Department of Homeland Security (Newark and Elizabeth, NJ Offices)

About Department of Homeland Security (Newark and Elizabeth, NJ Offices)

The Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA) is the largest legal program in DHS, with over 1,100 attorneys and 350 support personnel. By statute, OPLA serves as the exclusive representative of DHS in immigration removal proceedings before the Executive Office for Immigration Review, litigating all removal cases including those against criminal aliens, terrorists, and human rights abusers.

OPLA also provides a full range of legal services to ICE programs and offices. OPLA provides legal advice and prudential counsel to ICE personnel on their customs, criminal, and immigration law enforcement authorities, the Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act, ethics, legal liability under the Federal Tort Claims Act, and a range of administrative law issues, such as contract, fiscal, and employment law. OPLA represents the agency before the Merit Systems Protection Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Board of Contract Appeals. OPLA attorneys provide essential support to the Department of Justice in the prosecution of ICE cases and in the defense of ICE’s authorities in federal court.

In addition to its headquarters in Washington, D.C., OPLA has 26 Offices of Chief Counsel with a presence in more than 60 locations throughout the United States. This internship is specifically for the New Jersey offices, located in Newark and Elizabeth, New Jersey.


Undergraduate Intern

January 2023 - May 2023 Newark, NJ
“This is a great internship if you are interested in Legal, Law Enforcement, or Federal Government Careers. Expect to work in a small cohort of 4-6 interns doing various tasks related to immigration law. Common assignments include processing Prosecutorial Discretion claims, doing research on country conditions, and shadowing in court. My supervisor was just great. She was attentive, caring, and funny. During the school year, you are only expected to work 12 hours per week (Summer is different) so you have plenty of time for classwork. Overall this was a great experience, and I highly recommend. ”
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