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Office of General Counsel

Summer Clerk Information

The Office of General Counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has a Summer Legal Clerkship Program that allows a small number of exceptionally qualified law students to obtain a broad exposure to the practice of intelligence law for several months during the summer. Although the Office of General Counsel makes no commitment with respect to future employment beyond an individual’s summer clerkship, each individual may be evaluated for future employment in OGC at the conclusion of an individual’s clerkship. Whether continued employment will be offered with the Office of General Counsel is entirely discretionary, and will be based upon the individual’s entire resume package, performance as a summer law clerk, the availability of entry-level attorney positions, and overall budgetary constraints.

A Top Secret security clearance is required for all persons who work at the CIA, including students in the Summer Legal Clerkship Program. U.S. citizenship is also required. Since the CIA’s personnel screening process (which includes medical and polygraph examinations and a background investigation) generally takes between six to nine months to complete, resume packages should be sent to the Office of General Counsel no later than 30 September.

The Office of General Counsel is responsible for advising the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) on all legal matters relating to his role as head of the CIA, and his role as head of the U.S. Intelligence Community (which consists of CIA and all of the other intelligence agencies in the U.S. Government). Thus, the General Counsel, who heads the Office of General Counsel, is the principal legal officer for the CIA and the DCI’s Community Management Staff (CMS). The Office of General Counsel also provides advice and guidance to those officers and employees within the CIA and CMS who have specific responsibility for the conduct of U.S. intelligence activities. It should be noted that the CIA is a foreign intelligence agency, not a law enforcement agency, and is expressly prohibited by law from having any police or law enforcement powers, or internal security functions.

OGC handles a wide variety of legal issues, including, among other things, both civil and criminal litigation, foreign intelligence and counterintelligence activities, counterterrorism, counternarcotics, nonproliferation and arms control, personnel and security matters, contracting, finance and budget matters, tax, immigration, international financial transactions, corporate law, copyright, intellectual property, foreign and international law, and legislation.

The Office of General Counsel consists of approximately 100 attorneys with a variety of backgrounds and experience. The Office of General Counsel generally hires second year law students. The Office of General Counsel requires a commitment of at least ten (10) weeks duration during the summer.

Interested students should send a resume, law school transcript, legal writing sample, and legal references to:

Summer Legal Clerkship Program
Office of General Counsel
Central Intelligence Agency
Washington, D.C. 20505