DOJ Honors Program 2017-18

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2017-18

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:31 am

Absolutley agree with the above (4 years ago hire). I was able to convincingly link two of the components I applied to in my essays, and the third was absolutely a tag-on and I got no interview from them. Also, the place that ultimately hired me was the one I ranked third, but probably said the most about in my essays (I listed it third because I thought I had a better shot at the other two).

So think about which components you're listing. If you're genuinely equally excited by, say, BOP and civil rights or something, list them, but really think about how you can discuss why you want both in a way that's more coherent than "I'd be happy to work at either."

(To be clear, if you're at BOP you're likely to be defending claims against corrections officers, which you might want to prosecute at CR, which is why I picked those two, but it's mostly just the pair I could come up with off the top of my head.)

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2017-18

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:44 am

The above was absolutely correct. I did almost 15 drafts of my essays. Probably the best things I've ever written (I was hired last year). I was able to articulate great reasons for each component, and this was particularly key. My second choice hired me, and I was able to say in good faith, when they inquired about my ranking that, "I am the most interested in this, but I ranked things as I best thought played the system." Or something like that. (I.e., I ranked civil, Fed P number one, which is common wisdom).

Talking to those working at DOJ is also key. I had a contact who actually did hiring for the division that hired me. She wasn't involved in my years, so she was able to give me full, candid advice. I knew how to voice my interest and background qualifications in my essays and interviews in a way that I knew would resonate with them. In other words, I was able to determine what shape and size the proverbial hole was, and then I was able to precisely make a square peg that would fit.

It also helped that I was baseline qualified and had interesting relevant internship experience. I started gunning for this about 18 months out, which really helped.

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2017-18

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
It also helped that I was baseline qualified and had interesting relevant internship experience. I started gunning for this about 18 months out, which really helped.



I apologize for asking a somewhat off-topic question in this thread. I am a rising 2L, going into the OCI process right now, and I plan to clerk for a year after graduation. I am doing a somewhat relevant 1L PI job this summer, and I plan to apply for an honors position after my clerkship. Do you, or anybody, have any advice on what to do 2L summer? I can work at a "good" firm if need be, but I'd like to do something that puts me in a good position to apply to the honors program. For what it's worth, I have no interest in the criminal side of things, so working at an us attorney's office is out. Is SLIP the way to go for the summer? Thanks!

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2017-18

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:34 pm

You should do SLIP if you want honors. Or something comparable. I did biglaw, and I had to explain that away.

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2017-18

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:42 pm

I think SLIP is probably the best way to go, but FWIW I worked for a firm (litigation) and no one gave a shit at all, by the time I'd clerked.

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2017-18

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:You should do SLIP if you want honors. Or something comparable. I did biglaw, and I had to explain that away.

As someone who is just finishing a biglaw SA, what did you do to explain it away? I did a summer/externed for a year in gov in an area somewhat related to the DOJ components I'm interested in, but really needed the $$$ so did the full summer at firm. Obviously "i'm poor AF and briefly sold my soul" isn't really a good line in an interview.

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2017-18

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:45 pm

The anon who just posted about doing a firm here - again, I don't remember it coming up at all in my interviews, but I think it's fair to talk about wanting to find out if a firm is right for you. I hadn't set foot in a law firm before OCI and so to the extent anything about the summer came up, I talked about wanting to learn about private practice and then how my experience with it and then doing a clinic 3L firmly convinced me private practice wasn't for me.

I also think if you're aiming for a component that hires out of biglaw regularly, it may not be that big of a deal.

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2017-18

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:You should do SLIP if you want honors. Or something comparable. I did biglaw, and I had to explain that away.

As someone who is just finishing a biglaw SA, what did you do to explain it away? I did a summer/externed for a year in gov in an area somewhat related to the DOJ components I'm interested in, but really needed the $$$ so did the full summer at firm. Obviously "i'm poor AF and briefly sold my soul" isn't really a good line in an interview.


Because there will be at least a 100 other applicants in the exact same position as qualified or more qualified than you. They want to hire people who want to be there, and stay for a long time. The burden is on you to show them that, genuinely and convincing. A biglaw stint is a step away from public service. You just have to connect the dots.

To the 10:45 anon: I was asked point blank in mine, but I was ready, becuase of the line of thought I'm currently describing.

I also didn't go into the Civil Division, which has a different jive on things

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2017-18

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:52 pm

Yeah, Civil is going to look at firm work differently since it's going to be much more similar. To the extent you can make any connection between what you did and what you're applying for it helps.

And also I feel like it never came up for me because there was enough other stuff in my background to show interest in government work? I had a couple of other gov internships and a history of moving around for jobs/not working for a lot of money, so maybe that's why it didn't come up for me.

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2017-18

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:You should do SLIP if you want honors. Or something comparable. I did biglaw, and I had to explain that away.

As someone who is just finishing a biglaw SA, what did you do to explain it away? I did a summer/externed for a year in gov in an area somewhat related to the DOJ components I'm interested in, but really needed the $$$ so did the full summer at firm. Obviously "i'm poor AF and briefly sold my soul" isn't really a good line in an interview.


Because there will be at least a 100 other applicants in the exact same position as qualified or more qualified than you. They want to hire people who want to be there, and stay for a long time. The burden is on you to show them that, genuinely and convincing. A biglaw stint is a step away from public service. You just have to connect the dots.

I think you may have misread my question? I wasn't asking why, I was wondering what angle you took to explain it away. But like the other anon, I also had no biglaw experience prior, and a think some version of trying it and finding out it wasn't for me will probably work.

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2017-18

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:You should do SLIP if you want honors. Or something comparable. I did biglaw, and I had to explain that away.

As someone who is just finishing a biglaw SA, what did you do to explain it away? I did a summer/externed for a year in gov in an area somewhat related to the DOJ components I'm interested in, but really needed the $$$ so did the full summer at firm. Obviously "i'm poor AF and briefly sold my soul" isn't really a good line in an interview.


Because there will be at least a 100 other applicants in the exact same position as qualified or more qualified than you. They want to hire people who want to be there, and stay for a long time. The burden is on you to show them that, genuinely and convincing. A biglaw stint is a step away from public service. You just have to connect the dots.

I think you may have misread my question? I wasn't asking why, I was wondering what angle you took to explain it away. But like the other anon, I also had no biglaw experience prior, and a think some version of trying it and finding out it wasn't for me will probably work.


That was my answer, more or less. Sorry for misreading you. The internships I did between biglaw and applying helped, as they were government oriented and subject matter relevant.

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2017-18

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:43 pm

Does anyone know anything about the '3 of the last 5 years' residency requirement? I just realized I might be ineligible...

The language isn't particularly clear:
Candidates who have lived outside the United States for two or more of the past five years will likely have difficulty being approved for appointments by the Department Security Staff

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2017-18

Postby Nosso » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone know anything about the '3 of the last 5 years' residency requirement? I just realized I might be ineligible...

The language isn't particularly clear:
Candidates who have lived outside the United States for two or more of the past five years will likely have difficulty being approved for appointments by the Department Security Staff


this seems like a new requirement.

Compare: https://www.justice.gov/legal-careers/j ... ttorney-57 to a similar page from 2015, https://web.archive.org/web/20150329063 ... ttorney-57

I don't know if this is the new DOJ policy. In either case, I would just apply. Worry about it when you get there. It's going to make a difference if you were in Canada, France, UK, etc. vs. Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, China, Russia, etc. So consider that.

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2017-18

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:57 pm

Nosso wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone know anything about the '3 of the last 5 years' residency requirement? I just realized I might be ineligible...

The language isn't particularly clear:
Candidates who have lived outside the United States for two or more of the past five years will likely have difficulty being approved for appointments by the Department Security Staff


this seems like a new requirement.

Compare: https://www.justice.gov/legal-careers/j ... ttorney-57 to a similar page from 2015, https://web.archive.org/web/20150329063 ... ttorney-57

I don't know if this is the new DOJ policy. In either case, I would just apply. Worry about it when you get there. It's going to make a difference if you were in Canada, France, UK, etc. vs. Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, China, Russia, etc. So consider that.


FWIW, I was offered a DOJ internship 2 years ago and had the offer rescinded after they found out that I didn't meet the residency requirement. Seemed like a hard and fast DOJ rule (with no legitimate justification - no IC agency has a similar requirement, nor does foreign residence, in and of itself, keep you from getting a clearance). There is the possibility of getting a waiver, but I was told that it was a really slow process.

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2017-18

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:07 pm

Thanks for the responses. I'm right on the border (2.5 years/lived in a Five Eyes country) so I guess I will apply anyway, but not get my hopes up.

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2017-18

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:42 am

curious as to whether it'll be a problem that I signed this thing https://www.acslaw.org/sites/default/fi ... udents.pdf

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2017-18

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:59 am

He might be gone by the time they review applications!

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2017-18

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:00 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:He might be gone by the time they review applications!

Here's to hoping! In the alternative I hope the DOJ doesn't go to the third page of Google results for my name

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2017-18

Postby grand inquisitor » Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:31 am

i'm really shocked that djt didn't accede to the well-worded advice of over 1000 law students

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2017-18

Postby EDM » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:43 am

The application is now available. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they moved several components from informal to formal participation. Changes are below in bold.

EDM wrote:I did a quick comparison of this year's program with last year's. Please forgive any errors. The numbers in parentheses represent the number of positions available last year. Asterisks next to the informal components indicate that the component was a formal participant last year.

2017-18 Formal Participants

Antitrust Division - 2 (22)

Civil Division - 10 (17)
-Federal Programs Branch - 3 (8)
-Office of Immigration Litigation - 7 (9)
-Appellate Staff - 3 (4)
-Commercial Litigation Branch - 3 (6)
-Consumer Protection Branch - 2 (2)
-Torts Branch - 4 (6)


Civil Rights Division - 2 (12)

Criminal Division*** - 9 (12)
-Regular Trial Attorney - 5 (9)
-Asset Forfeiture Fellowship Program - 4 (3)


Drug Enforcement Administration - 3 (3)

Environment & Natural Resources Division - 4­-8 (now definitely 8 positions available) (12)

Executive Office for Immigration Review - 103 (108)
-Office of the Chief Immigration Judge - 97 (100)
-Office of General Counsel - 1 (1)
-Board of Immigration Appeals - 4 (4)
-Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer - 1 (1)

Federal Bureau of Investigation - 1-3 (2)

The Gaye L. Tenoso Indian Country Fellowship - 2 (1)

National Security Divsion - 2 (4)

United States Attorney's Offices - 3 (3)
-District of Arizona - 2 (2)
-District of Oregon - 1 (0)

2017-18 Informal Participants

Antitrust Division*** - 2 (22) [MOVED TO FORMAL]

Civil Division*** - 12 (18) [ALL MOVED TO FORMAL]
-Appellate Staff - 3 (4)
-Commercial Litigation Branch - 3 (6)
-Consumer Protection Branch - 2 (2)
-Torts Branch - 4 (6)

Criminal Division*** - 9 (12) [ALL MOVED TO FORMAL]
-Regular Trial Attorney - 5 (9)
-Asset Forfeiture Fellowship Program - 4 (3)

Office of Information Policy - 1 (1)

Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties - 1 (0) [COMPLETELY REMOVED]

Tax Division*** - 3-6 (12)

U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California - 1 (1)
U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York - 1-2 (2)
U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia - 1 or more (1)

Last year, in the Executive Office for Immigration Review, the Office of Legal Access Programs and the Office of Communication and Legislative Affairs were both formal participants and each had a single position available, with none this year. The Federal Bureau of Prisons was a formal participant at 4 positions, with none this year. The U.S. Trustee Program was a formal participant at 6 positions, with none this year. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Ohio was a formal participant at 1 position, and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Arkansas was an informal participant at 1-2 positions (although obviously USAO's vary each year).

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2017-18

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:29 am

Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone know anything about the '3 of the last 5 years' residency requirement? I just realized I might be ineligible...

The language isn't particularly clear:
Candidates who have lived outside the United States for two or more of the past five years will likely have difficulty being approved for appointments by the Department Security Staff

In case anyone else was wondering about this, I followed up and they stated that it's 3 years in the US as of your start date. So basically if you spent 3 years in law school in the US then you are fine.

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2017-18

Postby Dipper » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:54 am

Eligibility question -- website says "Applicants with multiple eligibility preserving activities can preserve their Honors Program eligibility up to three recruitment cycles after law school graduation." Recruitment cycle "opens July 31 and closes the Tuesday after Labor Day."

My reading of that is that if I graduate in May 2018, the first recruitment cycle after graduation would be July-September 2018, the second cycle would be July-September 2019, and the third recruitment cycle would be July-September 2020, which hires for a Summer/Fall 2021 start date. The last recruitment cycle I could participate in is July-September 2020. Does that sound right?

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2017-18

Postby EDM » Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:07 pm

Dipper wrote:Eligibility question -- website says "Applicants with multiple eligibility preserving activities can preserve their Honors Program eligibility up to three recruitment cycles after law school graduation." Recruitment cycle "opens July 31 and closes the Tuesday after Labor Day."

My reading of that is that if I graduate in May 2018, the first recruitment cycle after graduation would be July-September 2018, the second cycle would be July-September 2019, and the third recruitment cycle would be July-September 2020, which hires for a Summer/Fall 2021 start date. The last recruitment cycle I could participate in is July-September 2020. Does that sound right?


That's the way I understand it, yes.

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2017-18

Postby The-Specs » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:54 pm

I am particularly interested in ENRD but I know that you don't bid for particular sections. Essentially, one has to accept a position with the division before knowing what section you will be assigned to. Does anyone here have info on how that process goes? Is there any guarantee that you will get your top on of your top two section preferences? Top three? Any information one might have would be helpful.

Thanks in advance for your help!

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Re: DOJ Honors Program 2017-18

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:34 pm

If by section you mean ENRD, you do bid for specific sections (components) and you get interviewed by specific sections. You list the 3 components you want to be considered by, and they each decide whether they want to interview you. So you don't get interviewed by generic DOJ, you get interviewed by ENRD (if you lost ENRD as one of your components and they want to consider you further). And you will know who you're interviewing with before you have the interview. (That is, which component.)

Allegedly some components will only interview people who list them as their first choice (I have heard this about crim I think?). But I was ultimately hired by the component I listed third. Also got interviews with my first choice but was not hired by them.

(If you apply to EOIR and are interviewed by OCIJ for an immigration law clerkship, you will be given a list of possible locations to rank and then get offered one at OCIJ's discretion. But that's different from the overall program.)




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