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The Office of the General Counsel's Attorney Honors Program

Please note: The 2024 application cycle has concluded.

The U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of the General Counsel (OGC), is seeking applications for its 2024 Attorney Honors Program. Honors Attorneys at the U.S. Department of Commerce provide legal advice and counsel to help the Department meet its strategic goals in its broad mission to promote U.S. commerce at home and abroad. To be eligible for our next program starting in September/October 2024, you must be a U.S. citizen graduating from law school in Spring 2024 or a recent law school graduate completing a judicial clerkship or fellowship in Summer 2024.

The Department of Commerce’s mission is to create the conditions for economic growth and opportunity for all communities. Through its 13 bureaus, the Department works to drive U.S. economic competitiveness, strengthen domestic industry, and spur the growth of quality jobs in all communities across the country. The Department serves as the voice of business in the Federal Government, and at the same time, the Department touches and serves every American every day.

OGC provides legal services to the Secretary of Commerce and across the Department’s numerous bureaus and activities. The General Counsel is the chief legal officer for the Department.  The mission of OGC is to have a lasting impact on rules of commerce that revitalize the economy and lay a foundation for sustainable U.S. leadership in a global economy in the 21st century. OGC seeks to be a leader in building a culture of excellence, service, and creative collaboration within its offices and across the Department, providing legal support, strategy, and analysis for a wide range of complex, cutting-edge issues.  Innovation, economic security, and national security are deeply intertwined, and all rely on a resilient domestic industrial base, an effective innovation ecosystem, and strategic global engagement. 

The Honors Program offers new law graduates and recent law graduates completing judicial clerkships or fellowships a unique opportunity to complete a two-year rotational program before being assigned to a permanent position in one of OGC’s many practice areas. Six-month rotational opportunities will provide each Honors Attorney with substantive and challenging assignments and broad exposure to Commerce’s diverse mission and the work of a Cabinet-level agency. On each rotation, Honors Attorneys will work in one of nearly two dozen programmatic and administrative legal offices, including, among others, the offices of the Chief Counsel for Semiconductor Incentives (implementing the CHIPS Act), Chief Counsel for Industry and Security (enforcing export controls for security-sensitive U.S. technology), and Chief Counsel for the National Telecommunications and Information Agency (delivering on the promise of high-speed Internet access to all through the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment Program), or in one of a number of other Chief Counsels offices and administrative law offices, providing Department-wide advice and counsel on topics such as contracting and procurement, Federal personnel law, appropriations law, and ethics.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility is limited to graduating law students and recent law school graduates who entered judicial clerkships, graduate law programs, or qualifying legal fellowships within 9 months of law school graduation. To be eligible for our next program starting in September/October 2024, you must be a U.S. citizen graduating from law school in Spring 2024 or completing a judicial clerkship or fellowship in Summer 2024.

How to Apply

  • Provide a cover letter, resume, law school transcript (official or unofficial), and writing sample to [email protected] with the subject line: Attorney Honors Program-[LAST NAME].
  • The application opens on August 4, 2023, and closes on Tuesday, September 5, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. EST.
    • The application period was extended until October 5, 2023
  • Any questions or requests for an accommodation in order to complete the application should be directed to  [email protected]

Key Dates

  • August 4: Application opens
  • October 5: Application deadline extended
  • Late September – Early November:  Interviews
  • Late November – February:  Offers Extended