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Law Student Volunteer at U.S. Department of Justice

U.S. Department of Justice


Mid Level

$47.000 - $65.000

26 Apr → 26 May


Job Description


40 N. CENTRAL AVE. #1800
About the Office:

The Criminal Division of the USAO for the District of Arizona has primary responsibility for prosecuting federal crimes in and relating to Arizona. Our extensive criminal practice is broken into five sections:

(1) Violent Crimes 1 and 2 (e.g., homicides, sexual assaults, and other major offenses committed on Native American reservations); Violent Crimes 3 (e.g., bank robberies, firearms offenses including gun trafficking, gang cases, assaults on Federal officers, child exploitation, and human trafficking);

(2) Southwest Border Crimes (e.g., illegal re-entry of aliens after deportation, alien smuggling, and drug seizures at the ports of entry);

(3) Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and Asset Forfeiture (e.g., large-scale narcotics trafficking organizations);

(4) Financial Crimes and Public Corruption (e.g., securities or mortgage fraud, bribery of public officials); and

(5) National Security (e.g., domestic and international terrorism, international smuggling and export violations, and economic espionage).

We also have an appellate practice, which draws cases from the five groups described above. We are seeking volunteer law student externs for summer, fall, and spring. Law student externs have opportunities for direct involvement in all of our practice areas.

As the federal agency whose mission is to ensure the fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans, the Department of Justice is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment. To build and retain a workforce that reflects the diverse experiences and perspectives of the American people, we welcome applicants from the many communities, identities, races, ethnicities, backgrounds, abilities, religions, and cultures of the United States who share our commitment to public service.

Job Description:

Law student externs have unparalleled opportunities for direct, substantive involvement in federal criminal prosecution. Our law student externs frequently complete the following assignments: research legal issues in active cases; write briefs filed in the District Court or the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; assist with trial preparation, evidence review, and witness interviews; observe hearings, jury selection, and trial; and contribute to a variety of other projects relating to federal criminal prosecution. Externs will receive assignments in as many different practice areas and with as many different attorneys as possible, providing exposure to a number of subject matters and styles of practice. In addition to the externships discussed in this listing, there are externship opportunities in the Civil Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona. Civil Division externship opportunities are described in a separate listing.

Externship Location: Phoenix

Minimum Weeks Required: Flexible. Applicants who are available for at least 10 weeks will be preferred.


First, second, or third year of law school. Must be a U.S. citizen. Strong grades, and excellent research and writing skills. A background check (covering criminal and financial history, among other things) is required because of the sensitive nature of the work performed by the United States Attorney’s Office.

The externships are unpaid, and externs will not receive benefits; however, the office will work with law schools that offer academic course credit.
Application Process:

Applications should include the following materials, all in one consolidated PDF file: (a) cover letter, (b) résumé, (c) law school transcript, (d) legal writing sample, (e) dates of availability, and (f) telephone number(s) where the applicant can be reached in the daytime and evenings.

Arizona State University students should apply through their Career Services office. Non-ASU students should apply by emailing the contacts listed below.

USAO District of Arizona

Criminal Division
2 Renaissance Square

40 N. Central Ave, Suite 1800
Phoenix, AZ 85004


Keith Vercauteren

Brian Kasprzyk

Amy Chang

Jillian Besancon

Email: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected].

Application Period:

Summer – December 1 through February 15

Fall – January 15 through February 15

Spring – August 15 through September 15

(For ASU students, please refer to school-specific deadlines available through Career Services)

Application Deadline:
Thursday, February 15, 2024
Relocation Expenses:
Relocation expenses will not be authorized.
Number of Positions:

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