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Summer Internships

The United States Attorney's Office offers unpaid summer internships for students in law school. The internship program is nine or ten weeks long and begins shortly after Memorial Day. Interns are assigned to work on either criminal or civil matters, although it is usually possible to work on both types of cases during the summer if that is desired.

The program allows interns to work on and observe cases litigated in the United States District Court and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Interns participate with Assistant United States Attorneys in all phases of litigation, from investigations through trial and appeal.

Interns also attend training sessions in which they learn relevant skills and hear from various participants in the criminal justice system. The speakers include judges and staff members of this office. When possible, the office also sponsors field trips to locations (such as prisons and local courthouses) relevant to the prosecution of criminal cases.

The office participates in work study programs but does not provide any matching funds.

If you have questions about the program or the application process described below, please call Assistant United States Attorney Scott Reid at 215-861-8200.


To be hired, an applicant must be:

  • currently enrolled in a law school
  • a United States citizen
  • selected by the internship committee
  • successfully cleared following a background check undertaken by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (which includes inquiry into illegal drug use and bad debts)

Application Process

The summer internship program is open to all currently enrolled law students (1st year, 2nd year, 3rd year attending at night or part time). It is not open to those who have already graduated law school.

The U.S. Attorney's Office will begin to accept applications for the summer internship program on December 4, 2020, and the submission period will close on January 15, 2021. Applications consist of a cover letter and a resume (a resume submitted through a law school placement office is also sufficient). If not submitted through a law school placement office, applications must be e-mailed to:

  • If you have previously applied by mailing or hand-delivering your application to the Office and would like to confirm the receipt of your application, please feel free to call AUSA Reid at 215-861-8200.
  • The internship committee selects candidates to interview from the resumes submitted. Please do not call the office to attempt to arrange an interview as this is not how candidates are selected for interview.  If you are not attending a Philadelphia area school but are going to be in the Philadelphia area on particular dates, please specify those dates in your cover letter.
  • Candidates who are interviewed are asked to provide at the interview a law school transcript and writing sample.
  • Candidates selected by the committee must provide information for a Federal Bureau of Investigation background check.
  • Final approval for all applicants is then obtained from the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.

The United States is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Updated October 22, 2020

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