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Legal Division Honors Attorney Program

Last Updated: July 17, 2023

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Law students (full or part time) who will graduate from an ABA-accredited law school between December 2023 and June 2024.
  • Recent law school graduates participating in or formally committed to an eligibility preserving activity (judicial clerkship experience or additional graduate degree program).
    • There is no substitution of education for experience.
    • Participation in such eligibility preserving activity must begin no later than nine months after law school graduation and be no longer than three years in length.
    • No gap greater than 3 months can exist between the end date of the eligibility preserving activity and Fall 2024. If a gap exists, the applicant should seek to extend or acquire additional eligibility preserving activity to meet such program eligibility requirements.

Two vacancy announcements are accepting applications on USAJOBS. What is the difference between the Law Clerk and the Attorney-Adviser positions?

The Law Clerk position grade 11 is for individuals who are not admitted to the bar upon joining the FDIC. Once admitted to the bar, the individual will be reclassified as an Attorney-Adviser. If you do not acquire bar admission within 14 months of appointment, the appointment terminates (see Qualifications of vacancy announcement).

The Law Clerk position grade 12 is for individuals who are not admitted to the bar upon joining the FDIC; and completed a full-time judicial clerkship, which began no more than nine months after law school graduation. Once admitted to the bar, the individual will be reclassified as an Attorney-Adviser. If you do not acquire bar admission within 14 months of appointment, the appointment terminates (see Qualifications of vacancy announcement).

The Attorney-Adviser is for individuals who have recently graduated, passed the bar exam, and been admitted to the bar of the highest court of a state or the District of Columbia upon joining the FDIC. To submit a complete application package, applicants to this vacancy announcement muse provide proof of bar admission reflecting good status (see Required Documents of vacancy announcement.

While a permanent appointment beyond the temporary 24-month appointment cannot be guaranteed, successful completion of the Honors Attorney Program may lead to a permanent appointment in the FDIC's Legal Division.

Both vacancy announcements are posted as not telework eligible. Can you explain?

All Honors Attorneys will have limited traditional telework capabilities and are expected to report to their duty station in Washington, DC, or Arlington, Virginia. Honors Attorneys are not eligible for Expanded Telework, Home Based, or Remote Work FDIC telework options.

Do you pay relocation expenses?

The FDIC does not pay for relocation expenses under the Honors Attorney Program. If at the time of successful completion of the Honors Attorney Program and permanent appointment in the FDIC’s Legal Division, an Honors Attorney is permanently assigned to a Regional Office duty station, relocation benefits may be available.

What is the salary for an Honors Attorney?

The salary range for the 2024 Honors Attorney Program is $112,011 to $167,288 per year. This salary range includes the 2023 base pay plus the 2023 locality rate for Washington, DC. The salary for 2024 will be available after the first of the year and if the base pay increases, the person selected would be eligible to receive the updated pay. The 2024 locality portion is also subject to change and can increase or decrease.

What are your employee benefits?

The FDIC provides a very comprehensive benefits package, including a wide variety of health plan offerings under the Federal Employee Health Benefits program, transit subsidy, bar dues reimbursement, on-site fitness center, life insurance coverage, dental and vision coverage, and a tax-deferred 401(k) and Thrift Savings Plan programs with matching FDIC contributions. Program participants will also receive 10 paid federal holidays, accrue annual leave and sick leave based on years of Federal service, and paid parental leave. If a Program participant successfully completes the program and receives a permanent appointment in the FDIC's Legal Division, he/she may be eligible for the Student Loan Repayment Program.

When deciding which candidates are qualified for an interview, we look at the candidate's total application package; only complete application packages submitted on USAJOBS will be reviewed.

A complete application package must consist of all of the following:

  1. Cover letter stating anticipated date or date of graduation;
  2. Resume, which should include unrounded law school GPA and undergraduate GPA. The resume may exceed one page and should emphasize honors, awards and achievements awarded during law school and undergraduate school, as well as relevant work experience;
  3. Persuasive and unedited legal writing sample of 15 pages or less;
  4. The names of three references including email addresses and daytime phone numbers. In the event that we are unable to make contact with reference 1 and 2, we may contact reference 3;
  5. Law school transcript from ALL LAW SCHOOLS ATTENDED, official or unofficial in a format generated by the law school (photocopy acceptable), and class rank, only when present on an official transcript. Self-prepared transcripts cannot be submitted in lieu of a law school transcript;
  6. Explanation of unusual grading system, if applicable; and
  7. Proof of bar admission reflecting good standing status, if applicable.

Can I amend my application package documents (Required Documents listed above) while the application submission period is open?

Yes, amendments to application packages are accepted up until the date of the application deadline. No application packages will be accepted after the application deadline.

To whom should I address my cover letter?

You may address your cover letter to the "Honors Attorney Program Manager."

How will I know if my application is being considered?

We consider all applications "live" until we send you a letter indicating that we are no longer considering your application.

When will I hear from you about an interview?

We intend to begin our interviews for the Honors Attorney Program in October/November. We contact prospective interviewees by telephone and/or email beginning in October.

Are you planning on conducting in-person interviews?

The determination of in-person or virtual interviews will be determined in September/October.

When will you make offers to successful applicants?

For the Honors Attorney Program we plan to make offers any time from November through January.

How are offers made?

We first make a "tentative" offer by telephone or email, followed by an email that includes an application link used for the required background check. Assuming the background check reveals no problems, we then send a formal offer letter with proposed grade and salary as well as start date. Please note that the background check can take up to two months to complete.

Is the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation a qualified employer for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF)?

Yes, the FDIC is a qualified employer for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

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