SJA Legal Internship Program
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn.” SJA’s teaching philosophy is centered on empowering students and building an earned confidence in the work they will do. Pedagogically, the mission of the Coast Guard is uniquely suited for experiential learning initiatives that center on finite, accomplishable projects. This style not only educates students on how to confront real-world problems, but also creates a framework for them to work together in a facilitative way to accomplish those goals. Learning to work well in an inclusive team dynamic is as important as subject matter being taught. By outlining work expectations, reasoning, and foot-stomping respectful interactions, my students learn how to appropriately consider all issues, negotiate potential outcomes, and are able to experience their own real-life consequences in a controlled setting. This way, even failures have significant educational value. I believe that a bias for action, fearless knowledge application, and academic ownership are the cornerstones of future Coast Guard leaders. "
"One of my favorite aspects of the clerkship was the ability to see matters resolved from start to finish and being involved in every aspect. Some of my favorite projects I worked on during the clerkship period were investigations, preparing NJP packages, BOJAK updates, and legal assistance such as drafting wills."
Clerk Staff Judge Advocate,
U.S. Coast Guard
"One of the most valuable aspects of this internship was the opportunity to learn from and observe the independent Staff Judge Advocate’s command advice and legal assistance. This internship has offered me hands-on legal work and the chance to assist with various legal tasks. These included conducting legal research, drafting documents, and providing support in legal proceedings.
Clerk, Staff Judge Advocate Office
U.S. Coast Guard
"One of my favourite things about participating in this internship was getting the chance to be involved in the conducting of an investigation. From the very start of the process which entailed gathering information through interviews and other resources, as well as utilizing the UCMJ, MCM, and case law precedents to understand legal issues and determine the best approach to addressing them."
Clerk, Staff Judge Advocate
U.S. Coast Guard
How to Apply
CGJAG Externs and Interns work alongside active duty Coast Guard Judge Advocates and civilian attorneys within the Coast Guard legal community. The program provides an excellent opportunity to learn about the U.S. Coast Guard and its legal community, while gaining insight on its Direct Commission Lawyer process. Interns must complete a security background check. Externships/internship locations include: Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington D.C. or various U.S. Coast Guard legal field offices throughout the country, including: Boston, MA; Portsmouth, VA; Norfolk, VA; Miami, FL; New Orleans, LA; Cleveland, OH; Alameda, CA; New London, CT; Cape May, NJ; Seattle, WA; Honolulu, HI; Charleston, SC or Juneau, AK). Please note, openings at field offices other than Washington, DC, are not guaranteed and subject to office availability.
CGJAG offers internships and externships throughout the academic year. All internship and externship positions are unpaid; however, participants may receive academic credit if supported by their law school.
Internships and externships are open to all law students, 1Ls-3Ls.
Students applying as 1Ls during a fall or spring semester must be permitted by their respective JD program to participate.
CGJAG interns and externs must be currently enrolled in an ABA-accredited JD program and be familiar with Westlaw/Lexis-Nexis.
How to Apply:
To apply for a CGJAG externship/internship, please email to your application to CoastGuardDCL@uscg.mil. Your application will consist of a:
1) Cover letter (which must specify your preferred office location. If interested in several locations, please list them in rank order);
3) Unofficial transcript (If applying as a 1L, you send in your transcript separately after 1L fall semester grades released);
4) Letter of Recommendation from a law school professor; and
5) Legal writing sample not to exceed 10 pages.
For specific application deadlines and more information, please see:
-CGJAG Legal Externship/Internship Advertisement
4) Civilian Attorney Positions
As a civilian in the U.S. Coast Guard, You will provide essential services in diverse legal matters.
For those interested in joining CGJAG as a civilian attorney, please find any open opportunities https://dhs.usajobs.gov/
Any and all further questions may be directed to our CGJAG Accessions Team by email at: CoastGuardDCL@uscg.mil or phone at: (202) 372-3822.
Staff of the Judge Advocate