Int’l Student - Federal Internships?

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Drspencerreid

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Int’l Student - Federal Internships?

Postby Drspencerreid » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:31 pm

Just wanted to gain some insight before all the craziness starts- I’m an incoming int’l student at T14 interested in 1L federal internships. I went to UG in the US and have interned in Congress with no issues.

Most major fed internship for law students (SEC, CFTC, SDNY, federal/state courts...)say “US citizen only” on the website, but when researching I found some blog posts written by Chinese JD (PRC nationals) students that say they interned at the D.C. District Court/CFTC, etc. during 1L summer. I did comment on them to clarify with no response (posts from 1-2 years ago).

I was just wondering if this just means the citizenship requirement is in fact flexible, and I am still able to apply to these? If the restriction is due to non-citizens not being able to get paid by the gov or due to security concerns? If any international students have had this experience, I would really appreciate insight!

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Re: Int’l Student - Federal Internships?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:44 pm

I am also international. I have heard certain agencies like FTC/FCC can be more flexible, whereas places like DOJ/DOD are stricter. Federal court judicial externships are always doable, as they don't pay you. In this administration though, why bother interning with the executive branch...

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Re: Int’l Student - Federal Internships?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am also international. I have heard certain agencies like FTC/FCC can be more flexible, whereas places like DOJ/DOD are stricter. Federal court judicial externships are always doable, as they don't pay you. In this administration though, why bother interning with the executive branch...

Most jobs in the executive branch change very little from administration to administration.

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Re: Int’l Student - Federal Internships?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:42 pm

Not an International student, but I've got a few federal government internships under my belt. As far as I know, the SEC and I think DOJ will require citizenship. The CFTC will make exceptions (at least in certain divisions) for the right candidate. Nonetheless, these internships will be very competitive to obtain as a 1L summer, but not as much during a semester externship, especially if you are in DC. You should also look at FINRA and other SRO's, and even lobbying groups, that might be more forgiving on the citizenship requirement. I can confirm judicial externships (federal or state) do not require citizenship, but a post-grad clerkship will (for federal).

mimmsi

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Re: Int’l Student - Federal Internships?

Postby mimmsi » Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:02 am

I couldn't do any federal clerkships as a Canadian student. In my geographic area at least, all the federal judges had clerkships, not externships, so there wasn't even that option for me.

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Re: Int’l Student - Federal Internships?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:14 am

Also PRC national and currently interning at SDNY (fed. court, not USAO) for the summer. As far as I know, unpaid judicial internships do not require citizenship but USAO and other DOJ/SEC types do. HTH

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Re: Int’l Student - Federal Internships?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:42 am

Yes, I know of an international student who interned is federal court specifically because she knew she wouldn’t be able to clerk, and she thought it would be the closest she’d get to the experience. So citizenship didn’t seem to be necessary in that context.

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Re: Int’l Student - Federal Internships?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Yes, I know of an international student who interned is federal court specifically because she knew she wouldn’t be able to clerk, and she thought it would be the closest she’d get to the experience. So citizenship didn’t seem to be necessary in that context.


I clerked on the 2C/9C/DC as a Canadian under a TN visa. I also have Canadian friends who have clerked at the SDNY. You can clerk, you just can't get paid, so expect to live very frugally that year since you're essentially self-funding the clerkship. It also made securing a clerkship THAT much harder, because most judges don't feel comfortable hiring someone knowing they won't get paid. That said, I had an amazing experience, and my judge treated me like any other clerk. I believe there were a couple of threads already on this.

I think a lot of federal agencies will make exceptions for the right candidate. I had a Chinese national friend who interned at the SEC one summer. She was hired before her superiors realized she was not American, and they liked her enough that they made an exception for her. This was in DC by the way. I also know an international student who ended up working at the NIH, which sponsored his green card to become a citizen. Don't ever be discouraged from applying if you have excellent credentials, because a lot of these so-called policies are fungible for the right candidate.



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