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Legal Careers

Volunteer Law Student, Fall 2023

Hiring Organization
USAO District of New Mexico
Location:
PO Box 607
Albuquerque, NM 87103 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

If you care about justice, if you want to make a difference, or if you are looking for an exciting and challenging career, this is the position for you! With a diverse and talented workforce of over 100,000 men and women, the Department of Justice leads the Nation in ensuring the protection of all Americans while preserving their constitutional freedoms. You can be part of a dedicated team helping to enforce Federal criminal and civil laws that protect life, liberty, and the property of citizens.


The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Mexico is one of 94 U.S. Attorney's Offices in the nation. But this U.S. Attorney's Office is unique. New Mexico is home to 23 tribes and pueblos, 4 military bases, and 2 national labs. New Mexico is the fifth biggest state of the union in size, shares a border with Mexico, and is a major international and economic corridor. The U.S. Attorney's Office is primarily responsible for prosecuting federal crime occurring in the District of New Mexico. The U.S. Attorney's Office partners with tribal, state, county, and city governments to ensure our communities are safe and prosperous.

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.

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.

Job Description

Interns will be assigned to one of two divisions: Criminal or Civil. Assignments will include legal research, drafting pleadings and responses and preparing appellate briefs. 

If assigned to the Criminal Division, interns will assist attorneys in all phases of criminal prosecution including charging decisions, discovery, pretrial hearings, trials, sentencings, and habeas corpus actions. 

If assigned to the Civil Division, interns will assist in all phases of civil litigation including discovery, depositions, pretrial hearings, and trials.

Qualifications

Any law student enrolled at least half-time, and who has completed at least one semester of law school is eligible to apply for volunteer internship positions at any time. First-year law students who have not completed their first semester may apply for volunteer internships after December 1. Part-time law students and joint-degree candidates may also apply for volunteer internship positions. Law school graduation terminates eligibility for volunteer positions except for graduate law students who are enrolled at least half time and not practicing law.  Must be a U.S. citizen and will be subject to a background investigation due to the sensitive nature of the work performed by the office. The Department of Justice Student Volunteer Service Agreement must be completed for all student volunteers and signed by the student, school official, and U.S. Attorney’s Office designee.

Salary: 

Uncompensated. Academic credit available if arranged by the student through the law school.

Application Process

Please submit cover letter, resume, law school transcript, legal writing sample, dates when available to work, and contact information including mailing address, e-mail address, and current telephone number(s). lf first semester transcripts for first year students are not available at the application deadline, that fact should be noted in the cover letter, and the transcript should be forwarded as soon as it is available. The application deadline is June 12, 2023.

Please email your package to: Alexis.Rodarte@usdoj.gov

Salary

Uncompensated. Academic credit available if arranged by the student through the law school.

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Department Policies

Equal Employment Opportunity:  The U.S. Department of Justice is an Equal Opportunity/Reasonable Accommodation Employer.  Except where otherwise provided by law, there will be no discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex - including gender identity, sexual orientation, or pregnancy status - or because of age (over 40), physical or mental disability, protected genetic information, parental status, marital status, political affiliation, or any other non-merit based factor.  The Department of Justice welcomes and encourages applications from persons with physical and mental disabilities. The Department is firmly committed to satisfying its affirmative obligations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to ensure that persons with disabilities have every opportunity to be hired and advanced on the basis of merit within the Department of Justice. For more information, please review our full EEO Statement.

Reasonable Accommodations:  This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency.  Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Outreach and Recruitment for Qualified Applicants with Disabilities:  The Department encourages qualified applicants with disabilities, including individuals with targeted/severe disabilities to apply in response to posted vacancy announcements.  Qualified applicants with targeted/severe disabilities may be eligible for direct hire, non-competitive appointment under Schedule A (5 C.F.R. § 213.3102(u)) hiring authority.  Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to contact one of the Department’s Disability Points of Contact (DPOC) to express an interest in being considered for a position. See list of DPOCs.   

Suitability and Citizenship:  It is the policy of the Department to achieve a drug-free workplace and persons selected for employment will be required to pass a drug test which screens for illegal drug use prior to final appointment.  Employment is also contingent upon the completion and satisfactory adjudication of a background investigation. Congress generally prohibits agencies from employing non-citizens within the United States, except for a few narrow exceptions as set forth in the annual Appropriations Act (see, https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/working-in-government/non-citizens/). Pursuant to DOJ component policies, only U.S. citizens are eligible for employment with the Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Trustee’s Offices, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Unless otherwise indicated in a particular job advertisement, qualifying non-U.S. citizens meeting immigration and appropriations law criteria may apply for employment with other DOJ organizations. However, please be advised that the appointment of non-U.S. citizens is extremely rare; such appointments would be possible only if necessary to accomplish the Department's mission and would be subject to strict security requirements. Applicants who hold dual citizenship in the U.S. and another country will be considered on a case-by-case basis. All DOJ employees are subject to a residency requirement. Candidates must have lived in the United States for at least three of the past five years. The three-year period is cumulative, not necessarily consecutive. Federal or military employees, or dependents of federal or military employees serving overseas, are excepted from this requirement. This is a Department security requirement which is waived only for extreme circumstances and handled on a case-by-case basis.

Veterans:  There is no formal rating system for applying veterans' preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, the Department of Justice considers veterans' preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring. Applicants eligible for veterans' preference must include that information in their cover letter or resume and attach supporting documentation (e.g., the DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and other supporting documentation) to their submissions. Although the "point" system is not used, per se, applicants eligible to claim 10-point preference must submit Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, and submit the supporting documentation required for the specific type of preference claimed (visit the OPM website, www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/SF15.pdf for a copy of SF 15, which lists the types of 10-point preferences and the required supporting document(s). Applicants should note that SF 15 requires supporting documentation associated with service- connected disabilities or receipt of nonservice-connected disability pensions to be dated 1991 or later except in the case of service members submitting official statements or retirement orders from a branch of the Armed Forces showing that their retirement was due to a permanent service-connected disability or that they were transferred to the permanent disability retired list (the statement or retirement orders must indicate that the disability is 10% or more).

USAO Residency Requirement:  Assistant United States Attorneys must reside in the district to which appointed or within 25 miles thereof.  See 28 U.S.C. 545 for district specific information.

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This and other vacancy announcements can be found under Attorney Vacancies and Volunteer Legal Internships. The Department of Justice cannot control further dissemination and/or posting of information contained in this vacancy announcement. Such posting and/or dissemination is not an endorsement by the Department of the organization or group disseminating and/or posting the information.

Updated April 21, 2023