U.S. Department of Education
The Office of the General Counsel’s Legal Internship Program provides law students with a unique opportunity to build valuable legal and professional skills in research, writing, briefing and advocacy, while getting exposure to education law and policy.
OGC is committed to mentoring and preparing law students for future careers in education law or policy, or education-related service. As a result, our program immerses participants into substantive work that integrates interns into the variety of complex programs and initiatives here at ED. They are typically assigned to at least two of our seven Legal Divisions and/or OGC’s Front Office and generally report to an Assistant General Counsel.
Interns work alongside OGC’s expert attorneys as they work with clients across the Department to identify potential legal issues and find solutions. Legal interns may work on a number of matters including: litigation or administrative cases and filings; civil rights, special education and equity issues; agency law matters such as the Freedom of Information Act, labor and employment law, contract law and privacy issues; education programs such as Race to the Top, i3 and Direct Lending; the development of regulations; the Department’s Ethics program; and may conduct research on education emerging education issues and strategies, legislation and law.
We balance interns’ full workloads with a number of professional and experiential opportunities that students can only receive working in Washington, D.C. Interns are often included in attorney preparation meetings and client meetings, and attend briefings with the General Counsel. Interns may attend sessions of Congress, Congressional hearings, particularly on topics related to education. Interns may also tour the Supreme Court or Capitol Building and are invited to attend speeches or events in which the Secretary or other senior leader is speaking. We also integrate our legal intern program with the Department’s broader intern program and provide our interns with opportunities to meet other interns within ED and participate in social activities across the Department.
Our internship program accepts up to six law students per semester, with semesters beginning in the spring, summer, and fall. All interns will be located at the U.S. Department of Education (LBJ) headquarters in Washington, D.C. There are no prerequisites or GPA cutoffs for applicants, but in previous years, selected interns have demonstrated strong academic achievement, excellent legal research, analysis, and writing skills, and a strong interest in education policy or law. Interns must be currently enrolled in higher education. In select circumstances, we may consider a candidate who is a current undergraduate or masters student with a demonstrated interest in education law and policy. Interns preferably serve full time but have the opportunity to set flexible schedules in order to accommodate coursework and schedule.
Additionally, the program is presently for non-paid internship positions. As such, OGC prefers candidates who have the flexibility to earn academic credit for their time spent with us. We are happy to work with law schools and universities to ensure that interns receive the time and experience required to ensure academic credit.
Former interns have described the program as exceeding their expectations and a truly rewarding experience. For more information or to apply for an internship, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate the semester in which you are looking to intern. Please keep in mind that summer is our most competitive semester, so we welcome and encourage all spring and fall applicants. Applications should include a resume, cover letter, and brief writing sample.
For a complete list of U.S. Department of Education internship programs, click here.