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:

Summer Internship – February 1
Fall Internship – June 1
Spring Internship – November 1

Please Note: As a public health precaution due to COVID-19, the internship in the Office of General Counsel will be conducted remotely for the upcoming term. IMLS is closely monitoring COVID-19, and will continue to update this page regarding the availability of remote internship opportunities.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is an independent federal agency that advances, supports, and empowers America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. In broad outline, IMLS grant programs are designed to achieve the following four objectives: (1) to support learning and literacy for all people of all ages through museums and libraries; (2) to strengthen the capacity of museums and libraries to improve the well-being of their communities; (3) to make strategic investments that increase access to information, ideas, and networks through libraries and museums; and (4) to strategically align its resources and relationships to support libraries and museums nationwide.  Representative programs include: national leadership grants to support model projects in museums and libraries; library grants to States to improve access to information throughout the Nation; Native American library service grants to support the library programs used by Native American 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.

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.

Please send a cover letter, resume, and writing sample by the below deadlines. If possible, all materials should be in one PDF document.

To apply for a summer internship, the application package should be received on or before February 1; for a fall internship, August 1; for a spring internship, November 1.

Please send materials via email to:

Ms. Brianna Ingram
Paralegal Specialist
Office of General Counsel
Institute of Museum and Library Services
955 L'Enfant Plaza North, SW, Suite 4000
Washington, DC, 20024-2135

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