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Hear from Recent Honors Attorneys

“The Honors Attorney program has been a great start to my legal career with the federal government.  Rotating to different offices exposed me to different types of legal issues, as well as different styles of advising clients. This program is especially attractive to candidates who do not necessarily have a specific type of law that they intend to practice, but are open to a wide variety of areas of law.  Even if you may have an idea of what you’d like to practice, your rotations could expose you to an area you hadn’t previously considered, or could validate your interest in a particular field.” – Teresa

Teresa is a 2011-2013 Honors Attorney who rotated through CBP, OELD and NPPLD.  She was permanently hired by CBP Office of the Chief Counsel’s Enforcement section, where her caseload includes serving as agency counsel in litigation, corresponding and negotiating with representatives from foreign governments to implement CBP programs, and providing advice on policies that involve immigration law.

“Overall, I believe the program provided me with a wide perspective on the variety of legal issues facing the Department  and, of particular relevance to my current work at OGC, helped me develop the ability to learn quickly and write coherently about completely unfamiliar areas of law.” – Brian

Brian is a 2009-2011 Honors Attorney who rotated through CBP, ICE, and OELD and was permanently hired into OELD, where he handles the DHS Exercise portfolio and prepares large summaries of legal authorities applicable to national incidents such as damaging hurricanes, a significant cyber attack, or a maritime mass migration event.

“The Honors Attorney Program gave me a unique understanding of DHS that I still rely on in my current position with the Office of General Counsel.  Additionally, the Program allowed me to practice and learn several areas of law.  The ability to practice several areas of law allowed me to find a permanent placement that best fit me.” – Michelle

Michelle is a 2009-2011 Honors Attorney who rotated through CBP, ICE, and NPPLD.  After the program, she accepted a one-year clerkship with the Honorable Charles Wilson on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.  When her clerkship ended, she was hired by NPPLD, where she advises the Office of the Under Secretary and addresses a wide variety of legal issues including Administrative law, Employment law, legislation, and litigation.

“The Honors Program afforded me the opportunity to continue to develop legal skills and knowledge of the Department’s operations in the realm of immigration law, my primary area of interest, while concomitantly exposing me to new areas of law and agency operations.” – Micah

Micah is a 2010-2012 Honors Attorney who rotated through the Immigration Law Section of OGC, the U.S. Secret Service, and USCIS.  Micah took a permanent position in the Adjudications Law Division at USCIS, where he works on development and review of policy and regulations, as well as legal issues relating to naturalization/citizenship, nonimmigrant, immigrant and special immigrant categories, legalization, adjustment of status, change of status, extension of stay, rescission, and revocation, and employment authorization.

“The relationships I built during my Honors Attorney rotations through the legal offices at ICE and CBP have been instrumental in my work as a legislative attorney at DHS Headquarters.  My understanding of the broad authorities of the Department gained through my rotations as an Honors Attorney allows me to protect DHS equities in helping to develop the Department’s legislative agenda, including assessing the impact of pending legislation on DHS operations.” – Victoria

Victoria is a 2009-2011 Honors Attorney who rotated through ICE, Tech Programs, OELD and CBP.  At the end of the program, she was permanently hired by the Legislative Affairs group in the Legal Counsel Division, where she works on legislative issues relating to law enforcement, trade, and border security.

“I very much enjoyed my time as an Honors Attorney.  From the start, I had real assignments – as opposed to cite-checking someone else’s memo or doing document review.  The experience equipped me with a broad-based DHS perspective, from which I believe I can draw upon now in my work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.” – Gene

Gene is a 2010-2012 Honors Attorney who rotated through CBP, OELD, the Intelligence Law Division of OGC, and TSA.  He accepted a permanent position in the Office of the Chief Counsel for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Atlanta, Georgia.
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