Student Trainee (Legal)


The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is ranked within the top 5 mid-size agencies in Partnership for Public Service’s Best Places to Work in the Federal Government Rankings! Our Pathways Internship Program provides students the opportunity to acquire experience in the energy industry while gaining exposure to FERC’s work. This vacancy will be used to fill multiple positions in several FERC program offices: Commissioner Clements, OALJ and OE and OEPI. Learn more: About FERC


This vacancy is for a Fall 2024 internship. 

While the duties of the Student Trainee (Legal) may vary depending on office placement, some of your typical work assignments may include:

  • In the Office of Commissioner Clements:: Reviewing and analyzing Commission orders; preparing memos summarizing legal issues arising under the Federal Power Act, Natural Gas Act and Energy Policy Act of 2005; working on the Commissioner’s speeches and separate statements; and assisting with other projects as assigned
  • In the Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ): Projects providing assistance to multiple judge teams, which often include research, drafting, and litigation support for orders, decisions, and hearing and settlement proceedings. Interns also receive educational training and have the opportunity to present on energy law topics.
  • In the Office of Enforcement (OE): Assisting enforcement staff as they conduct investigations and engaging in litigation or administrative hearings. Tasks would include evidence collection, legal research, drafting legal memos, and helping attorneys prepare for, and then attending depositions or interviews. Interns are also responsible for a semester-long research project of their choice.
  • In the Office of Energy Policy and Innovation (OEPI): Performing legal or policy research on a variety of emerging issues in the energy industry, supporting teams preparing memos, draft Commission orders, and reports, and assisting with legal analysis of policy issues.

The intern program at FERC is unique in that we post one intern vacancy for multiple offices to make selections.  This means you may be contacted by several different hiring managers for different vacancies. See Next Steps section for additional information

Our Internship Program offers students the opportunity to attend networking events, visit regulated hydropower dams, and participate in seminars with career advice and tips from FERC’s top management officials. For more information, visit:


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen or National.
  • A background investigation is required.
  • Relocation expenses will not be paid.
  • You must meet the eligibility and qualification requirements.
  • You must submit proof of enrollment in a degree-seeking program.
  • You must submit transcripts at the time of application.
  • You may be required to divest certain energy-related securities.
  • This is not a bargaining unit position.

You must meet all eligibility and qualification (experience and/or education) requirements by the end of spring or summer 2024 semester. 


Eligibility: In order to be eligible for our Pathways Internship Program, you must:

  • Be accepted for enrollment or enrolled and seeking a degree or certificate in a qualifying educational institution on a half- to full-time basis (as determined by the educational institution); AND
  • Meet the definition of a student throughout the duration of your appointment; AND
  • Meet the qualification standards (e.g., series and grade).


To view the qualification requirements of a Student Trainee (Legal) GS-0999 please visit:  Student Trainee (Legal)

You can qualify based on your education, OR one full year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the GS-07 level OR have a combination education and experience. Specialized experience is defined as: progressively responsible clerical, office, or other work that indicates ability to acquire the particular knowledge and skills needed to perform the duties of the position.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills, and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including any volunteer experience.

Please do not cut and paste the position description, specialized experience, or occupational assessment questionnaire from this announcement into your resume, as this will not be considered a demonstration of your qualifications for this position.


This position has an education requirement (as referenced in the “Qualifications” section) and therefore, transcripts and/or proof of enrollment are required. Failure to submit this documentation at the time of application will result in your application being marked incomplete and you will not receive further consideration.

Additional information

FERC is ranked as the #1 mid-size agency in both Teamwork and Effective Leadership in the Partnership for Public Service’s Best Places to Work rankings!  In addition, FERC is ranked as a top 5 agency in Work-Life Balance and is proud to offer telework and workplace flexibilities in accordance with agency policy.

The duty location of this position is Washington, DC. Agency employees are eligible for telework and other workplace flexibilities. Telework days and waiting periods for eligibility are determined when an employee enters on duty.

If selected for this position, you will be required to:

  • Complete a Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306) to determine your suitability for Federal employment.
  • Have your Federal salary payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of your choice.
  • Go through a Personal Identity Verification (PIV) process that requires two forms of identification from the Form I-9. Federal law requires verification of the identity and employment eligibility of all new hires in the U.S. FERC also participates in the USCIS Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification Program (E-Verify). For more information about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit:
  • Attend a mandatory ethics training. We are governed by the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) Standards of Conduct, the criminal conflict of interest statutes, and FERC’s supplemental ethics regulation, which specifically prohibits FERC employees from holding certain energy-related securities. To comply with these regulations and statutes, divestiture of these securities may be required after you begin employment. See 5 C.F.R. 2634-41; 18 U.S.C. 201-208; 5 C.F.R. 3401. If selected, you may also be required to file a financial disclosure statement within 30 days of appointment.
  • Receive authorization from OPM on any job offer you receive, if you are or were (within the last 5 years) a political Schedule A, Schedule C, or Non-Career SES employee in the Executive Branch

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

  1. Once the vacancy announcement closes, we will review your resume and any supporting documentation to determine whether you meet the eligibility and minimum qualification requirements for the position. Your resume must address the following competencies (knowledge, skills, and abilities, and other characteristics):
    • Legal Research
    • Industry Knowledge
    • Written Communication
  2. The online assessment is used to evaluate your relevant education and experience in relation to the required competencies for this position.
  3. If you meet the eligibility and minimum qualification requirements, your application will be further evaluated based on your answers to the vacancy questionnaire, using the Category Rating Method. This means you will be placed into one of three categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified, or Qualified, depending on your responses. Your rating may be lowered if your responses are not supported by the education and/or experience described in your resume. Veterans’ preference is applied by listing preference eligibles ahead of non-preference eligibles within the same category in which they are placed. Qualified preference eligibles with a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent (CPS and CP) will be placed at the top of the highest quality category (Best Qualified), ahead of all other preference and non-preference eligibles, regardless of the quality category in which they are placed as a result of the assessment of their qualifications (excepted for scientific or professional at the GS-9 grade level and above). A selecting official may make selections from the highest quality category (Best Qualified), provided no preference eligibles in that category is passed over to select a non-preference eligible.
  4. You may be required to participate in a selection interview. Please note – only your resume and cover letter will be forwarded to the selecting official.

Required Documents

If you do not provide all required documents by the closing date of this vacancy announcement, you will not be considered for this position or receive special consideration/hiring preference (e.g. transcripts, proof of enrollment, veterans’ preference, etc.).


  1. RESUME: We encourage you use the USAJOBS online Resume Builder to ensure all the essential information is included in your resume. If you decided to submit your own resume, you must ensure it contains the following information for each experience/position:
    • Position title
    • Name of employer
    • Beginning and ending dates of employment (Month/Day/Year format)
    • Hours worked per week
    • Detailed description of job duties, accomplishments, related skills, and responsibilities to include any supervisory/managerial responsibilities and number of staff supervised (if applicable)
    • Series and grade or equivalent (for federal positions)
    • If the position has an education requirement or you are qualifying based on your education, you must list your education history, including the type of degree and your major of study.
  2. VACANCY QUESTIONNAIRE: You must submit and complete the online eligibility and vacancy questions.
  3. TRANSCRIPTS AND PROOF OF ENROLLMENT: You MUST submit copies of your college transcripts AND proof of enrollment to verify your education. Unofficial copies are acceptable; however, if selected you will be required to provide official documentation before your effective date.


  1. VETERANS’PREFERENCE (DD-214, VA Disability Letter, etc.): If you are claiming veterans’ preference, you must submit a copy of your Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty, DD-214 (Member 4 copy), or other official documentation from a branch of the Armed Forces or the Department of Veterans Affairs showing dates of service and type of discharge. Ten-point preference eligibles must also submit an “Application for 10-point Veteran Preference” (SF-15), along with an official VA letter and the required documentation listed on the back of the SF-15 form. For more information about veterans’ preferences, visit

By aashir

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