Honors Attorneys gain valuable experience and benefit from a wide variety of learning experiences. Attorneys at the FCC draft decisions in adjudicatory and rulemaking matters, work with internal and external constituencies to resolve complex policy issues before the agency, participate in international negotiations, represent the FCC in dealings with other government agencies, Congress and the private sector, and defend FCC decisions in the federal courts. Additionally, Honors Attorneys benefit from a specialized training and career-development curriculum designed specifically for the program. Typically, Honors Attorneys:
RequirementsConditions of Employment
- Conduct legal research, compile facts and background information, search authorities and precedents on points of law, and prepare or draft legal documents, reports, and memoranda for use by senior attorneys in the preparation of opinions and decisions, or the handling of quasi-legislative or adjudicative proceedings;
- Study the record in cases pending before the agency and prepare initial drafts on the law and facts;
- Research legal and policy matters involved in special projects, including interpretations of treaties, statutes, and regulations; assist in the preparation of written authoritative opinions; and prepare responses to inquiries from members of the public concerning communications law, policy, and procedures; and/or
- Examine formal filings such as applications for licenses or other authorities, petitions and responsive pleadings, formal and informal complaints and inquiries, and various reports and statements required to be filed under the Commission's rules; analyze questions of law and fact, conduct the necessary research, and prepare appropriate documents recommending dispositive action.
General Eligibility Requirements .
- Suitable for employment as determined by a background investigation.
- Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with Selective Service.
- U.S. citizens, nationals or those who owe allegiance to the U.S.
- Must submit a cover letter
- Must submit a resume (standard format preferred rather than resume-builder)
- Must submit an official of unofficial law school transcript
- Must submit a writing sample (preferably not more than 15 pages)
- Must submit a list of three professional references (with phone and email)
You are eligible to apply during the fall application window for the 2024 Attorney Honors Program if you are a:
- Current law student who will graduate in the spring or summer of 2024
- Graduate law student who will complete your course of study by the summer of 2024; or
- Federal, state, or municipal judicial clerk serving during the 2023-24 judicial term.
Before making a selection, the FCC reviews many facets of a candidate's background as outlined below. Graduating law students and current judicial clerks with strong qualifications are encouraged to apply. (Current judicial clerks should apply to the companion vacancy announcement "HonorsAtty-OGC-2023-002".)
Current federal employees must meet one year of time in grade requirements.Education
Candidates must either (a) be enrolled in an accredited degree-seeking program in pursuit of a J.D., LL.M. or other graduate law degree and be scheduled to complete their course of study by the summer of 2024; or (b) have successfully completed their J.D., LL.M. or other graduate law program and be currently serving as a judicial clerk. (See "General Eligibility Requirements" for additional criteria).
Transcripts must be submitted to verify education. If transcripts (official or unofficial) are not submitted, candidates will not be deemed eligible for this position. If you are unsure if your school is accredited, please use the following link to verify: Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs.
NOTE: Candidates must have successfully completed their J.D. or LL.M. program by the summer of 2024 in order to be eligible for appointment as an Honors Attorney at the FCC. Qualifying Experience
Examples of qualifying experience include but are not limited to: academic achievement, writing skills, law review and/or moot court experience, clinic or extracurricular activities, and interest in government service and/or the communications industry.Additional information
EEO Policy Statement
Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement
Legal and Regulatory Guidance
If you are not a U.S. Citizen, you may be eligible for federal employment and may apply for the Honors Program if you fall into one of the following categories of individuals:
- Individuals who are lawful permanent residents seeking citizenship as outlined in 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3)(B);
- Individuals who are admitted refugees under 8 U.S.C. 1157 or granted asylum under 8 U.S.C. 1158 and have filed a declaration of intention to become a lawful permanent resident and then a citizen when eligible; or
- Individuals who owe allegiance to the United States (e.g., nationals of American Samoa, Swains Island)
(Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, Pub. L. No. 116-260, Div. E, Title VII, § 704, December 27, 2020, 134 Stat. 1182.)
In addition to meeting one of the criteria listed above, you are still subject to the requirements of immigration law. You must provide documentation supporting your eligibility prior to being hired. If you are selected as an FCC Honors Attorney, you must also successfully complete a background investigation.
For more information about citizenship requirements for federal employment, please visit the Office of Personnel Management's website at https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/working-in-government/non-citizens/ . If you have additional questions about the eligibility of non-U.S. citizens for the FCC Attorney Honors Program, please contact Kristin Young in the FCC Office of Human Resources at Kristin.Young@fcc.gov .
- Before hiring, an agency will ask you to complete a Declaration for Federal Employment to determine your suitability for Federal employment and to authorize a background investigation. The agency will also ask you to sign and certify the accuracy of all the information in your application. If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired; you may be fired after you begin work; or you may be fined or jailed. If you are a male over age 18 who was born after December 31, 1959, you must have registered with the Selective Service System (or have an exemption) to be eligible for a Federal job.
- If applicable, you will be required to serve a trial period of one year.
- In order for you to be employed at the FCC, there are certain Commission and Federal laws governing the financial interests of you and members of your immediate family. If selected for the position, you must submit a financial disclosure statement upon assuming the position.