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NASA summer legal internship (taking questions)

Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:43 am
by Dan0504
Hey friends!

Rising 2L Miami Law Student. I am currently doing an 8-week legal internship at NASA, got any questions?

Re: NASA summer legal internship (taking questions)

Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:24 pm
by forum_user
Thanks for doing this! I'm a totally clueless 0L so sorry if I make that obvious by my questions.

What's the application process/timeline like?
How competitive is it?
Which office/practice group? (Do they even offer summer internships for non-DC offices?)
What's the work like generally?
How are your coworkers?
Why'd you take the internship? Do you expect it to lead to or help with future work in the government/NASA?
Is working for NASA as cool as it sounds?

Thanks again!

Re: NASA summer legal internship (taking questions)

Posted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:48 am
by Thelaw23
I'm just curious, what type of stuff do lawyers and legal interns do at NASA?

Re: NASA summer legal internship (taking questions)

Posted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:47 pm
by RSN
Thelaw23 wrote:I'm just curious, what type of stuff do lawyers and legal interns do at NASA?


Space law, obviously

Re: NASA summer legal internship (taking questions)

Posted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:55 pm
by Nebby
Thelaw23 wrote:I'm just curious, what type of stuff do lawyers and legal interns do at NASA?

General agency stuff. FOIA. Employment law. Contract law. Plus space law.

Re: NASA summer legal internship (taking questions)

Posted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:32 am
by Dan0504
Nebby wrote:
Thelaw23 wrote:I'm just curious, what type of stuff do lawyers and legal interns do at NASA?

General agency stuff. FOIA. Employment law. Contract law. Plus space law.


This guy is right on! Most of it is normal public sector work. There really isn't that much "space law" out there.

Re: NASA summer legal internship (taking questions)

Posted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:40 am
by Dan0504
forum_user wrote:Thanks for doing this! I'm a totally clueless 0L so sorry if I make that obvious by my questions.

What's the application process/timeline like?
How competitive is it?
Which office/practice group? (Do they even offer summer internships for non-DC offices?)
What's the work like generally?
How are your coworkers?
Why'd you take the internship? Do you expect it to lead to or help with future work in the government/NASA?
Is working for NASA as cool as it sounds?

Thanks again!


You will find once you get into school that most legal internships require the same basic application materials. (Resume, Cover Letter, Transcripts, Recommendations...) NASA was not much different.

Most federal government internships are pretty competitive, but they accept interns from various backgrounds and schools. I was in the top 10% of my class when I applied for the position.

They have internships at all the NASA centers. (Florida, Texas, Virginia, D.C...)

1L summer internships are not very determinative of your future. I just was looking for a great experience, and an impressive talking point.

and 100%, it is pretty much the coolest job I have ever had.

Re: NASA summer legal internship (taking questions)

Posted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:47 am
by Future Ex-Engineer
Seen any space pirates in court?

Re: NASA summer legal internship (taking questions)

Posted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:52 am
by Nebby
Is your clearance top secret? Can you leak any info on the galactic leyline?

Re: NASA summer legal internship (taking questions)

Posted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:37 pm
by Amerision
My dream job is to work at NASA, so I hope to be in your position in a few years. Do you think you'll end up receiving an offer from NASA to come back and work with them/could you see yourself applying for a full-time position after LS?

Re: NASA summer legal internship (taking questions)

Posted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:05 pm
by Dan0504
Amerision wrote:My dream job is to work at NASA, so I hope to be in your position in a few years. Do you think you'll end up receiving an offer from NASA to come back and work with them/could you see yourself applying for a full-time position after LS?


I do not think that they will offer me a position, they usually do not make offers to their interns. Federal legal jobs are tough, because they are not open hire.

If you really want to work for NASA best bet is to work elsewhere in the federal government first, and transfer if the opportunity arises.

Re: NASA summer legal internship (taking questions)

Posted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:07 pm
by Dan0504
Nebby wrote:Is your clearance top secret? Can you leak any info on the galactic leyline?


No clearance necessary. Just a background check!

Re: NASA summer legal internship (taking questions)

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:34 am
by A. Nony Mouse
Dan0504 wrote:Federal legal jobs are tough, because they are not open hire.

What do you mean by open hire?

Re: NASA summer legal internship (taking questions)

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:14 am
by Dan0504
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Dan0504 wrote:Federal legal jobs are tough, because they are not open hire.

What do you mean by open hire?


I can't speak for all government agencies, but at least at NASA they do not hire most of their attorneys from an open pool of applicants. (For instance USAjobs.gov)

Instead, NASA mostly hires attorneys non-competitively or what they call "excepted service." This means that they pretty much only hire people through an informal process which gives preference to those who have contacts in an office or have interned for a federal agency.

Hope that helps!

Re: NASA summer legal internship (taking questions)

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:35 am
by A. Nony Mouse
Thanks! That's interesting, my understanding was that all federal attorney jobs were outside the excepted service, but I guess not all are.

Re: NASA summer legal internship (taking questions)

Posted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:45 am
by BlendedUnicorn
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Thanks! That's interesting, my understanding was that all federal attorney jobs were outside the excepted service, but I guess not all are.


Pretty sure it's the opposite- all attorney jobs are excepted service.

Re: NASA summer legal internship (taking questions)

Posted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:54 am
by A. Nony Mouse
BlendedUnicorn wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Thanks! That's interesting, my understanding was that all federal attorney jobs were outside the excepted service, but I guess not all are.


Pretty sure it's the opposite- all attorney jobs are excepted service.

Oops. Yes, that was what I meant - all are excepted, or outside the standard closed process.

Re: NASA summer legal internship (taking questions)

Posted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:55 am
by RCSOB657
Dan0504 wrote:Hey friends!

Rising 2L Miami Law Student. I am currently doing an 8-week legal internship at NASA, got any questions?




What's your opinion on the "imminent extraterrestrial life will be disclosed" claim by Anonymous?

Re: NASA summer legal internship (taking questions)

Posted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:05 am
by btruj777
Fellow "Miamian" here.

I was extremely curious as to how this NASA program worked and I was doing research on it recently. I am curious as to how the application process was for you, from beginning to end. Did you actively seek to work at NASA? If so, can you tell us if there were multiple rounds of interviews? Or was it more of a cast out the application and then get a call back letting you know if you got it.

How long is the program and do they provide any assistance with moving/housing (I suspect that they do not)?

*EDIT*

You mentioned you are a 2L. Does this mean that you are going through this internship process the summer right after your first year or the summer right your second year?

Also,

Did you get an official NASA mug? (Definitely the most important question)

Re: NASA summer legal internship (taking questions)

Posted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:57 am
by mwells56
Does "space law" include the methodology for colonizing other planets and/or the moon? Does the spot that Lance and Buzz put an American flag on technically count as US territory?

These are the questions.

Re: NASA summer legal internship (taking questions)

Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:43 pm
by jayhawk25
I'm a current 1L. Do you have any tips for applying? Any particular aspects they might be looking for in applicants? Thank you for sharing and fielding questions. This is a position I am extremely interested in.