The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA) provides legal advice, training and services required to support the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) mission while defending the immigration laws of the U.S. in the administrative and federal courts. Pursuant to section 442(c) of the Homeland Security Act, OPLA is the exclusive legal representative for ICE and is the component within the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) Office of General Counsel that is authorized to represent the U.S. government in all exclusion, deportation and removal proceedings before the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR).
The projects assigned to students will vary based on the office’s current caseload, but some potential projects include: litigating cases as student attorneys before the Immigration Court, preparing litigation briefs, motions, and exhibits, reviewing charging documents for legal sufficiency, compiling information on human rights conditions in countries around the world, drafting briefs for administrative appeals, and researching novel issues of immigration and criminal law. Working closely with immigration prosecutors, students will be able to develop their research, writing, litigation, and analytical skills while expanding their understanding of immigration law. The externship will provide students with opportunities to explore criminal and immigration law issues in the context of administrative proceedings. Throughout the externship, students will be able to observe and then litigate removability and relief hearings, and gain insight into the roles of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the private bar
All law students who are United States citizens are eligible to apply.
Writing sample no more than 10 pages; unofficial transcript.