Washington, D.C
Apr 02, 2021
Apr 10, 2021
Program Manager
Full Time


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is now accepting applications from 2L, 3L, and 4L law students for its 2021 Fall Legal Externship (Unpaid) Program in our Washington DC office. The externships start in August 2021 and end in November 2021, the start and end dates may be flexible .

See our tips on the application process and printable checklist to ensure each step of the application is completed.

Learn more about this agency


Externs will work in one program area during the externship. Positions are available in the following program areas:
  • Legal Division
  • Office of Regulations
  • Office of Enforcement
  • Office of Supervision Policy
  • Office of Civil Rights
  • Office of Innovation

Please see qualification section for a more detailed description of each office.

Legal externs will be assigned to work with attorneys on projects and assignments that cover a broad range of the Bureau's legal and regulatory work. That work depends upon the division or office where the student works.

These are unpaid positions. Externs may earn academic credit with permission of the extern's law school. Externs must sign the Bureau's Student Volunteer Agreement and will be responsible for obtaining their school representative's signature.

Externship opportunities are full time and/or part time with a minimum 15 hours requirement per week. This is determined and agreed upon based on the volunteer student's academic course load schedule and division/office needs. You will have the opportunity to discuss schedule, hours, etc. upon selection and acceptance into the program.

Applicants should have excellent research and writing skills, solid academic credentials and a demonstrated commitment to the mission of the Bureau. Must be a U.S. Citizen.

Externs may work between 15-40 hours per week.

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • Please refer to "Conditions of Employment."
  • Click "Print Preview" to review the entire announcement before applying.
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or U.S National
  • Public Trust background investigation will be required

To be eligible for this volunteer internship all of the following requirements must be met.
  • You MUST be a US citizen or US National
  • You MUST be a student currently enrolled at least half-time in an accredited four year college or university as a 2L, 3L, and 4L law student.
  • You MUST submit academic transcripts demonstrating that you meet the eligibility requirements. (unofficial is acceptable)
  • You MUST submit a cover letter

If you do not submit sufficient academic documentation necessary to demonstrate that you meet the eligibility requirements described in this announcement, your application will be deemed incomplete and you will be ineligible.


Applicants should have excellent research and writing skills, solid academic credentials and a demonstrated commitment to the mission of the Bureau.

Externs will work in one program area during the externship. Positions are available in the following program areas:

Legal Division

The Bureau's Legal Division (LD) serves as counsel to the Bureau, advising the Director on all legal matters. In this capacity, LD develops and advances Bureau legal strategy in collaboration with other stakeholders on mission-critical issues and provides timely legal support and advice on all issues before the Bureau. LD consists of three program offices: Litigation & Oversight, which represents the Bureau in all appellate and defensive litigation, manages the Bureau's responses to oversight requests, and advises the Director and Bureau components on issues presenting legal and other risks.

Externs in LD will have the opportunity to work on projects for each of the three offices. Projects generally consist of (1) conducting substantive legal research on complex questions of law, (2) drafting memoranda, correspondence, and motions, (3) assisting attorneys with matters in active litigation or active Congressional investigations, and (4) assisting LD attorneys in the Bureau-wide review process for policy and rulemaking initiatives. Externs are also invited to attend weekly staff meetings, moots, court proceedings, and other exciting events throughout the term.

Office of Regulations

The Bureau's Office of Regulations develops, writes, and implements Federal consumer financial regulations. Our mission is to advance policy that fosters an accessible, fair, transparent, and competitive financial services market for both consumers and providers by: developing and amending rules and guidance to protect consumers, reduce unwarranted regulatory burden, and lower barriers to consumer-friendly innovation; facilitating consistent compliance with federal consumer financial law by providing implementation support and ongoing interpretive guidance; and serving within the Bureau as the authority on the interpretation of Bureau rules.

Externs will be placed with a rulemaking or regulatory implementation team for the duration of their semester-long externship. An extern's duties may include researching and analyzing complex factual, legal, and policy issues; preparing memos addressing these issues; and presenting their work to team members and others.

Office of Enforcement :

The Office of Enforcement is the primary litigating arm of the Bureau and enforces federal consumer financial laws by investigating cases of potential wrongdoing and taking legal action where appropriate. Enforcement attorneys conduct factual investigation of companies to determine whether they are violating the law, research legal issues, and handle all stages of enforcement litigation at the trial court level. Externs in the Office of Enforcement support cases in active litigation and matters in the investigation stage. We try to give our externs exposure to many different aspects of our investigation and litigation process. Externs are assigned to a case team that is in active litigation and also receive assignments in support of other investigations and cases.

In addition to learning about substantive consumer protection laws, the enforcement of those laws, and the general administrative policies and procedures of a federal agency, this is an excellent opportunity to learn about the investigative process and the nuts and bolts of trial-level civil litigation. An extern's duties may include: conducting legal research and drafting internal memoranda; drafting filings for enforcement actions litigating in both federal court and administrative courts; and assisting in preparation for depositions, hearings, and negotiations with outside counsel. When possible, externs are provided with the opportunity to observe hearings, depositions, and other proceedings.

Office of Supervision Policy

The Office of Supervision Policy (OSP) develops supervision strategy and provides subject-matter expertise to the Bureau's examination staff on legal and policy issues. OSP's work is varied, spanning the consumer financial marketplace under the Bureau's supervisory authority, including mortgages, student loans, auto loans, payday lending, and international money transfers. We work closely with other offices in the Bureau, including the offices of Enforcement, Fair Lending, Regulations, Markets, and Legal, as well as with other regulators (both state and federal). .

OSP externs can expect assignments such as: (1) drafting legal memos to analyze whether citations of Federal consumer financial law are appropriate in examinations in a variety of areas, (2) updating examination procedures, job aids, and training materials used by regional staff to ensure they remain up-to-date and easy to use, and (3) reviewing examination reports, supervisory letters, and other OSP documents, such as Supervisory Highlights , a public report that shares anonymized findings of the supervision program. Externs are also invited to join calls with examiners, OSP subject matter team meetings and bi-weekly staff meetings, and meetings with other regulators.

Office of Civil Rights

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) enforces civil rights laws and works to prevent and correct any unlawful discrimination in the workplace for employees and applicants for employment. OCR processes EEO complaints filed by employees and applicants in accordance with timeframes and guidelines set forth by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and issues mandated reports. OCR also educates the workforce on EEO policies and procedures and through data analyses, identifies whether barriers to equal employment opportunities exist and develops recommendations for corrective actions, as needed, and conducts alternative dispute resolution, usually in the form of mediation.

Legal externs in the OCR will have the opportunity to (1) observe the complete EEO adjudication process and assist in reviewing affidavits, Reports of Investigations, final agency decisions, and accept/dismiss letters for legal accuracy before issuance, (2) conduct targeted legal research in civil rights laws, employment laws, and EEOC federal regulations and write clear and concise legal memorandum on issues that arise within the EEO Complaint Process, and (3) work on special projects within OCR to support its mission, including assistance in research and drafting reports and policy, assisting with creating and presenting webinars on EEO topics, and supporting monthly educational events for the workforce.

Office of Innovation

The mission of the Office of Innovation (OI) is to promote innovation, competition, and consumer access within financial services. We are responsible for the development, coordination, and implementation of Bureau efforts to spur consumer-friendly innovation. This includes implementation of our innovation policies: No-Action Letter Policy, Compliance Assistance Sandbox Policy, and Trial Disclosure Program Policy. It also includes coordinating with other regulators, both on a one-off basis and through participation in the American Consumer Financial Network (ACFIN) and the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN). An extern's duties are expected to include: conducting diligence on applicants under the three innovation policies, researching and analyzing factual and legal issues raised by applications, engaging with applicants, participating in internal Bureau meetings, and interacting with external stakeholders, such as consumer advocacy groups, industry trade associations, individual companies, and government regulators. OI is particularly interested in candidates with a strong background and/or interest in FinTech.


You must be an enrolled 2L, 3L, or 4L law student.

Additional information

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking non-paid volunteers to encourage interest in public service careers and provide valuable work experience. As a non-paid volunteer, students will gain first-hand experience performing a variety of tasks related to supporting the activities of the Bureau.

Student Volunteers may work during the school year and/or during summer or school vacation periods. The nature of the volunteer assignment as well as the work schedule will be established once on-board.
  • All candidates will be considered without regard to any non-merit reasons such as race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, lawful political affiliation, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, protected genetic information, parental status, membership in an employee organization, or other non-merit factors.
  • If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959 and over the age of 18, you must certify that you have registered with Selective Service System or are exempt from having to do so.
  • As required by hiring office, you may be required to: Go through a Personal Identity Verification (PIV) process that requires two forms of identification from the Form I-9. Federal law requires verification of the identity and employment eligibility of all new hires in the U.S.
  • Successfully complete a background investigation.
  • Relocation expenses will not be paid.
  • This position is ineligible for bargaining unit representation.
  • Maintain a student status throughout the internship (be actively enrolled at an accredited 4 year college or university)
  • Ethics: CFPB employees are subject to government-wide ethical standards of conduct, financial disclosure requirements, and post-employment prohibitions, which applicants may review at In addition, CFPB employees must comply with the Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (5 CFR 9401), which, among other things, prohibit an employee or the employee's spouse or minor child from owning or controlling a debt or equity interest in an entity supervised by CFPB. CFPB's regulations also impose restrictions on the outside activities of certain Bureau employees, including examiners and attorneys. Applicants may review the CFPB ethics regulations and a summary of the regulations at Questions regarding these requirements and prohibitions should be directed to the CFPB Ethics Office at

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Your application includes your:
  • Cover letter, including program areas ranked in order of interest (REQUIRED)
  • Responses to the online questions
  • Resume
  • Current transcripts showing enrollment (REQUIRED- unofficial is acceptable),

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Not Required

Drug test required

Required Documents

Please note - If you do not submit sufficient academic documentation necessary to demonstrate that you meet the eligibility requirements described in this announcement, your application will be deemed incomplete and you will be ineligible. You will also be deemed ineligible if you fail to submit a cover letter.


You MUST submit a cover letter including program areas ranked in order of interest

You MUST submit a copy of your transcripts or a list of courses showing title, number of credits, and grade (if applicable) from an accredited college or university verifying proof of enrollment.

Both official AND unofficial transcripts are acceptable as part of the application process. However, if you are selected, you will be required to provide an official transcript before you report to work.

You must be attending a school than is an accredited (or pre-accredited) college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For a list of schools which these criteria, please refer to .

If you are eligible based on foreign education, you must submit proof of creditability of education as evaluated by a credentialing agency; more information may be found .
We recommend you get this process started as soon as possible to avoid delays in appointment if selected.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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