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Hiring Process

Characteristics of a Competitive Candidate

  • Class Rank: GPA of 3.0 or higher; Top 50% required
  • Exceptional writing and analytical skills
  • Law journal or secondary journal preferred but not required
  • Clinical activities, moot court, trial advocacy preferred but not required
  • Demonstrated involvement in activities beyond required coursework
  • Ability to adapt quickly to new work environments
Michael Tien moderating panel at DOT Attorney Conference
Honors attorney Michael Tien moderating a panel at a DOT Attorney Conference

First Round Interviews

Each fall, the Department recruits for the next Honors Attorney Program class, which begins in August of the following year.  We conduct first-round on-campus interviews at law schools across the country. The Department also participates in law school job fairs and consortiums in Washington, DC and around the country.  We conduct telephone interviews for those students and judicial clerks we are not able to interview in person.  First-round interviews are conducted by Department attorneys and typically last between 20 and 30 minutes.  All first-round interviews are usually completed by the end of September.

Second Round Interviews

Outstanding candidates are invited for a second round of interviews where at least two Department attorneys interview them.  Candidates also meet with a current honors attorney at the end of the interview day.  The honors attorney meeting allows candidates to ask informal, off-record questions about the program.  The Department completes all second-round interviews by the end of October.


At the conclusion of interviewing, a committee composed of Senior Department attorneys meet to review applications and select the new honors attorneys class.  After approval from the General Counsel, the Honors Attorney Program Manager extends offers to candidates for approximately four positions. Offers are generally extended by late-November.