Division of Criminal Justice

Volunteer Associates in Public Service Program

Volunteer Associates in Public Service Program

Established under the Criminal Justice Act of 1970, the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) exists within the Department of Law and Public Safety, Office of the Attorney General, and is charged with the responsibility to detect, enforce and prosecute the criminal business of the State. Under the Attorney General’s leadership, New Jersey has set a national standard for tough enforcement of the State’s criminal laws and innovative leadership in the law enforcement community.

The Opportunity

The Division investigates and prosecutes crimes of statewide significance and supersedes county prosecutions when necessary. In addition to its direct law enforcement operations, the Division provides oversight, coordination and training standards for New Jersey law enforcement at the state, county and municipal levels to ensure the safety and security of all New Jersey citizens. DCJ also possesses primary responsibility for all New Jersey Supreme Court litigation involving criminal cases, handles all appellate work generated by DCJ prosecutions, and litigates appeals of statewide significance. The Division has volunteer assignments within the Appellate; The Law Enforcement Training Academy; Financial and Computer Crimes; The Director’s Complex; Gangs and Organized Crime; Prosecutors Supervision and Training; and Specialized Crimes Bureaus (www.nj.gov/oag/dcj/agencies.html), and within the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor (www.nj.gov/oag/insurancefraud).

Volunteer Associates will be exposed to a variety of substantive areas of the law, and are expected to have excellent legal research, legal writing, and interpersonal communication skills.

Meaningful Work and Experience

Beyond performance of the responsibilities assigned by each Volunteer Associate’s supervisor, associates are provided opportunities to observe Deputy Attorneys General appearing before the Law Division, Appellate Division, and occasionally the New Jersey Supreme Court. They will also be able to attend CLE training programs offered by the Attorney General’s Advocacy Institute.

Volunteer Associate applicants should rank their interest in three specific bureaus within the Division, and any geographic preference. The bureaus are Appellate; The Law Enforcement Training Academy; Financial and Computer Crimes; The Director’s Complex; Gangs and Organized Crime; Insurance Fraud; Prosecutors Supervision and Training; and Specialized Crimes. DCJ has primary offices in Mercer, Monmouth, and Morris Counties. Effort will be made to accommodate an accepted applicant’s interests in both bureau and office location, but no particular assignment is guaranteed. DCJ’s southern office in Camden County is temporarily closed for applicants.

Qualifications and Expectations

The Attorney General’s Volunteer Associates in Public Service Program is open to all candidates — new graduates, deferred associates, furloughed or laid-off attorneys or those re-entering practice after a hiatus. Volunteer Associates will be asked to make a commitment to the program for six months for at least 20 hours a week. Volunteer Associates are subject to the Rules of Professional Conduct and the Division’s other ethics standards, including the Conflicts of Interest Law. Assignments will be made in a manner to avoid potential conflicts of interest when possible. Volunteer Associates will serve in an unpaid capacity, without benefits, but are not prohibited from receiving stipends from law firms or third parties. Please contact your law school regarding more information pertaining to stipends.

How to Apply

Applicants must submit a completed application, along with a cover letter (expressing a preference for an area of law or type of work and location), resume, unofficial law school transcript, writing sample, and two references to DAG Sarah Lichter at lichters@njdcj.org.

Applicants may direct questions about the Volunteer Associates Program to DAG Sarah Lichter at (609) 633-2363

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