Do I need to be admitted to the bar to participate in the Honors Program?

When we accept applications from graduating and recently-graduated law students, we do not require that they already be admitted to any state bar. However, all participants must be admitted to a state bar within 14 months of becoming an FCC employee.

Normally, when we accept applications from judicial law clerks, they must be admitted to the bar before beginning employment with the FCC.

Do I need to be licensed to practice law in D.C. to participate in the program or to be employed by the FCC?

No. FCC attorneys may be admitted to the bar of any state and need not be admitted to the D.C. bar.

When we accept applications from graduating and recently-graduated law students, we do not require that they already be admitted to any state bar. However, all participants must be admitted to a state bar within 14 months of becoming an FCC employee.

When is the next application window?

The application deadline date may vary from year to year. The application window for the Fall 2021 Honors Program is July 13 through September 14, 2020. 

I am graduating from law school in December 2020. Can I apply to the Fall 2021 Honors Program?

Yes. We expect that Fall 2021 program participants will start work in September 2021. Earlier start dates may be available, depending on the FCC's budget and needs, but participants generally should not expect to be able to start work before mid-September 2021.

I've already graduated from law school, and I am not clerking for a judge this judicial term (2020-2021). Am I eligible to participate in the Attorney Honors Program?

At this time, we are only taking applications from graduating law students (e.g., both J.D. and LLM candidates) and judicial clerks serving for the 2020-2021 judicial term.

Are non-U.S. citizens eligible for the program?

If you are not a U.S. Citizen, you may be eligible for federal employment and may apply for the Honors Program if you fall into one of the following categories of individuals:

  • Individuals who are lawful permanent residents seeking citizenship as outlined in 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3)(B);
  • Individuals who are admitted refugees under 8 U.S.C. 1157 or granted asylum under 8 U.S.C. 1158 and have filed a declaration of intention to become a lawful permanent resident and then a citizen when eligible; or
  • Individuals who owe allegiance to the United States (e.g., nationals of American Samoa, Swains Island)

(Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, Pub. L. No. 114-113, Div. E, Title VII, § 704, December 18, 2015, 129 Stat. 2242.)

In addition to meeting one of the criteria listed above, you are still subject to the requirements of immigration law. You must provide documentation supporting your eligibility prior to being hired. If you are selected as an FCC Honors Attorney, you must also successfully complete a background investigation.

For more information about citizenship requirements for federal employment, please visit the Office of Personnel Management's website at http://www.usajobs.gov/ResourceCenter/Index/508/NonCitizensEmployment#icc. If you have additional questions about the eligibility of non-U.S. citizens for the FCC Attorney Honors Program, please contact Dionne Butler in our Office of Human Resources at Dionne.Butler@fcc.gov or at (202) 418-0141.

When will I hear back from the FCC about my application?

You should receive an acknowledgement by email that we have received your application shortly after receipt. The FCC reviews applications as quickly as possible. Our typical review and selection process involves interviews and reference checks, and given the large numbers of applications, takes between three and five months (September - February). This tentative timeline is subject to change.

Date Last Updated/Reviewed: 
Tuesday, July 7, 2020