Washington, D.C
Oct 20, 2021
Oct 27, 2021
Full Time


This is a Student Internship position, for second and third year law students, under the Pathways Internship Program.

To qualify for this Internship, you MUST be a continuing student enrolled or accepted for enrollment for the current/upcoming semesters for the duration of the internship as a condition of employment, taking at least a half-time course load. You will be required to provide documentation to support eligibility. Students may be employed throughout the academic year.

Learn more about this agency


This is a developmental position in the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Office of the Chief Counsel. This office is responsible for rendering legal services and furnishing legal advice on all areas of FHWA program responsibility, but may receive assignments in other legal areas. You will serve as a member of the Office of the Chief Counsel, Legislation, Regulations and General Law Division in Washington DC.

The Student Trainee (Law Clerk) Pathways Intern will, at the entry level:
  • You will perform legal research, analysis, and writing at a level comparable to an entry-level attorney. Typical assignments range from researching, analyzing and providing recommendations regarding discrete legal issues to drafting dispositive pretrial motions; and assisting in meetings with clients, conferences with opposing counsel, mediation and settlement discussions, and conferences with the Assistant U.S. Attorneys assigned to the Agency's environmental cases.

The primary goal is for the intern to develop a progressive proficiency in the application of the various laws, regulations, etc., in diverse situations and consists of individual aspects of case work in the office. The purpose of the work is to support the legal work of the HCC and the overall mission of the FHWA. Completed work is used by the team leader in the support of legal positions and briefings.

The ideal candidate is an individual with excellent legal research and writing skills, who can handle and prioritize multiple competing tasks and a diverse workload while maintaining collegial working relationships. This individual has a demonstrated interest in administrative law, environmental law, or transportation law. The ideal candidate will provide a cover letter (maximum two pages) explaining his/her specific interest in this position and highlighting his/her relevant work experience and educational background.

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen and meet the requirements of the program.
  • You must be at least 16 years of age
  • Required documents must be submitted by the closing date.
  • Submit application and resume online by 11:59 PM EST on the closing date

PATHWAYS ELIGIBILITY - To be eligible for appointment to a position in the DOT Internship Program for this series, throughout the duration of the appointment, an individual must:
  • Be accepted for enrollment or enrolled and seeking a degree or certificate in a qualifying educational institution on a half to full-time basis (as determined by the educational institution). For this internship, you must be enrolled in an ABA accredited law school.
  • Be seeking a degree that is relevant to this position.
  • Be able to ideally work at least 20 hours per week, depending on your academic schedule and any limitation on the number of legal internship hours, and preferably full-time during the summer.
  • Grade qualifications must be met prior to start date.

If selected you:
  • must sign a Pathways Internship Program Participant Agreement;
  • may be employed throughout the academic year;
  • must maintain status as a current student;
  • maintain good academic standing, at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 grading scale;
  • must furnish course registration information at the start of each school term; and
  • must provide verification of academic status (transcript) at the end of each academic term.

For more information on the Pathways Program, please visit:

  • UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP: Must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this position.
  • COVID VACCINATION: As required by Executive Order 14043 , Federal employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 regardless of the employee's duty location or work arrangement (e.g., telework, remote work, etc.), subject to such exceptions as required by law. If selected, you will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination by November 22, 2021 or before appointment or onboarding with the agency, if after November 22. The agency will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request of the agency a legally required exception from this requirement.
  • SELECTIVE SERVICE: Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered for the Selective Service.
  • DECLARATION FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT: Selectee is required to complete a Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306) to determine suitability for federal employment.
  • (continued under the 'Other Information' section)


To meet the minimum qualifications for this position, you must be a current second or third year law student whom has met the education requirements below for each grade which you are requesting consideration for:

Law Student Status: An eligible student is an individual who is enrolled in law school pursuing a Juris Doctor Degree or a LL.B Legum Baccalaureus Degree and is taking at least half-time academic course load in an American Bar Association accredited university. Successful candidates must have outstanding academic records, superior writing skills, and be in good academic standing at his/her university.

  • GS-07 - Completion of one academic year of graduate level education.
  • GS-09 - Completion of two academic years of graduate level education, or a master's degree or equivalent graduate degree.

Academic Year: At the graduate level, one year of full-time graduate education is considered to be the number of credit hours that the school attended has determined to represent 1 year of full-time study. If that information cannot be obtained from the school, 18 semester hours should be considered as satisfying the 1 year of full time study requirement for GS-07. And 36 semester hours for 2 years of full-time study should be considered as satisfying the GS-09 requirement. When academic credit is expressed in units or other terms that differ from conventional semester or quarter hours, it is the responsibility of the applicant to provide an interpretation of such credits from the institution.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES (KSAs): Your qualifications will be evaluated on the basis of your level of knowledge, skills, abilities and/or competencies in the following areas:
  • Legal, Government, and Jurisprudence - Basic knowledge and/or research of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, legal practices and documents, Government regulations, Executive orders, agency rules, Government organization and functions, and the democratic political process.
  • Administrative Law - Basic knowledge and/or research of state and Federal administrative laws, including procedures, regulations, guidelines, and precedents related to case preparation and settlements.
  • Oral Communication - Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately.
  • Writing - Recognizes or uses correct English grammar, punctuation, and spelling; communicates information (for example, facts, ideas, or messages) in a succinct and organized manner; produces written information, which may include technical material, that is appropriate for the intended audience.

  • Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

    For additional information about applying to Federal Pathways Internship Positions, please click on the following link:

    Applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the start of the internship.


    Refer to the Qualifications section and the Requirements section for information pertaining to the Pathways Internship Program.

    Additional information

    • BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION: You will be required to complete a background/security investigation and meet preliminary requirements prior to onboarding.
    • TRIAL PERIOD: The intern is in a trial period throughout the entire Pathways Internship appointment.
    • PHYSICAL LOCATION: Intern will be required to work onsite unless COVID-19 restrictions mandate change.
    • TELEWORK: Managers may exercise discretion to allow a limited amount of regular or task-based telework for this position.

    ETHICS/CONFLICT OF INTEREST STATEMENT: All employees are subject to the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, set out in Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 2635, including restrictions on owning financial interests that may conflict with performance of their duties. Some employees, like those involved in contracting or regulating non-Federal entities, are subject to Executive Branch Financial Disclosure requirements set out in Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 263.

    This is an Excepted Service Appointment for an initial period expected to last for more than 1-year. As a part of the Pathways Internship Program, the appointment may be extended until the selectee's projected graduation date, plus 120 days. Upon graduation, depending on the qualifications and the Agency's need the student intern may be converted without a break in service to a term (time-limited) or permanent appointment, to a position that has a career ladder target up to the GS-14, provided they are a US citizen who has worked at least 640 hours in an appropriate program and has received a favorable recommendation from the supervisor for retention. There is no guarantee of a permanent position following this internship. Selectee is on a trial period while on a Pathways Internship appointment.

    This announcement may be used to fill additional positions if similar vacancies occur within 90 days of the issue date of the referral certificate.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

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

    DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE: PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE WILL NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. If your resume/ application does not support your questionnaire answers, we will not allow credit for your response(s). Your resume must contain sufficiently detailed information upon which to make a qualification determination. Please ensure that your resume contains specific information such as position titles, beginning and ending dates of employment for each position, average number of hours worked per week, and if the position is/was in the Federal government, you should provide the position series and grade level.

    Once you complete and submit your application package, a review of your application will be made to ensure you meet the minimum qualification requirements for the job. Qualified students will be referred to the hiring manager in unranked order by veteran preference status: (1) Preference eligible having a compensable, service-connected disability of 10 percent or more; (2) all other candidates eligible for 10-point veteran preference; (3) candidates eligible for 5-point veteran preference; and (4) candidates not eligible for veteran preference.

    You will not be considered for the position if any part of the application or supporting documentation is incomplete. Falsifying your background, education, and/or experience is cause for not hiring you or adverse action after hiring.

    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

    A USAJobs built resume is required to apply

    ALL Applicants must provide a resume that fully supports the required specialized experience and was created within USA Jobs Resume Builder and respond to the vacancy questions by the closing date of the vacancy. Formatted resumes can be uploaded when you arrive at the DOT application system. For assistance with the resume builder, please visit:

    The following is a list of documents that are only required based on the type of position and consideration for which you are applying. Please review each of the following sections to determine which, if any, additional documents you need to provide with your application.

    Completed Questionnaire.

    Acceptance Letter of Enrollment: A letter from the educational institution that confirms the following: The degree/diploma program in which you have been accepted and that you will be enrolled on at least a half-time basis.

    College Transcripts: Copies of all of your transcripts (undergraduate and Law school) which include courses currently in progress. "Unofficial" transcripts are acceptable. (Prior to appointment, an official transcript will be required.) Required from all applicants who are currently enrolled.

    Special Instructions for Foreign Education: Qualifying education from colleges and universities in foreign countries must be evaluated in terms of equivalency to that acquired in U.S. colleges and universities. Applicants educated in whole or in part in foreign countries must submit sufficient evidence, including transcripts, to an accredited private organization for an equivalency evaluation of course work and degree. A listing of these accredited organizations can be found on the Department of Education's website - click here . You must provide a copy of the letter containing the results of the equivalency evaluation with a course by course listing along with your application.

    Cover Letter: (Optional)

    VETERANS: Your last DD214 (member 4 copy), Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty, that shows the type of discharge and all dates of active duty is required to verify your eligibility. It need not be official.
    • If you are applying to a vacancy opened to all US Citizens under category rating and wish to be considered as a preference eligible, you need to submit a copy of your DD214 (member-4 copy).
    • If you are claiming preference eligibility as a disabled veteran, you must submit proof of entitlement of this preference which is normally a valid letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs certifying to the present existence of the service-connected disability and indicating the percentage of your disability. An SF-15 is desired, but not required.
    • If you are applying to a vacancy opened Status and you are requesting consideration under Veteran's Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA) ( ), you need to provide a copy of your last DD214 (member-4 copy), which verifies your military service dates, reason for separation, OR certification of separation that shows a discharge date within 120 days of the closing of this announcement, and eligibility for consideration under the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act.

    Failure to submit any of the required documents by the closing date of the vacancy will result in your removal from consideration for this position. Please review your application prior to final submission and ensure you have submitted all appropriate documents. Uploading documents to USAJobs does NOT ensure inclusion with your application to our system. You must verify that the documents are in the system with your application prior to final submission.

    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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