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Legal Fellowship Program


The U.S. Attorney's Office has established a Legal Fellowship program, which employs attorneys for a minimum of seven months as unpaid Special Assistant United States Attorneys, and provides them with the opportunity to gain significant criminal prosecution experience during their tenure in the Office. The program is meant to serve both recent law school graduates and experienced attorneys who have a desire to get unparalleled criminal prosecution and litigation experience in a unique U.S. Attorney's Office setting. Although uncompensated, Legal Fellows will have the opportunity to participate in the same training and get the same trial experience as any new Assistant United States Attorney in the USAO-DC.

Attorneys selected as Legal Fellows will be assigned to the Superior Court Division, the Appellate Division or the Special Proceedings Division. Legal Fellows who are assighed to the Superior Court Division will be placed in either the Misdemeanor Unit of the General Crimes Section or in the Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Unit of the Sex Offense and Domestic Violence Section. The Misdemeanor Unit of the General Crimes Section prosecutes serious misdemeanor offenses, including drug possession, simple assault, weapon possession, and theft offenses. The Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Unit prosecutes all forms of domestic violence, including spousal abuse, and intra-family child abuse. Legal Fellows placed in the Appellate Division or the Special Proceedings Division will gain significant legal research and writing experience and may have the opportunity to participate in oral arguments or post-conviction hearings.

Legal Fellows will participate in an extensive three-week training program before being placed in one of the above-listed Divisions. Thereafter, Legal Fellows spend six months in their assigned Divisions. Prospective applicants should be able to commit to the entire seven months of service to be considered for a position.  Depending on the Office's needs and at our discretion, a Legal Fellowship may be extended an additional five months, for a maximum term of one year. USAO­DC does not rely on the Legal Fellowship program as a recruitment or hiring tool for full-time AUSA positions but Legal Fellows may apply for a permanent position without a waiting period. 

Applicants to the Legal Fellowship program must possess a J.D. degree; be a member of the bar of any U.S. state or territory; and have at least one year of post law school experience. This is an uncompensated position, and Legal Fellows may not be employed or on a leave of absence from in any legal position, or paid by any entity or educational institution, during their time at the USAO-DC. Applicants are required to be citizens of the United States, and must undergo a government background check before entering on duty.

To apply to the Legal Fellowship program, please send a cover letter, resume, brief writing sample, and official copy of law school transcript, to:

Jean W. Sexton
Director, Office of Professional Development and Training
c/o Shelia Miller
United States Attorney's Office for the
District of Columbia
555 Fourth Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20530

Inquiries should be directed to Jean Sexton at (202) 252-7735.

Updated April 1, 2019

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