DOJ/EOIR Honors & SLIP Questions

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DOJ/EOIR Honors & SLIP Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:29 pm

Hi guys. I am a 1L at a T-10. I have solid pre-LS work experience abroad in a country with a high rate of undocumented expats in the US. I am really interested in attaining a clerkship with the DOJ/EOIR upon graduation (Office of the Chief Immigration Judge or Board of Immigration Appeals). I have a few questions about everything:

1.) Given the historically tenuous relationship between the ACLU and the DOJ, would work during my 1L Summer at the ACLU Immigrant Rights Project in San Francisco have any detrimental effect on my chances for getting a SLIP for my 2L summer and/or a clerkship upon graduation via the Honors Program?

2.) What is the selection process like for SLIP and for Honors? What kind of grades/class rank do I need? Regarding journals, would Journal of Immigration Law be on par with Law Review, given the subspecialty?

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okinawa
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Re: DOJ/EOIR Honors & SLIP Questions

Postby okinawa » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:44 pm

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Last edited by okinawa on Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: DOJ/EOIR Honors & SLIP Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:18 am

Anyone have experience with applying for the unpaid 1L DOJ positions? I am interested in EOIR in Philly and have relevant volunteering/WE.

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Re: DOJ/EOIR Honors & SLIP Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:1.) Given the historically tenuous relationship between the ACLU and the DOJ, would work during my 1L Summer at the ACLU Immigrant Rights Project in San Francisco have any detrimental effect on my chances for getting a SLIP for my 2L summer and/or a clerkship upon graduation via the Honors Program?


The ACLU doesn't handle the sorts of immigration stuff that will ends up in front of EOIR. It won't harm you at all.

Anonymous User wrote:2.) What is the selection process like for SLIP and for Honors? What kind of grades/class rank do I need? Regarding journals, would Journal of Immigration Law be on par with Law Review, given the subspecialty?


SLIP tends to be more prestige-concerned than Honors, so anything that would help you in OCI will also help you for SLIP. There's no reason for the emphasis on prestige in that it's the exact same thing as a volunteer internship, you just get paid for it (anyone who tells you different is a SLIP propping up his or her delicate ego). The thing that gets you a volunteer internship is immigration stuff in your resume and a good writing sample.

For Honors, what you need is immigration stuff in your resume, immigration stuff in your resume, and immigration stuff in your resume. You also need to know how to write, so law review and an awesome writing sample, preferably on an immigration topic. Also, while there are a few hires each year who didn't previously intern for at an immigration court, they're rare, which really just goes back to the fact that you need immigration stuff in your resume.

If you're coming from a T14, EOIR doesn't care about your GPA. Median is probably good enough from any other top-100 school (the rest of DOJ is really grade focused, but EOIR is a different animal). An immigration journal (Georgetown is a T-10 now?) is probably as good as Law Review if it fits into your resume full of single-minded immigration law focus for EOIR, but Law Review is probably a safer bet because it's more versatile, as okinawa said.

Anonymous User wrote:Anyone have experience with applying for the unpaid 1L DOJ positions? I am interested in EOIR in Philly and have relevant volunteering/WE.


The volunteer internships are open to 2Ls as well, and they generally have a step up on 1Ls because they have more time to build immigration law into their resumes. That said, if you actually have relevant volunteering and experience (international law is not relevant experience, nor is working at something that has nothing to do with immigration law where there are a lot of immigrants for other reasons; talking that type of stuff up annoys immigration folks), you're probably a good candidate, assuming that your writing sample is solid and you highlight an immigration bent in your CL.

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Re: DOJ/EOIR Honors & SLIP Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 20, 2012 12:09 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:1.) Given the historically tenuous relationship between the ACLU and the DOJ, would work during my 1L Summer at the ACLU Immigrant Rights Project in San Francisco have any detrimental effect on my chances for getting a SLIP for my 2L summer and/or a clerkship upon graduation via the Honors Program?


The ACLU doesn't handle the sorts of immigration stuff that will ends up in front of EOIR. It won't harm you at all.

Anonymous User wrote:2.) What is the selection process like for SLIP and for Honors? What kind of grades/class rank do I need? Regarding journals, would Journal of Immigration Law be on par with Law Review, given the subspecialty?


SLIP tends to be more prestige-concerned than Honors, so anything that would help you in OCI will also help you for SLIP. There's no reason for the emphasis on prestige in that it's the exact same thing as a volunteer internship, you just get paid for it (anyone who tells you different is a SLIP propping up his or her delicate ego). The thing that gets you a volunteer internship is immigration stuff in your resume and a good writing sample.

For Honors, what you need is immigration stuff in your resume, immigration stuff in your resume, and immigration stuff in your resume. You also need to know how to write, so law review and an awesome writing sample, preferably on an immigration topic. Also, while there are a few hires each year who didn't previously intern for at an immigration court, they're rare, which really just goes back to the fact that you need immigration stuff in your resume.

If you're coming from a T14, EOIR doesn't care about your GPA. Median is probably good enough from any other top-100 school (the rest of DOJ is really grade focused, but EOIR is a different animal). An immigration journal (Georgetown is a T-10 now?) is probably as good as Law Review if it fits into your resume full of single-minded immigration law focus for EOIR, but Law Review is probably a safer bet because it's more versatile, as okinawa said.

Anonymous User wrote:Anyone have experience with applying for the unpaid 1L DOJ positions? I am interested in EOIR in Philly and have relevant volunteering/WE.


The volunteer internships are open to 2Ls as well, and they generally have a step up on 1Ls because they have more time to build immigration law into their resumes. That said, if you actually have relevant volunteering and experience (international law is not relevant experience, nor is working at something that has nothing to do with immigration law where there are a lot of immigrants for other reasons; talking that type of stuff up annoys immigration folks), you're probably a good candidate, assuming that your writing sample is solid and you highlight an immigration bent in your CL.


Thanks so much! Glad to know that EOIR is less prestige-whoring as I attend a "mere" T30. My pre-law school WE involved teaching at an urban high school with a largely immigrant student body and later working as an advocate at a domestic violence agency, which involved lots of client interaction with immigrant abuse survivors (should I bring those experiences up in my cover letter since they piqued my interests in immigration law?) As a 1L, I'm doing a pro-bono project assisting an attorney who's representing unaccompanied minors, and volunteering at DACA clinics.

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Re: DOJ/EOIR Honors & SLIP Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:59 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks so much! Glad to know that EOIR is less prestige-whoring as I attend a "mere" T30. My pre-law school WE involved teaching at an urban high school with a largely immigrant student body and later working as an advocate at a domestic violence agency, which involved lots of client interaction with immigrant abuse survivors (should I bring those experiences up in my cover letter since they piqued my interests in immigration law?) As a 1L, I'm doing a pro-bono project assisting an attorney who's representing unaccompanied minors, and volunteering at DACA clinics.


The unaccompanied minors thing is the best, assuming that the project deals with proceedings and isn't only related to custodial issues. DACA doesn't really involve EOIR, but is good to mention. The urban high school only warrants passing mention (at most) in regards to piquing your interest in immigration, unless you have some specific anecdote about helping kids deal with their parents being removed or something that you can briefly throw in. The DV stuff would be about even with the DACA thing if you can talk about informing people about VAWA benefits or helping victims apply for U visas or something, but if it's just "I talked to a bunch of immigrants about stuff unrelated to immigration law," it falls into the same category as the teaching (maybe a mention in talking about the origin of your interest, but that's it).

The idea here is that there are a lot of folks out there who have interned at some immigration firm where they maybe helped prepare a couple 42Bs and worked on a memo on some crim bar issue, all for actual submission to an immigration court. I don't have to start from scratch in explaining cancellation to that applicant, so I'm looking favorably at his or her experience.

If you come in highlighting your experience, but it only amounts to meeting some immigrants at some job you used to have or working on applications that don't go to an immigration court (this is typically employment visa work, but I suspect DACA will come to predominate soon), I'm finding your claim of experience amusing compared to the candidate described in the previous paragraph. If you convince me instead that, while you have only minimal experience in what shows up in front of the court, you're demonstrably really interested in immigration law based on actual exposure to the field, I might give you an interview to check out your sincerity. The angle is interest, not experience.

Also, if you happen to go to a school that is near one of the courts, it is typically way easier to get a part-time internship/externship at a court during the fall or spring semesters instead of during the summer, especially before your 2L summer.

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Re: DOJ/EOIR Honors & SLIP Questions

Postby Jchance » Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:34 am

If I'm reading the website correctly, EOIR mostly hires judicial clerks for immigration judges and not actual trial attorneys, right?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: DOJ/EOIR Honors & SLIP Questions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:43 am

Jchance wrote:If I'm reading the website correctly, EOIR mostly hires judicial clerks for immigration judges and not actual trial attorneys, right?

Yes. I think last year it was something like 70 IJ clerkships and 7 non-clerkship positions (which aren't necessarily trial positions; some are with the BIA, which is appeals, and 1-2 (? I forget) are with the OGC, so a bit more like in-house to the agency rather than trial work).

The IJ clerkships are for two-year terms and I believe many of the clerks go on to do immigration litigation elsewhere in the federal government, but of course that's not guaranteed.

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Re: DOJ/EOIR Honors & SLIP Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:Hi guys. I am a 1L at a T-10. I have solid pre-LS work experience abroad in a country with a high rate of undocumented expats in the US. I am really interested in attaining a clerkship with the DOJ/EOIR upon graduation (Office of the Chief Immigration Judge or Board of Immigration Appeals). I have a few questions about everything:

1.) Given the historically tenuous relationship between the ACLU and the DOJ, would work during my 1L Summer at the ACLU Immigrant Rights Project in San Francisco have any detrimental effect on my chances for getting a SLIP for my 2L summer and/or a clerkship upon graduation via the Honors Program?

2.) What is the selection process like for SLIP and for Honors? What kind of grades/class rank do I need? Regarding journals, would Journal of Immigration Law be on par with Law Review, given the subspecialty?


I did DOJ SLIP 4 years ago as a post 3L (bar summer). T14 with top 1/3 grades and biglaw offer. Fellow interns ranged from valedictorian at a fourth tier law school to HYS (rank unknown). Can't really divine the selection criteria, but I think having a demonstrated passion for the work of the section you are applying for is important. ACLU is probably fine if you essay articulates well why you want to work for the DOJ. But you never know what the biases are from people selecting. My essay was about why a believe in the work the section did.

It was a fantastic experience, but at least at the time, it was not a path to a full time job. They did not give anybody offers in my section (out of 15 interns). Things may be better now, but I wouldn't bet on it given the sequester. That said, having prior federal government service (even an internship) is helpful for future federal employment. It at least shows you can pass the background check.

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Re: DOJ/EOIR Honors & SLIP Questions

Postby unclepete » Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:51 pm

I have pre-LS work experience as an immigration paralegal, but didn't do much except study 1L year. I did make it onto the immigration clinic and student group at my school, but I am planning to transfer to a T-20.

Would it be worthwhile to stay at my former school (T2) with the clinic to add more immigration to my resume? I can't join the Asylum Clinic at the new school until Spring, at which point SLIP application process will be over.




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