Student Trainee (Paralegal Specialist)

Washington, D.C
Jan 21, 2022
Jan 25, 2022
Full Time

Who May Apply : Applicants must be CURRENT students for the Spring 2022 semester in an accredited high school, college; professional; technical, vocational, and trade school; advanced degree program; or other qualifying education institution pursuing a qualifying degree or certificate. Students graduating prior to January 2023 will not be considered.

The Environment and Natural Resources Division, Law and Policy Section (LPS) is seeking a student to fill a full-time paid student intern position. Students must be able to work 40 hours per week during standard working hours. Students attending evening classes in a graduate program are ideal for this position.

The student intern will be assigned to projects in several substantive areas of the Division's work and will also have the opportunity to obtain experience working with lawyers at one of the Nation's premier litigation organizations.

As a Student Trainee (Paralegal Specialist), your typical work assignments may include the following:
  • Assisting with the Division's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) docket, including the processing of FOIA requests and appeals.
  • Analyzing and tracking environmental, natural resources, and Indian law-related legislation.
  • Assisting Section attorneys on a broad range of policy and litigation matters.
  • Performing cite-checking, reviewing records and factual materials, and legal research.
  • Coordinating the Division's review of citizen litigation, including analyzing factual and legal issues and preparing letters and memoranda.
  • Managing the Section's undergraduate internship program.
  • Performing special projects.


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen or national.
  • You must complete a background investigation including pre-employment drug testing.
  • Selective Service Registration is required, as applicable.
  • You must maintain a bank account for direct deposit of salary.
  • Must be at least 16 years old.
  • Must meet Student Intern Program requirements.
  • Must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a degree or certificate program.
  • Must provide proof of COVID-19 Vaccinations if appointed.


Student Pathways Program : This is a Student Internship opportunity that provides students enrolled in a qualifying educational institution with paid opportunities to work in Federal agencies while completing their education. In order to qualify, candidates must meet the program requirements and educational requirements listed below. If this is your first appointment in the Federal service, your pay will be set at step 1 of the grade selected.

Program Requirements: Applicants must be enrolled or formally accepted for enrollment for the current semester as a full-time or part-time student into an accredited college or university in a degree-seeking program or other qualifying educational institution pursuing a qualifying degree or certificate in a field related to this position . Such fields may include law, paralegal studies, or other related field.
  • Must be in good academic standing and maintain at least a 2.5 cumulative grade point average (GPA).
  • If selected, must sign a Student Pathways program agreement; furnish course registration information at the start of each school term; and provide verification of academic status (transcript) at the end of each academic term.
  • For this position, applicants should not graduate prior to January 2023.
  • The preferred candidate should be available to work 40 hours a week.
  • This position is not eligible for conversion to the competitive service.

Qualification Requirements:
In addition to the program requirements listed above, candidates must meet the minimum education or experience requirements to qualify for the 0999 series either at the GS-7 or GS-9 grade level:

GS-7 :
A. Must have a bachelor's degree with Superior Academic Achievement (SAA), or
B. Must have one full year of graduate level education, or
C. Must have at least 1 year of specialized experience at, or equivalent to, the GS-5 Federal grade level performing legal research and reviewing and summarizing information in a prescribed format on case precedents and decisions, or
D. Must have a combination of education and specialized experience, that together meet the qualification requirements for this position.

Superior Academic Achievement : This provision applies to persons who have completed all the requirements for a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university as evidenced by one of three methods described below (within a curriculum that is qualifying for the position to be filled):
1. Class standing -- Applicants must be in the upper third of the graduating class in the college, university, or major subdivision, such as the College of Liberal Arts or the School of Business Administration, based on completed courses.
2. Grade-point average (G.P.A.) -- Applicants must have a grade-point average of: a) 3.0 or higher out of a possible 4.0 ("B" or better) as recorded on their official transcript, or as computed based on 4 years of education, or as computed based on courses completed during the final 2 years of the curriculum; or b) 3.5 or higher out of a possible 4.0 ("B+" or better) based on the average of the required courses completed in the major field or the required courses in the major field completed during the final 2 years of the curriculum. Grade-point averages are to be rounded to one decimal place. For example, 2.95 will round to 3.0 and 2.94 will round to 2.9.
3. Election to membership in a national scholastic honor society -- Applicants can be considered eligible based on membership in one of the national scholastic honor societies.

GS-9 :
A. Must have a master's or equivalent degree or two full years of progressively higher-level graduate education, or LL.B or J.D., or
B. Must have at least one year of specialized experience at, or equivalent to, the GS-7 Federal grade level performing legal research; reviewing and summarizing information in a prescribed form on case precedents and decisions; and preparing written analysis of legal questions containing well-supported conclusions and citations, or
C. Must have a combination of education and specialized experience when combined, is equivalent to 100% of the qualification requirement. (Only graduate education in excess of the first full year may be used in this calculation).

NOTE: An academic year of undergraduate education is defined as 30 semester hours, 45 quarter hours, or the equivalent in an accredited college or university.

You must submit an official transcript, unofficial transcript, or a list including courses, grades earned, completion dates, and quarter and semester hours earned. For qualification purposes, degree requirements must be met within 30 days of the closing date of this job announcement and your transcript(s) submitted must reflect this.

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 skill and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

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COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement : 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 before appointment or onboarding with the agency. 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.

Due to COVID-19, the agency is currently in an expanded telework posture. If selected, you may be expected to temporarily telework, even if your home is located outside the local commuting area. Once employees are permitted to return to the office, you will be expected to report to the duty station listed on this announcement within 60 days.


All academic degrees and coursework must be completed at a college or university that has obtained accreditation or pre-accreditation status from an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For a list of schools that meet this criteria, see

Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the above education requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. It is your responsibility to timely provide such evidence by submitting proof of creditability of education as evaluated by a credentialing agency with your application materials. More information may be found at

All documentation must be in English or include an English translation.

Additional information

This is an Excepted Service appointment which may continue as long as the student continues to meet the eligibility requirements. Student are initially appointed for a position not-to-exceed one year. However, continued employment is not guaranteed. Upon graduation, this position is not eligible for conversion to the competitive service.

Veterans Preference: If you are entitled to or claim veteran preference (VP), you should indicate the type of veteran preference (5 or 10 points) you are claiming on your resume. In order To determine your eligibility, you can find additional information at:

To verify your veteran preference entitlement, submit a copy of the Member Copy 4 of your DD-214; official statement of service from your command if you are currently on active duty; or other official documentation (e.g., documentation of receipt of a campaign badge or expeditionary medal) that shows your military service was performed under honorable conditions. If you are claiming 10-point preference, you must submit Member Copy 4 of your DD-214 in addition to the supporting documentation required and identified on the reserve side of the SF-15, Application for 10 Point Veteran Preference . If you are claiming 10-point DERIVED PREFERENCE as a relative you must submit Member Copy 4 of the veteran's DD-214 and an SF-15 in addition to the supporting documentation required and identified on the reverse side of the SF-15. If you fail to do so, you will receive consideration as a non-veteran.

DOJ EEO Statement/Policy: . ENRD seeks to attract, retain, and promote individuals of exceptional ability and talent from all walks of life. The work environment and atmosphere are open, diverse, collegial, and inclusive. ENRD places a high value on and fosters a work environment where people of all backgrounds, physical abilities, sexual orientations, and experiences may reach their full potential.

Reasonable Accommodation Statement: Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Selective Service: If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law. Additional information is found at:

Benefits: DOJ offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation; sick leave; holidays; life insurance; and health benefits. Depending on your work schedule, you will receive paid holidays, paid sick and annual leave, subsidized transportation and may be eligible for health benefits coverage.