The Honors Attorney Program
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's Honors Attorney Program is a highly competitive and prestigious 2-year entry-level professional development program. It is a unique opportunity for outstanding students in their final year of law school, new law school graduates in a post-graduate program, and recently graduated judicial clerks to learn and work in support of the FDIC’s mission of maintaining stability and public confidence in the nation’s financial system. In addition, as innovative and transformative technologies are rapidly altering the ways financial institutions serve their customers, participants will be exposed to valuable and stimulating areas of law atypical to most government practice.
Honors Attorneys will receive an in-depth understanding of the FDIC's role in our financial system and an opportunity for public service. Honors Attorneys are assigned to a wide variety of projects throughout the Legal Division that provide extensive and diverse legal experience in an inclusive work environment, which recognizes and appreciates all employees’ perspectives and talents. Additionally, there is a substantial amount of individual responsibility assigned to them throughout the program. The FDIC is committed to providing personal and professional growth opportunities. Honors Attorneys are provided with work assignments designed to expose them to different areas of FDIC legal practice. Honors Attorneys tackle important and interesting matters, including, for example:
- Participating in high profile rulemakings implementing the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act;
- Preparing for and attending meetings with international banking regulators; and
- Working with attorneys on consumer and risk enforcement matters, including taking sworn statements in preparation for administrative hearings.
Why Join the FDIC?
The FDIC is a cornerstone federal agency upholding, protecting, and maintaining stability and public confidence in the nation's financial system. Created in 1933 in response to the thousands of bank failures that occurred in the 1920s and early 1930s, the FDIC was established to maintain public confidence in the nation’s financial system and to provide a Federal guarantee of customers’ deposits, within certain limits, in the event of a financial institution failure. As an independent federal agency that insures deposits, the FDIC is charged with examining and supervising financial institutions for safety, soundness and consumer protection; ensuring that large and complex financial institutions resolvable; and managing receiverships.
Since the start of FDIC insurance on January 1, 1934, not one depositor has lost a cent of insured funds as a result of a failure of a financial institution. The FDIC sign - posted in insured depository institutions across the country - is a symbol of confidence.
During the recent financial crises, the FDIC played a critical leadership role in stemming the global crisis, including an unprecedented use of emergency authorities. FDIC attorneys made critical contributions to the FDIC’s actions in containing the systemic risk within the banking industry and restoring financial stability after the failure of almost 500 insured depository institutions. Further, FDIC attorneys have been leaders in creating regulatory changes in the wake of the Great Recession of 2007-2009.
For many years, the FDIC has routinely been ranked as one the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government. We provide highly competitive pay and comprehensive benefits that include health, life, and dental insurance, paid vacation time, paid parental leave, flexible spending and 401(k) savings accounts, and enrollment in the Federal Employee Retirement System. Furthermore, employment with the FDIC may qualify you for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. The FDIC remains committed to helping employees maintain a work/life balance through reasonable work hours and flexible schedules.
For more information about the FDIC’s mission and operations, please be sure to browse the additional information offered in the about section of the FDIC’s website.
Thank you for your interest in the FDIC.
In order to qualify for the 2022 Honors Attorney Program, you must:
be in your final year of law school graduating from an American Bar Association accredited law school between December 2021 and June 2022, or
be a full-time graduate student in the final year of study which began immediately following law school, or
be a recent law graduate leaving a judicial clerkship* no later than August 15, 2022, and
- be admitted to practice before the highest court of any state, territory or the District of Columbia or be scheduled to take the bar examination following graduation and available to start work no later than August 15, 2022, and
- have, at a minimum, a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) without rounding or equivalent or be in the top 33 percent of your law school class, and
- be a United States citizen.
*The clerkship must begin no later than nine months after law school graduation, be no longer than three (3) years in length, and be your first significant legal employment after law school.
When deciding which candidates are qualified for an interview, we look at the candidate’s total application package including law school courses, law school academic records, any law review or law journal participation (including service as an editor), judicial clerkship experience, national or regional moot court competition participation, other special qualifications (such as another advanced degree in a related area) or life experience, and a writing sample. An appropriate writing sample should be persuasive and demonstrate the candidate’s legal research, analytical problem solving, and writing skills (i.e., organization, grammar, spelling, and persuasiveness). Applicants should not submit an edited work, such as a published law review article or opinion issued by a court, or a writing sample where cases were selected for you; however, a draft that is totally your work (i.e., not edited by anyone other than you) is acceptable. Writing samples should not exceed 15 pages.
Selected candidates will be assigned to our headquarters offices in Washington, D.C. and Arlington, Virginia.
The Honors Attorney Program appointment is for a period not-to-exceed 24 months. If you are not admitted to practice when you join the FDIC, you will be classified as a Law Clerk. Upon admission to a state bar you will be reclassified as an Attorney. Additionally, if you do not acquire bar membership within 14 months of appointment, the appointment terminates. 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.
Go to Frequently Asked Questionsabout the Honors Attorney Program.
The FDIC is an equal opportunity employer.
Applications will be considered without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, marital status, disability, gender identity, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or any other non-merit factor.
FDIC provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate.
For more information, email your questions to HonorsAttorneyProgram@fdic.gov