Attorney Honors Program - Apply

Attorney Honors Program

This webpage describes the general hiring process, timeline, application components, and eligibility for the NOAA GC Attorney Honors Program. It is for informational purposes only. Please carefully read and follow the instructions in the specific USAJOBS announcement to which you are applying.

General Hiring Timeline

We are not currently accepting applications for the Attorney Honors Program. The specific dates for the Attorney Honors Program hiring process may change year-to-year. We encourage you to check USAJOBS periodically for a vacancy announcement for the Attorney Honors Program and to rely on that announcement for specific dates related to that year's hiring process. That said, the process generally follows this schedule:

  • August 1 - Vacancy Announcement on USAJOBS opens
  • September 7 - Vacancy Announcement on USAJOBS closes
  • Late September through early November - Interview candidates selected and interviews conducted
  • November/December - Offers extended
  • September/October of the following year - Start date for new Honors Program attorneys

Eligibility Requirements and Considerations


Applicants must be a U.S. Citizen or National to apply to the Attorney Honors Program.

Applicants must be a current third-year law student or graduate law student who will receive a degree by June 30, 2024; or a recent law school graduate who will complete a judicial clerkship or a legal fellowship by, on, or about August 31, 2024.

Applicants must pass a bar examination and be an active member of the bar (any U.S. jurisdiction) within 14 months after their initial start date as a NOAA GC Honors Program attorney.

Male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must be registered for Selective Service.

Individuals hired through the Attorney Honors Program must agree to a commitment to remain with NOAA's Office of General Counsel for a minimum of three years.

A background investigation will be required for this position.


Knowledge of or experience working with Federal environmental, conservation, or natural resources laws; similarly complex statutory schemes; as well as laws and regulations governing Federal agencies, such as the Administrative Procedure Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Regulatory Flexibility Act, Freedom of Information Act, or other generally applicable federal laws, is not required but will be favorably considered. Demonstrated interest in issues related to natural resources or the environment is also not required but will be favorably considered.

Strong applicants will have a demonstrated ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing and to identify and resolve complex legal issues. Strong applicants will also have demonstrated their ability to work effectively in a team with clients, other attorneys, and support staff.

Significant academic achievement in law school, including but not limited to class rank,  graduation with honors, judicial clerking experience, or participation in law review, will be favorably considered.

NOAA GC favorably considers veterans preference eligibility in hiring. Applicants eligible for veterans preference are encouraged to include that information in their cover letter or resume and to attach supporting documentation (e.g. the DD Form-214 or other substantiating documents) to their applications.

Applicants must meet all qualifications by the closing date of the USAJOBS announcement.

Attorney Honors Program