Student Trainee (Legal, Pathways Intern)

Washington, D.C
Apr 30, 2021
May 05, 2021
Full Time


Apply now for an exciting opportunity at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). CFTC promotes the integrity, resilience, and vibrancy of the U.S. derivatives markets through sound regulation. Please visit to learn more about the CFTC.

Learn more about this agency


The CFTC offers substantive legal work that provides interns an opportunity to demonstrate their writing, analytical, and advocacy skills. Law students will be assigned to work with CFTC staff members on projects and assignments that cover a broad range of the Commissions' work.

Interns may be assigned to one of the following Divisions:

Chairman/Commissioner's Office

Five Commissioners administer the CFTC, all Commissioners are appointed by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate. The President designates one of the Commissioners to serve as Chairman. The Chairman and Commissioners sponsor advisory committees as well as provide market oversight. Duties may include:
  • Researching and analyzing market issues
  • Drafting memos summarizing research and briefing the Chairman or Commissioner
  • Drafting public statements
  • Attending meetings with market participants

Division of Clearing and Risk (DCR)

DCR oversees derivatives clearing organization (DCOs) and other market participants in the clearing process. DCR monitors the clearing of futures, options on futures, and swaps by DCOs, assesses DCO compliance with Commission regulations, and conducts risk assessment and surveillance. Duties may include:
  • Evaluating DCO compliance with the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and Commission regulations
  • Researching assigned projects with respect to the CEA and Commission regulations
  • Responding to no-action, exemption, and interpretation requests

Division of Enforcement (DOE)

DOE investigates and prosecutes alleged violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations by filing complaints in the U.S. District Court. The Division also provides expert help and technical assistance with case development and trials. Duties may include:
  • Researching and writing legal memoranda, including pleadings and papers
  • Reviewing and analyzing evidence in ongoing investigations
  • Assisting attorneys in preparing investigative testimony, depositions, and discovery

Division of Market Oversight (DMO)

DMO assists the CFTC in its oversight of trade execution facilities (Swap Execution Facilities, Designated Contract Markets, and Foreign Boards of Trades) and swap data repositories. Duties include:
  • Legal research and analysis of market-related issues and trends affecting the CFTC's oversight program for registered entities
  • Drafting new or revised regulations, deciding acceptable practices, crafting no-action letters, reports, rule enforcement reviews, or policy statements

Market Participants Division (MPD):

MPD provides oversight in derivatives market intermediaries, including commodity pool operators, commodity trading advisors, futures commission merchants, introducing brokers, major swap participants, retail foreign exchange dealers, and swap dealers, as well as designated self-regulatory organizations. Duties may include:
  • Assisting with technical analyses of intricate regulations and industry governing activities
  • Preparing legal reports and analytical fact summaries
  • Reviewing documents, and conducting background and factual research on swap dealers and futures market intermediaries

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential
None - NOTE: If selected at the CT-07 level the full promotion potential is the CT-07. If selected at the CT-09 level the full promotion potential is the CT-09. Temporary positions do not have promotion potential.


Conditions of Employment

  • U.S. Citizenship.
  • Must attend an accredited law school.
  • Relocation expenses will NOT be paid.

  • You must be a U. S. citizen or national
  • Enrolled/accepted in an accredited educational institution
  • Pursuing a degree
  • Maintain enrollment at least half time as defined by the institution
  • If selected, official law school transcripts must be submitted prior to establishing a start date
  • Veteran's preference applies in the hiring process. In order to receive preference in hiring, you must clearly identify your claim for veteran's preference when you apply
  • Must maintain eligibility and enrollment for the duration of the internship


Pathways Internship Program Qualifications:
You must meet the qualifications requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

To qualify at the GS-7:
  • Students must have completed one year of law school by the beginning of the 2021 summer.
  • Students must be continuing in legal studies throughout the summer and/or into the Fall of 2021 to be eligible.
  • Students graduating in the Spring of 2021 are not eligible.

To qualify at the GS-9:
  • Students must have completed two years of law school by the beginning of the 2021 summer.
  • Students must be continuing in legal studies throughout the summer and/or into the Fall of 2021 to be eligible.
  • Students graduating in the Spring of 2021 are not eligible.

*If selected at the CT-07 level the full promotion potential is the CT-07. If selected at the CT-09 level the full promotion potential is the CT-09. Temporary positions do not have promotion potential since positions are temporary NTE 9/30/21.


We will accept applications from currently enrolled law students who will have completed at least one or two years at an accredited law school by summer 2021. Applicants must provide a copy of their summer/fall 2021 enrollment/transcript.

All applications must be received via

You must be accepted for enrollment or are currently enrolled pursuing a juris doctorate degree from an accredited educational institution.

You must submit a copy of your college transcripts. See the Required Documents section for more information.

U.S. EDUCATION: Institutions located within the United States that have attained accreditation are listed on the U.S. Department of Education's website. To verify your institution's accreditation, please access this website:

A complete listing of all institutions, including those located outside of U.S. territories, may be found in Accredited Institutions of Post-Secondary Education, a handbook published annually by the American Council on Education (ACE).

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR FOREIGN EDUCATION: If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show that the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university. For further information, visit: .

Additional information

Additional selections may be made from this announcement from other geographical locations as needed.

By submitting your application you are certifying the accuracy of the information contained in your application. If you make a false statement in any part of your application, you may not be hired, you may be terminated after you begin work, or you may be fined or jailed. After making a tentative job offer we will conduct a suitability/security background investigation. You will be required to submit official documentation before appointment. The agency will then verify the information provided on your application (e.g., degree, veterans' documentation, certification of disability, etc.).

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

Your application package (resume, supporting documents, and responses to the questionnaire) will be reviewed to verify that you meet the basic eligibility and qualification requirements. Your responses to the questionnaire will be used to evaluate your relevant personal, educational, and work experiences.

Qualified applicants eligible for veteran's preference will be referred and considered ahead of non-veterans. Veterans' Preference: Preference eligibles with a compensable service-connected disability of 10 percent or more (CPS, CP) are placed at the top of the referral list. XP and TP preference eligibles are placed above non-preference eligibles. For more information on entitlement go to:

You must maintain good academic standing, as defined by your school, generally at least a 3.0 GPA for advanced degree programs. You must submit with your application a current academic transcript and/or other official documentation from your academic institution demonstrating your eligibility for appointment. See the "QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED" section of this announcement.

NOTE: You must maintain student eligibility and enrollment for the duration of the internship. If you cannot, you are ineligible for this program. Please review the "QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED" section of this vacancy announcement to ensure that you qualify for this internship.
To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

Trust determination process

Required Documents

You must provide a complete Application Package, which includes:
  • Your resume showing relevant duties, when the duties were performed (MM/YY), and your work schedule. Your resume must indicate your citizenship and if you are registered for Selective Service if you are a male born after 12/31/59. Your resume must also list your educational and work experience including the following information for each employment listed: job title; duties and accomplishments; employer's name and address; supervisor's name and phone number; starting and ending dates formatted in month/day/year; hours worked per week; salary; if the employment was federal: title, series, and grade/pay band. Your resume should also list your expected graduation date. Your resume may be used to validate your responses to the scored occupational questionnaire.
  • Proof of current student status. You must submit proof of current student status to be considered for this position. This can be in the form of current registration, an acceptance letter from the institute of higher education, a receipt of tuition payment, etc.
  • You must submit an unofficial transcript or a list of courses that includes the following information: name of accredited institution, grades earned, completion dates, and quarter and semester hours earned. Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the requirements. Please refer to for more information.
  • Writing sample. Please limit writing sample to under 5 pages in length.
  • If applicable: Veteran's Preference Documentation (your DD-214, Member Copy 4). Please indicate on your resume the type of veterans' preference you are claiming and provide the appropriate supporting documentation (DD-214 stating disposition of discharge or character of service, VA letter, SF-15, etc.) to validate your claim. For more information regarding eligibility requirements, please go to: .

You are not required to submit official documents at this time; copies are sufficient.

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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