The federal government isn’t exactly in rapid growth mode right now (which may explain the pain of D.C. law firms). But if you’re interested in working for the government, some opportunities still remain.
Take the Honors Program of the U.S. Department of Justice. As noted on the program’s website, “[t]he Attorney General’s Honors Program is the largest and most prestigious federal entry-level attorney hiring program of its kind.”
If you’re a 3L or law clerk who’s interested in the Honors Program, you need to submit your application materials very soon — about a week from now. The Honors Program application deadline is SEPTEMBER 3, 2013 (and note that the Labor Day holiday falls during this period, which could affect your ability to obtain transcripts or contact references). For complete application information and the full hiring timeline, see the DOJ website.
We wish you good luck — because you’ll definitely need it….
Take a look at the list of participating components. It looks like there are a total of 105 positions available for the 2014 Honors Program. The good news is that this number is up from two years ago; as we noted at the time, the 2012 Honors Program offered about 70 to 75 positions. The bad news is that of the 105 positions, a whopping 77 of them, or 73 percent, are with the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). With all due respect to the EOIR and immigration law — an important office, and an important area of law — not every idealistic young lawyer wants to tinker with the machinery of deportation.
On the bright side, some additional positions may be available at the Department for young lawyers. As noted on the DOJ website, “[o]ther Department components participate informally in the Honors Program, subject to availability of funds.” But given the state of federal government funding right now, one probably shouldn’t expect to much from the “informal” participation.
If you’re interested in the DOJ Honors Program, apply now (if you haven’t done so already) — and unless you’re interested in immigration, cross your fingers or say a little prayer.
The Attorney General’s Honors Program [U.S. Department of Justice]
Honors Program Application Tips and Checklist [U.S. Department of Justice]
Honors Program Participating Components [U.S. Department of Justice]