Wanted: Experienced Attorneys Willing to Work for Free

Attorney General Eric Holder, head of the Justice Department Attorney General Eric Holder, head of the Justice Department J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The Justice Department has taken a new approach to dealing with the cutbacks caused by sequestration: hiring new employees, but not paying them.

Justice has posted more than a dozen unpaid positions on its website, according to ProPublica, which first reported the story. These are not simply summer internships, either; the department is looking for “experienced attorneys” with a law degree and active bar certification.

The hires would be banned from supplementing their income with outside law practice.

“This is a one-year appointment without compensation,” reads one post for a special assistant U.S. attorney in the southern district of Illinois. “Note that employees of the Department of Justice, including uncompensated SAUSAs, may not engage in the compensated practice of law outside of the office.”

Still interested? Only the best and brightest need apply: “Only applicants with outstanding academic records and superior legal research and writing skills will be considered,” the vacancy says.

Sequestration forced the Justice Department to slash $1.6 billion from its fiscal 2013 budget. Though the agency was able to avoid furloughs, it had to institute a hiring freeze to reach the new spending caps.

In a statement, a spokesperson said the uncompensated positions will help Justice continue to fulfill its missions despite the cuts.

“Department of Justice divisions have begun a pilot program that allows lawyers to gain public service experience while providing valuable support to the Justice Department as we continue to address the staffing challenges imposed by sequestration and still fulfill our commitment to protect the American people,” the spokesperson said. “Sequestration and other budget constraints have forced the Justice Department to impose a strict hiring freeze which has caused the department to lose more than 2,500 staff departmentwide since January 2011.”

The spokesperson would not comment on whether the agency has received any applications for the positions. 

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    View
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    View
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    View
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    View
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    View
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    View
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    View

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.