office of the Pardon Attorney
950 Pennsylvania Avenue
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.


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.


The Office of the Pardon Attorney is committed to ensuring that persons with disabilities have equal opportunity to be hired and advanced based on merit.  To assist disability employment efforts, the Department of Justice coordinates numerous activities to provide all DOJ Components the opportunity to attract, develop, retain, and accommodate talented individuals.  These activities reflect an understanding of the unique employment needs of persons with disabilities.

PARDON provides persons with disabilities a number of opportunities to be considered for employment.  To start your job search, please review the jobs posted on USAJOBS, and for attorney and law student opportunities at PARDON, please review DOJ’s legal careers web page with the filter for this office to search our listed vacancies.  Potential candidates are encouraged to apply directly to advertised vacancies.

Individuals with disabilities can also reach out directly to our Disability Point of Contact (DPOC) to express interest in being considered non-competitively through the Schedule A hiring process.  To be considered for a Schedule A appointment, please submit your resume and proof of your disability directly to our DPOC.  This proof may be in the form of documentation obtained from a licensed medical professional, state or private vocational rehabilitation specialist, or any Government agency that issues or provides disability benefits. You must submit valid documentation regardless of the date of determination of your disability.  If you do not have access to email, contact the Selective Placement Coordinator (SPC) for the Justice Management Division, Offices, Boards and Division to find out the best way to submit your documents.

The U.S. Department of Justice is an Equal Opportunity/Reasonable Accommodation Employer.  PARDON, upon request, will provide reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities when necessary during the application, interview and hiring process (such as the need for forms in alternate formats or the use of a sign language interpreter during the interview).  In addition, the Department provides reasonable accommodations to its employees who require additional assistance in carrying out their duties because of a disability.  If you require a reasonable accommodation during the application or interview process, please notify the Human Resources Specialist listed on the vacancy announcement or contact the Human Resources Office at the location in which you are seeking employment.


Questions regarding internships/externships can be directed to and questions regarding career vacancies may be directed to


Updated August 2, 2022

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