The General Counsel is the chief legal officer for DHS and oversees more than 1,800 attorneys throughout the Department. OGC is responsible for ensuring that departmental activities comply with applicable legal requirements, and that the Department's efforts to secure the Nation are lawful and consistent with the civil rights and civil liberties of our citizens and residents. OGC attorneys work on a broad range of subject matter, including national security law, immigration law, litigation, international law, intellectual property, maritime safety and security, transportation security, border security, cybersecurity, fiscal and appropriations law, federal procurement, and environmental law. OGC also coordinates DHS’s rulemaking process, manages interdepartmental clearance of proposed legislation, and provides legal training for law enforcement officers.
About Our Summer Law Volunteers
The General Counsel's Law Student Summer Volunteer Program provides law students the opportunity to work at DHS in unpaid, volunteer positions in the General Counsel's Office at DHS Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Summer Law Volunteers work on assignments that offer both valuable experience and substantial individual responsibility. For example, Summer Law Volunteers may interact directly with agency clients, attend legislative hearings, and meet with attorneys and representatives from other agencies over the course of the summer. Summer Law Volunteers may also have the opportunity to visit one or more DHS operational sites in the Washington, D.C. area.
Summer Law Volunteers are assigned to work in one of the following divisions at OGC Headquarters:
- Ethics Law Division
- General Law Division
- Immigration Law Division
- Legal Counsel Division
- Management Division
- National Protection and Programs Law Division
- Operations and Enforcement Law Division
- Regulatory Affairs Law Division
- Technology Programs Law Division
Applicant preferences will be considered when determining Summer Law Volunteer Division assignments, but assignments will be primarily based on resource needs. Successful candidates are selected to work on a term appointment of at least 8 to 10 weeks starting in May or June and not to extend past September. Please note, however, that in limited circumstances Summer Law Volunteers may stay through the fall as part of the OGC Law Student Volunteer Program, subject to the discretion of OGC. Summer Law Volunteers may receive school credit for their work at DHS but are responsible for obtaining the necessary paperwork and fulfilling school requirements to receive credit.
Only U.S. citizens are eligible for employment in OGC's Law Student Summer Volunteer Program. Prior to participating in the program, the applicant will be required to undergo a suitability determination conducted by the DHS Security Office.
The Law Student Summer Volunteer Program is open to second-year law students, as well as third-year law students in four-year programs at accredited schools. 1Ls may also apply starting on December 1. Hiring of 1Ls is dependent on available vacancies.
OGC selects candidates based on multiple factors including:
- Demonstrated high academic achievement (GPA of 3.5 or higher or top 1/3 of the class preferred). Note: We understand that not all law schools follow a standard GPA or class ranking and ask that candidates applying from such schools submit a grading or ranking explanation from the school.
- Exceptional research, writing and analytical skills; and
- Demonstrated involvement in activities beyond required coursework is encouraged.
Application Process and Deadlines
The application period is currently closed.