Careers and Internships
Student Honors Law Clerk Program in EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA)
OECA aggressively goes after pollution problems that make a difference in communities through vigorous civil and criminal enforcement that targets the most serious water, air and chemical hazards. OECA also:
- advances environmental justice by protecting vulnerable communities;
- assures compliance through effective monitoring and assessment; and
- improves compliance by explaining how to comply with regulatory requirements.
The EPA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) offers qualified and highly motivated law students the opportunity to work side by side with practicing environmental lawyers and technical professionals in its Washington, D.C. headquarters office. Students work in the office as law-school-sponsored academic (for credit) interns; under a variety of public service or academic law-school-sponsored fellowships; and as unpaid law clerks or interns.
What do law clerks and interns hired under this program do?
Law clerks and interns hired under the Student Honors Law Clerk Program work in one or more of the designated practice areas in OECA based upon a preference and skills questionnaire and the space available in each individual office. View a list of these practice areas.
Law clerks and interns work under the direct supervision of a practicing attorney or technical professional, performing a wide variety of legal or technical research, policy analysis or writing assignments. Each student is expected to develop a written assessment of activity, documenting accomplishments, works in progress and anticipated issues.
Who is eligible?
- Summer program: Qualified first- and second-year law students are eligible.
- Fall and winter-spring semesters: Qualified second-year and third-year law students are eligible.
Where would I work?
The majority of the positions will be located in the EPA Ariel Rios Federal Office Building located at 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. in Washington, D.C. This building is easily accessible to the metropolitan Metro subway system, Federal Triangle Station, which included the Orange and Blue line trains. We are located a short distance from the White House, FBI Building and Smithsonian Institution museums.
What is the typical length of employment?
- Summer internships generally run for eight to ten weeks.
- Fall and winter-spring semester internships require a minimum time commitment of two full days or 15 hours per week. Full-time "semester in Washington" law school-sponsored internships for 10-12 weeks are welcome.
Are the positions paid? What are the benefits?
- A limited number of paid summer positions at the GS-07 rate may be available. Paid positions are not available during the academic year.
- A Metro transit subsidy is available to all student interns, paid or unpaid, regardless of appointment category.
- Throughout the year, we offer a series of unique, specialized training sessions on a wide variety of current and emerging issues regarding environmental protection, safety and law enforcement. These seminars are 90 minutes long and offered to all clerks and interns during the lunch hour. View some examples of educational programs offered in the past.
How and when do I apply?
- Accurate, current resumes and a short cover letter highlighting the specific knowledge, skills and interests that you have in environmental law enforcement should be e-mailed directly to OECALawInternProgram@epa.gov.
- Positions are competitive! State your case clearly. Tell us what you have accomplished in college or in law-related or environmental internships.
Application Schedule:OECA Student Honors Law Clerk ProgramApplication DeadlinesInternship Period
FallJuly 20September – December Winter - SpringNovember 20January – March SummerFebruary 20June – August
- NOTE that we do not accept mail or courier-delivered applications.
- NOTE that you must state your name in the subject line of all email submissions.
- Telephone interviews can be scheduled for out of town candidates.
- Questions may be directed to OECALawInternProgram@epa.gov