OGC Honors Program

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

The DoD OGC Honors Program provides highly qualified, entry-level attorneys with the opportunity to gain exposure to a broad variety of subject matter areas over a two-year period. The Program includes rotations in at least two different divisions within OGC, and more as time and mission permit. Participants complete complex legal assignments and provide advice in a variety of legal practice areas, including:

  • International law
  • Intelligence law
  • Operational law
  • Administrative and personnel law
  • Environmental and energy law
  • Fiscal law
  • Litigation
  • Legislative drafting
  • Information law
  • Ethics
  • Attorney professional responsibility
  • Any other area of practice within the purview of DoD OGC

Participants have the opportunity to take on immediate responsibility and directly contribute to significant matters within DoD OGC and in the Department of Defense, each in support of DoD’s mission to defend the nation, deter aggression, and further U.S. national security objectives. Every participant in the Honors Program is assigned a mentor. 
The Program is highly competitive, with a focus on recruiting a diverse range of candidates to work in an equitable, inclusive, and accessible environment. 
DoD OGC seeks to recruit up to two attorneys in the summer of 2025 for a two-year term. Following completion of the program, participants will have the opportunity to be considered for permanent positions in DoD OGC without further competition.

 
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

You are eligible to apply if you are:

  1. A U.S. citizen.
  2. Able to successfully complete a background investigation and maintain a security clearance.  
  3. A law student graduating from an American Bar Association-accredited law school by Spring 2025.
  4. An attorney with:
    1. no more than two years of experience in the practice of law, or
    2. over two years of experience in the practice of law because of one or more Federal court or state supreme court (or equivalent) clerkships, within one year of completing the clerkship(s).

 
KEY DATES

  • July 15, 2024 – Application period opens
  • September 15, 2024 – Application period closes
  • Late September 2024 – Interview candidates selected
  • October 2024 – Interview period
  • November 2024 – Offers extended
  • Summer 2025 – Employment begins; exact start date may vary based on honors attorneys’ availability (which may be impacted by finishing a judicial clerkship, studying for bar exam).


HOW TO APPLY

Where to send your application: 

Send the below listed documents to osd.pentagon.ogc.mbx.dodogcresumebank@mail.mil, with the following subject line:  “2025 Honors Program: Applicant’s Last Name, First Name.”
 
When to send your application: 

July 15-September 15; applications received outside of this time period will not be considered.
 
What to send: 

Only electronic applications will be accepted. To be considered, please submit and include all of the following documents when applying:
 
  1. Resume
  2. A one-page cover letter, addressed to the DoD OGC Honors Program, explaining your interest in the Program
  3. Law school transcript
  4. A legal writing sample between five to ten pages (double-spaced)
  5. At least one letter of recommendation (maximum of three)







 
NOTICE OF IMPORTANT INFORMATION
 
I. All vacancies are filled without regard to political, religious, or labor organization affiliation or non-affiliation; marital status; race; color; national origin; sex; sexual orientation; age; non-disqualifying physical or mental handicap or any other non-merit factor.

II. Individuals are advised that false answers or omissions of information in resumes, processing forms, or information provided, or inability to meet the following conditions may be grounds for non-selection, withdrawal of an offer of employment, or dismissal after being employed.

III. A male selectee to an attorney position, born after December 31, 1959, will be required to complete a Pre-Employment Certification Statement for Selective Service Registration prior to appointment.

IV. Individuals must meet time-in-grade, qualification, and other applicable requirements. Individuals selected for attorney positions must be active members, in good standing, of the bar of the highest court of a State, U.S. Territory, U.S. Commonwealth, or the District of Columbia. If selected, an individual will be required to provide proof of such active membership in good standing.

V.  Third-year law students or recent law school graduates do not need to provide proof of active bar membership when submitting their resumé but will be required to do so prior to commencing employment.

V. For all attorney positions, selection is contingent upon proof of U.S. citizenship. Acceptable proof of citizenship includes (a) United States passport or (b) original or certified copy of a birth certificate issued by a state, county, or municipal authority bearing a raised seal, and a photo identification (e.g., driver's license).

VI. Position may require eligibility for a sensitive national security position, including, but not limited to, access to classified information, in which case the selectee will be subject to a background investigation. Selectees must be favorably adjudicated as being eligible to hold a national security position or access to classified information at the level required for the position as a condition of employment.

VII. All attorney positions require the selectee to submit to a urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment.

VIII. Many attorney positions require submission of a financial disclosure statement.

IX. Incumbents in applicable attorney positions may be promoted noncompetitively at a future date within an established career ladder.

X. The General Counsel, DoD, reserves the right to fill vacancies in attorney positions located in the Office of the General Counsel and DLSA from any and all appropriate sources, consistent with merit system principles.