Students interested in working for the federal government often think first about the US Department of Justice.  Headquartered in Washington, DC, the department has field offices in every state and maintains offices in over 100 countries worldwide.  It is the world’s largest legal employer with more than 10,000 attorneys working in the states. Attorneys with the Department of Justice work in virtually every legal practice area.  Navigating the agency and figuring which divisions and organizations are the best fit for you can seem daunting.  However the agency has many tools to assist you in learning how to start the process.

On the Department of Justice website, you will encounter a section called “Explore Legal Careers at Justice“.  The Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management has three programs aimed at providing law students and recent law graduates opportunities.  The Volunteer Legal Intern program provides approximately 1,000 spots during the summer.  Although the positions are unpaid, they provide a great opportunity to gain skills and experience.  The U.S. Attorney General’s Summer Law Intern Program, known as SLIP, is a competitive program for paid summer internships. These are aimed at second year law students.  The Attorney General’s Honors Program is the agency’s most competitive program for new attorneys. Many of these opportunities are listed in the Government Honors and Internship Handbook that was detailed in an earlier blog.  Students can receive log in and password information to the resource by emailing Linda Lorenz.

To assist students in understanding the many functions and organizations of the Department of Justice, the agency has assembled a booklet available on line entitled “Choose Justice – Guide to the U.S. Department of Justice for Law Students and Experienced Attorneys.” The 52-page booklet gives law students and recent graduates a complete look at the agency.  Part One gives an overview of the Department’s four hiring programs including eligibility, application processes and frequently asked questions.  Part Two explains in detail the various divisions and organizations under the Department of Justice that hires students and attorneys.  Part three is comprised of two different directories.  The first gives detailed information about field office locations and the second is a chart of the DOJ’s organizational practice areas.  This guide would be extremely helpful to anyone interested in applying for legal positions with the federal government.

U.S. Department of Justice, http://www.justice.gov/careers/legal/ (Accessed Nov. 28, 2012) 

Choose Justice:  Guide to the U.S. Department of Justice for Law Students and Experienced Attorneys, http://www.justice.gov/careers/legal/legal-careers-brochure.pdf (Accessed Nov. 28, 2012)