The Legal Intern Program
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's Legal Intern Program provides valuable and challenging professional opportunities for outstanding law school students. Our goal is to provide our interns (law clerks) with a better understanding of the FDIC's role in our financial system while providing an opportunity for public service. Within one section of the Legal Division, law clerks are assigned to a variety of duties and projects that will provide significant legal experience.
Why Join the FDIC?
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has stood strong and has continued to fulfill its mission of standing behind the insured deposits of its member banks and supporting confidence in the nation's financial system.
The FDIC was born of the Great Depression of the late 1920s and early 1930s. More than 9,000 banks closed between the stock market crash of October 1929 and March of 1933, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office. For all practical purposes, the nation's banking system had shut down completely even before President Roosevelt - less than 48 hours after his inauguration - declared a "banking holiday" suspending all banking activities until stability could be restored. Among the actions taken by Congress to bring order to the system was the creation of the FDIC in June 1933. The intent was to provide a federal government guarantee of deposits so that customers' funds, within certain limits, would be safe and available to them on demand. 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. The FDIC sign - posted in insured financial institutions across the country - has become a symbol of confidence.
As an FDIC law clerk, you will contribute to maintaining confidence in our nation's financial system and learn financial institutions regulatory law from the inside out. In addition, you may be exposed to areas of law atypical to most government practice that will serve you well wherever your career takes you.
Legal Practice at the FDIC
The practice of law at the FDIC reflects the broad nature of the FDIC's work as well as its unique statutory powers. For example, because the FDIC has independent litigating authority, our attorneys practice before virtually all courts. FDIC attorneys develop case strategy, write the briefs and appear in court for arguments. The FDIC's Legal Division is a full service corporate practice providing not only litigation, but transactional; regulatory; and administrative legal services to the Corporation. As a law clerk, you will assist our attorneys in one or more of the following areas including:
Corporate and Executive Operations:
- Providing legal opinions on a wide range of topics including statutory powers of the FDIC, the role of the FDIC as a federal agency, and corporate governance.
- Handling labor and employment issues including administrative hearings on employee-related matters and negotiations with the bargaining unit representative.
- Handling FDIC contracting, including contracting for the services of outside counsel.
- Managing Legal Division information technology.
- Corporate secretary duties for the Board of Directors.
- Managing the FDIC ethics and alternative dispute resolution programs.
- Supporting FDIC corporate governance structure and maintaining official corporate records.
- Strategic planning to support the division's leadership development, knowledge management and strategic goals.
Financial Technology and Innovation:
- Providing advice on legal issues facing the FDIC, as well as its supervised and insured banks and savings associations, arising from emerging forms of innovative technology, business approaches and third party relationships.
- Analyzing federal and state statutes, common law, regulations, and legal considerations applicable to financial technology related activities and industry developments.
- Collaborating and coordinating with staff of various FDIC business divisions, including those focused on bank examination, consumer protection, privacy, innovation, and resolution planning.
- Litigating professional liability actions; including claims against directors and officers, attorneys and accountants when arising out of failed banks.
- Handling complex commercial litigation matters.
- Defending the FDIC against challenges to its statutory authority and appeals from its administrative determinations.
- Managing some of the largest civil commercial litigation cases brought by the federal government.
- Providing legal advice relating to the investigation and pursuit of criminal matters involving financial institutions.
Resolution and Receivership:
- Providing legal advice on the FDIC's responsibilities under the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) involving complex financial institutions.
- Supporting the FDIC's execution of policies and program initiatives concerning the development of resolution strategies, resolution planning and responsibilities under the Dodd-Frank Act.
- Supporting the Corporation's activities as receiver of an insured depository institution or covered financial company.
- Providing legal advice and counsel on a wide variety of transactional and oversight matters, such as structured financial transactions, corporate law, commercial law, real estate law, environmental law and the FDIC's receivership powers.
Supervision, Legislation and Enforcement:
- Developing, drafting and providing legal opinions on legislation, regulations and policy statements relating to insured depository institutions.
- Providing advice on deposit insurance coverage, assessments of insured depository institutions, Federal securities laws, and consumer laws.
- Working closely with bank and review examiners to ensure bank compliance with banking and consumer protection laws and regulations and the continued safety and soundness of insured depository institutions.
- Preparing and litigating enforcement cases before administrative law judges and in federal courts.
Applicants must meet the qualification requirements consistent with OPM qualification standards applicable to the position being filled and must be currently enrolled in an accredited Juris Doctorate (JD) or LL.M program.
Applicants must have at least a cumulative (overall) 2.5 grade point average; and remain in good academic standing.
CG-07 level: Completion of 1 full academic year of graduate level education OR eligibility under the Superior Academic Achievement Provision and completion of a bachelor's degree. Click here for Superior Academic Achievement qualification requirements.
CG-09 level: Completion of 2 academic years of graduate level education, or a master's degree or equivalent graduate degree.
When deciding which candidates are qualified for an interview, we look at the total application package including undergraduate record (GPA), law school courses and grades (GPA), law review or law journal participation, national or regional moot court competition participation, and other special qualifications (such as another advanced degree, foreign language skills) or life experience. Writing samples will be evaluated for legal research, analytical and writing skills (i.e., organization, grammar, spelling, and persuasiveness).
How to Apply
Please follow the application process for the internship.
Go to Frequently Asked Questions for further information.
For more information on the Pathways Intern Program, please email the Pathways coordinators at PathwaysHQ@FDIC.gov.
FDIC is an independent agency of the federal government.
FDIC is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.