Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Legal Internship: Office of Vaccine Litigation, U.S. Department of Justice

Office of Vaccine Litigation, U.S. Department of Justice
Volunteer/Unpaid Legal Interns, Winter/Spring 2014
U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, Torts Branch, Office of Constitutional and Specialized Torts, Office of Vaccine Litigation, Washington, DC
The Vaccine Litigation Group represents the interests of the Secretary of Health and Human Services in all cases filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act.  The cases involve claims of injury as a result of the receipt of certain vaccines.  

Responsibilities and Opportunity Offered: The Vaccine Litigation Group is currently seeking undergraduate students for a limited number of part-time Winter/Spring 2014 volunteer (unpaid) internships.  Interns work closely with attorneys and paralegals on substantive matters in all stages of litigation.  Indeed, the position offers a unique experience in public service.  The legal and medical issues at stake in each case vary greatly.  Attorneys and staff in the group handle heavy case loads, and while streamlined procedures are utilized, cases frequently involve complex liability and damages issues.  The Group is obliged to ensure that the Vaccine Trust Fund, from which damage awards are paid, is protected and, where eligibility criteria are met, that fair compensation is distributed to those whom Congress has intended.  Attorneys appear frequently before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which affords interns the opportunity to gain experience in trial and appellate practice.   

More information about the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program can be found at Interns should be able to start on or about January 7, 2014, or sooner, and be able to commit 12-20 hours a week, for approximately 12 weeks, to the office.  Interested candidates may be offered the opportunity to continue their service into the summer.

Qualifications:  Applicants should have excellent academic credentials, writing, and interpersonal skills, exhibit good judgment, and have an interest in health care litigation.  Experience with Word, Excel, and Powerpoint is required, and experience with Westlaw/Nexis is strongly preferred.  Experience in law/legal courses and medicine/science is also strongly preferred.  Undergraduate juniors and seniors are eligible for the positions.  Unfortunately, graduates are ineligible for the positions
Salary: The positions are unpaid.  
Location: Washington, DC.
Application Process and Deadline Date:
Application materials must be postmarked or e-mailed by the deadline date of November 1, 2013.  The Office will begin interviews once qualified candidates apply, so early applications are encouraged.  Please reference Vacancy Announcement #2-VIN-WS13 in your cover letter.  Applicants should send a (1) cover letter, (2) resume, (3) transcript, (4) writing sample, and (5) a list of three references, preferably by e-mail (in PDF format), to:

Debra A. Filteu Begley, Esq.
Co-Director, Law Clerk Program
Office of Vaccine Litigation
Torts Branch, Civil Division
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 146
Washington, D.C. 20044
Any e-mail attachments should be sent as .pdf files.  No telephone calls please. 

Any questions regarding these opportunities should be directed to Debra Begley at