Honors Attorney

Washington, D.C
Oct 15, 2021
Oct 19, 2021
Full Time


The Attorney Honors Program (AHP) is the FCC's primary vehicle for hiring entry-level attorneys. AHP participants serve in a two-year employment and training program designed to introduce them to the field of communications law and policy. The FCC encourages law students in their final year of study and current judicial clerks with superior academic credentials and an interest in public service and communications law to apply. Visit www.fcc.gov/attorneyhonorsprogram for details.

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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:
  • 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.

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • 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.
  • Suitable for employment as determined by a background investigation
  • 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)

General Eligibility Requirements. You are eligible to apply during the fall application window for the 2022 Attorney Honors Program if you are a:
  • Current law student who will graduate in the spring or summer of 2022;
  • Graduate law student who will complete your course of study by the summer of 2022; or
  • Federal, state, or municipal judicial clerk serving during the 2021-22 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-2021-002".)

Current federal employees must meet one year of time in grade requirements.

A. Educational Requirements

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 2022; 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 2022 in order to be eligible for appointment as an Honors Attorney at the FCC.

B. 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.


See "Educational Requirements" above.

Additional information

EEO Policy Statement Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement Veterans Information 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 Dionne Butler in the FCC Office of Human Resources at Dionne.Butler@fcc.gov or at (202) 418-0141.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

All candidates will be considered without regard to political or religious affiliation, marital status, race, color, sex, national origin, non-disqualifying physical or mental handicap, age, or any other non-merit factor. THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER.

All applicants will be evaluated on the extent and quality of experience and education relevant to the duties of the position.

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Moderate Risk (MR)

Trust determination process

Required Documents

Each of the following documents should be submitted as a separate PDF file, with your last name as part of the file name.

1. Cover letter
2. Resume (We strongly prefer that you upload a standard professional resume rather than use the resume-builder.)
3. Transcripts (official or unofficial)
4. Writing sample (preferably not more than 15 pages)
5. List of three professional references

Applicants will be deemed ineligible if they do not provide any one of the documents outlined above.

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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