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Legal Intern Program
US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Office of Legal Counsel

The Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), akin to an in-house counsel, is located at EEOC Headquarters in Washington, D.C.    

Office Overview:

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation/gender identity), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information (including family medical history). These laws apply to most employers with at least 15 employees. They also cover most labor unions and employment agencies.

The EEOC's Office of Legal Counsel, located at EEOC Headquarters in Washington, D.C., is akin to an in-house counsel. It is composed of five divisions, including the Title VII/ADEA/EPA Division, ADA/GINA Policy Division, Coordination Division, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Program, and Advice & External Litigation Division.

  • The Title VII/ADEA/EPA Division and the ADA/GINA Policy Division draft guidance on legal and policy issues arising under the laws enforced by the EEOC for review by the Commission. These divisions develop regulations, guidelines, and enforcement guidance, as well as compliance manual sections and proposed Commission decisions. They provide technical assistance to Commission offices and the public on the interpretation of Commission policy under these laws.
  • The Coordination Division works with other federal agencies regarding equal employment opportunity regulations, guidelines, and policy issuances to ensure consistency across the federal executive branch and eliminate duplication of enforcement efforts as required by Executive Order 12067. This division also drafts guidance to address the EEOC's position when EEOC-enforced laws and other legal requirements intersect.
  • The FOIA Programs Division oversees the EEOC's compliance with FOIA legal and reporting requirements, responds to document requests from the public, and maintains the EEOC's FOIA regulations and policy. Interns in the FOIA Program respond to disclosure requests and may help advise EEOC Field Offices of exemption and confidentiality requirements, research developments in applicable laws, help update internal disclosure guidance, and prepare outreach materials.
  • The Advice and External Litigation Division defends the EEOC from outside suits and does not accept interns.

OLC Internship Program Description: The Office of Legal Counsel Internship Program accepts current law students who possess strong legal research, analysis and writing skills. Interns will perform legal research and assist in drafting policy and will also have the opportunity to attend Commission meetings where employment discrimination guidance is discussed. They also may have opportunities to attend forums covering various employment discrimination topics, as well as coordination meetings with other federal agencies. Internships are unpaid volunteer positions, but the Office of Legal Counsel can help students with applications for external stipends or academic credit.

Selection Criteria: Selections are made based on many elements of a candidate's background, including a demonstrated commitment to public service, interest in civil rights issues, academic achievement, leadership, journal or moot court experience, legal aid and clinical experience, past employment, and extracurricular activities that relate to the work of the Commission. The Fall and Spring OLC Internship Programs require a commitment of at least 15 hours per week over the course of the semester.

Applications: Please e-mail a cover letter, resume, legal writing sample (5-10 pages), and transcript (unofficial OK) to olcinternshipprogram@eeoc.gov. Your cover letter should indicate which Division(s) you are interested in applying to. Please format applications in either MSWord or Adobe PDF formats. 

Deadlines: Applications must be submitted by the following dates.

  • Summer:
    • Nov. 15 (rising third year law students)
    • Jan. 15 (rising second year law students)
  • Fall: July 15.
  • Spring: Oct. 15.

Additional Information: For more information about the OLC Internship Program, please visit https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/jobs/intern-olc.cfm.