Interviews are conducted at law schools and various diversity job fairs throughout the country to recruit the best and brightest law students for the IRS Office of Chief Counsel.

There are various beginning entry points for you, each providing the opportunity to acquire significant training and experience in tax law, or government contract, personnel, and labor law.

CHIEF COUNSEL HONORS PROGRAM

  • Highly competitive program available primarily to third-year students, graduating Tax LLM students, and judicial clerks.
  • Open to individuals each year who have superior academic qualifications or experience relevant to the work of Chief Counsel
  • Appointments are made at GS-11, Step 8 for JD applicants, and at GS-12, Step 4 for LLM applicants
  • Positions are available in our offices nationwide and are subject to a three-year commitment

Honors Qualifications

The IRS Office of Chief Counsel’s Honors Program offers entry-level positions that provide the opportunity to acquire significant training and experience in tax law. The target start date for this position is fall 2020.

Eligibility is limited to graduating law students who will graduate from law school between October 1, 2019 and September 30, 2020 and recent law school graduates who began participating in eligibility preserving activities within 9 months of law school graduation. Eligibility preserving activities are full-time activities starting after law school graduation that can preserve a law school graduate’s eligibility for the Honors Program. The following are eligibility preserving activities:  judicial clerkships, tax or accounting-related graduate programs (including Tax LL.M. programs), or qualifying legal fellowships.  Qualifying legal fellowships must have a formal sponsor (e.g., a public service organization, a foundation, a bar association, a corporation, a law school, etc.), an established legal mission (e.g., purpose, type of work), and be publicly advertised as a fellowship at the time the candidate applied to the fellowship.  Fellowships must also be of fixed duration ("bridge the gap" fellowships that require fellows to continue to seek other employment and terminate when the incumbent secures permanent legal employment do not qualify). Breaks between consecutive eligibility preserving activities cannot exceed 120 days.  Participation in the eligibility preserving activity must be active through at least December 1 of the application year (may run later).  Law school graduates who received their J.D. prior to October 1, 2016 are ineligible.

If you are not a licensed attorney when you join our Honors Program, you will initially be brought on board as a Law Clerk. Upon admission to the bar, and demonstration of satisfactory employment during the interim period, you will be eligible for conversion to an Attorney position.

 Minimum Criteria (must meet this criteria to be considered):      

• Class Rank Requirement:

1. JDs: Top 25% class rank required (if school does not provide class rank information allowing us to determine if a student is in the top 25%, such as individual class rank or honors for students in a certain percentage of the class, at the time a selection is made, then a minimum GPA of 3.4 is required; if the school does not provide class rank or GPA at the time a selection is made, a minimum LSAT of 160 is required) or

2. Tax LLMs (including JD/Tax LLMs) who have completed any Tax LLM coursework: Must satisfy the JD class rank requirement above or have a minimum GPA of 3.3 in the Tax LLM program (if the Tax LLM program does not provide GPAs, a minimum LSAT of 160 is required);

• Must attend an ABA accredited law school; and

• Must be a US citizen

 Attributes of an Ideal Candidate:

• Special high-level recognition for academic excellence in law school, such as selection to Order of the Coif or receipt of the American Jurisprudence Award in related courses; or top grades in tax or related course work (e.g., “A” grades in tax courses);

• Evidence of background or experience in the position to be filled, such as taking relevant law school classes (e.g., tax law, bankruptcy/debtor creditor law, administrative law) or relevant legal or tax experience (e.g., tax legal experience) or relevant tax volunteer experience (e.g., VITA, Tax Clinic);

• Work or achievement in the law school’s law review or other recognized law journal;

• Winning a moot court or mock trial competition or membership on a moot court or mock trial team

Three-Year Tenure Commitment

As a newly appointed attorney, you will be expected to remain with the Office of Chief Counsel for a period of three years, unless released from your employment commitment. This is due in part to recognize the significant amount of time and money that the Office of Chief Counsel invests in training new attorneys to become proficient in the law. The first year of your three-year commitment is part of a trial period during which you may resign without requesting a release.

Learn how to apply.

SUMMER LEGAL PROGRAM

  • Competitive program available primarily to second-year law students
  • Summer positions are available at the GS-9, Step 1 level
  • Work under the supervision, and with the assistance of, experienced tax lawyers (or personnel and labor attorneys in our General Legal Services Division)
  • Gain training and work experience that helps prepare you for a career as a tax lawyer and also provides an excellent view of what the practice of law is like at the Office of Chief Counsel
  • In the National Office, you may take part in a variety of training, educational and social events, as well as interagency tours and presentations
  • Opportunities are available in our offices nationwide
  • Offers of full-time employment may be made at the conclusion of the program
  • This program has been established in accordance with 5 CFR 213.3102(r).

Summer Legal Qualifications

Current law students who have completed at least one full year of legal study by the application deadline are eligible to apply (part-time law students must be currently attending law school and have completed the equivalent of one year of full-time study by the application deadline).  Most applicants participate the summer between their second and third year of law school; however, graduating law students who enter a judicial clerkship or tax or accounting-related graduate program (including a Tax LL.M. program) may participate the summer following graduation prior to the start of the judicial clerkship or graduate program.  If you are applying for, but have not yet accepted a judicial clerkship or been accepted into a tax or accounting-related graduate program, you should consider applying to both the Honors Program and Summer Legal Program.  Applicants must be available to accept full-time post-JD employment by September 30, 2021 to be eligible.

Minimum Criteria (must meet this criteria to be considered):      

• Class Rank Requirement:

1. JDs: Top 25% class rank required (if school does not provide class rank information allowing us to determine if a student is in the top 25%, such as individual class rank or honors for students in a certain percentage of the class, at the time a selection is made, then a minimum GPA of 3.4 is required; if the school does not provide class rank or GPA at the time a selection is made, a minimum LSAT of 160 is required) or

2. Tax LLMs (including JD/Tax LLMs) who have completed any Tax LLM coursework: Must satisfy the JD class rank requirement above or have a minimum GPA of 3.3 in the Tax LLM program (if the Tax LLM program does not provide GPAs, a minimum LSAT of 160 is required);

• Must attend an ABA accredited law school; and

• Must be a US citizen

 Attributes of an Ideal Candidate:

• Special high-level recognition for academic excellence in law school, such as selection to Order of the Coif or receipt of the American Jurisprudence Award in related courses; or top grades in tax or related course work (e.g., “A” grades in tax courses);

• Evidence of background or experience in the position to be filled, such as taking relevant law school classes (e.g., tax law, bankruptcy/debtor creditor law, administrative law) or relevant legal or tax experience (e.g., tax legal experience) or relevant tax volunteer experience (e.g., VITA, Tax Clinic);

• Work or achievement in the law school’s law review or other recognized law journal;

• Winning a moot court or mock trial competition or membership on a moot court or mock trial team

Learn how to apply.

VOLUNTEER LEGAL EXTERNSHIP PROGRAM (Extern Program)

  • Available to highly qualified law students from law schools accredited by the American Bar Association
  • Work alongside Chief Counsel attorneys on a variety of educationally related work assignments and provide legal assistance to attorneys
  • You may work on either a part-time or a full-time basis as a law student or LLM candidate, subject to the approval of your law school
  • You may work in the National Office or in one of our field offices

Learn how to apply.

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