Summer Programs for DOJ

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Summer Programs for DOJ

Postby Jarndyce » Thu May 06, 2010 10:06 am

I posted this in the main forum but didn't get any responses- this may be a better place for it.

I am a law student at a school ranked between 50 and 70 (would rather not say), and I am in the top 5% of my class. In my first semester, I CALI-ed my Criminal Law class. I will be spending my 1L summer with a fairly large firm (200-ish) attorneys) in the same city that my law school is in.

I say all of that to say this- I am interested in possibly ending up working for the Department of Justice down the road. I know that the DOJ does various volunteer positions in different districts throughout the United States, and I am also aware of the paying program that is for 2Ls in Washington DC over summer (I believe this is referred to as the Summer Law Intern Program). I am curious for those of you who know, how competitive does this program tend to be? Also, is this more for people who want to end up working in Washington DC? My goal, if I choose to pursue this path, is to end up in the area where I am going to law school, which is not in DC. Assuming all three options were on the table, which would be a better way to spend my second summer if I wanted to do this- another big firm summer, a volunteer position with a local district attorney's office, or the SLIP program?

Thanks in advance for any helpful responses.

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Re: Summer Programs for DOJ

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 06, 2010 10:17 am

First, congrats on doing well during 1L.

Second, post-grad jobs at DOJ are insanely competitive. Nothing wrong with aiming for it if that's your dream but recognize that the odds are against you and you should figure out something else in case you aren't lucky enough to be among the chosen.

Getting an unpaid internship at DOJ will still be competitive, but not nearly as competitive as getting a post grad job. DOJ SLIP is more competitive than than an unpaid internship, but getting that is absolutely no guarantee you will get a post grad DOJ job. For honors program jobs at the DOJ, most of the positions are going to be in DC, not in field offices.

See here:

If your goal is to end up in the area where you go to school, you should spend your summers there. For 2L summer, you preferably want to spend the summer at an employer that can feasibly hire you after graduation. Depending on the situation at your local DA's office, you may find that they don't hire fresh law school grads at all, or they don't hire that many.

One thing to keep in mind is that it's possible to do unpaid internships during the academic year in 2L and 3L. So you could still spend the summer at a firm (or somewhere else) and intern at the local DOJ field office or DA's office part-time during the school year if you wanted to.

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