About Us - Employment Opportunities

Internship Position Description - Legal Internship Program

Office of the General Counsel

Job Description: Legal internship in the Office of the General Counsel; available in fall, spring, and summer
Eligible Applicants: Law students, preferably in their second or third year
Open: Until filled (1-2 positions available each term)
Application Deadlines: For Summer: February 15
For Fall: August 15
For Spring: November 15


The Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is an independent federal agency that fosters leadership, innovation, and a lifetime of learning by supporting museums and libraries throughout the country. In broad outline, IMLS grant programs are designed to achieve the following four objectives: (1) to stimulate excellence and provide access to learning and information resources in all types of libraries for individuals of all ages; (2) to promote targeted library services to people of diverse geographic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds, to individuals with disabilities, and to people with limited information skills; (3) to encourage museums in their educational role; (4) to assist museums in modernizing their facilities so that they are better able to conserve the cultural, historic and scientific heritage of the United States. Representative projects include: national leadership grants to support model projects in museums and libraries; library grants to states to improve access to information through electronic resources sharing; Native American library service grants to support the library programs used by tribes and Alaska Native villages; grants to support institution assessment of collections management and public programs in museums; and conservation grants to support the preservation of manuscripts, books and artifacts in the nation's museums.

Office of General Counsel
The Institute's Office of General Counsel is responsible for providing legal advice to the Director of the IMLS and her staff. In addition, the General Counsel's Office is often called upon to assist the Institute's grantees in solving various legal problems.

The General Counsel's office provides advice on a wide range of substantive areas, including administrative law and the interpretation of our authorizing legislation, federal grants law, appropriations law, employment law, civil rights compliance, ethics standards, and open government law. In addition, the General Counsel's office coordinates with the Institute's Congressional Liaison by drafting legislation and providing analysis of pending bills.

The General Counsel's Office also has substantial responsibilities in the area of helping to identify and shape public policy issues on topics important to the Institute and its constituencies.

Legal Internship Program
As a small but vital office, the General Counsel's office offers interns the opportunity to become directly involved in the broad range of legal and policy matters that come into the office. We hope to create a challenging and interesting experience for an intern. Our "small law firm" environment enables an intern to experience a wide range of administrative law issues common to all federal agencies, as well as those issues unique to the Institute that arise from its mission to develop museum and libraries and support these cultural resources in a meaningful way.

A legal intern would be expected to be able to conduct research projects and draft memoranda with appropriate supervision. In addition, the intern may be called upon to draft correspondence, track pending legislation, and to otherwise assist the General Counsel and her staff with their duties.

In 2012-2013, we anticipate selecting 1-2 interns for the summer, fall, and spring. Solid writing skills and an interest in the arts and humanities are essential, and we strongly prefer second or third-year students. Unfortunately, we are not able to pay our interns. We will cooperate in arrangements for law school credit.

To apply for a summer internship, please send a cover letter, resume, and writing sample on or before February 15; for a fall internship, please forward the materials by August 15; for a spring internship, please forward the materials by November 15, to:

Danette Hensley
Staff Assistant
Office of the General Counsel
Institute of Museum and Library Services
1800 M Street NW, 9th Floor
Washington, DC, 20036-5802
dhensley@imls.gov

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is an equal opportunity employer. We maintain a year-round internship program.