U.S. Department of Education
The Office of the General Counsel’s Legal Internship Program provides law students with an opportunity to build valuable legal and professional skills in research and writing, while getting exposure to education law and policy, litigation, civil rights matters related to education, and such other areas of law as regulations, employment law, and the Freedom of Information Act.
OGC’s program gets students involved in substantive work in a variety of programs and initiatives here at ED. They are typically assigned to two or more of our seven Legal Divisions and/or OGC’s Front Office.
Interns work with OGC’s attorneys to identify potential legal issues and find solutions as they advise and represent clients across the Department. Legal interns may work on a number of matters including: providing advice and counsel to clients; litigation; 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 the Every Student Succeeds Act, the federal student loan program, or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; the development of regulations; or the Department’s Ethics program; and may conduct research on emerging education issues and strategies, legislation, and law.
We also try to provide professional and experiential opportunities . Interns may attend sessions of Congress or Congressional hearings, particularly on topics related to education. Interns may tour the Supreme Court or Capitol Building and are invited to attend speeches or events in which the Secretary or other senior leaders are speaking. We 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 work at the U.S. Department of Education 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, and excellent legal research, analysis, and writing skills. Interns must be a current student. In select circumstances, we may consider a candidate who is an undergraduate or graduate student with a demonstrated interest in education law and policy. Interns work full-time in the summer, and full-time or part-time in fall or spring in order to accommodate coursework and schedules.
The program is presently for non-paid internship positions. We are happy to work with law schools and universities to ensure that interns receive academic credit for their internship work.
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 OGCinterns@ed.gov 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, unofficial transcript, and brief writing sample.
For a complete list of U.S. Department of Education internship programs, click here.