Division of Law

Volunteer Associates in Public Service Program

Volunteer Associates in Public Service Program

The Division of Law, within New Jersey’s Office of the Attorney General, is the largest law firm in the State of New Jersey. The Attorney General serves as the chief counsel for the State, responsible for enforcement of laws and the protection of the public interest. Our attorneys act as legal advisors to and litigators on behalf of all of the agencies within the Executive Branch of state government. The Division of Law (DOL) represents agencies in trial and appellate courts in State and federal court systems and in administrative hearings before the Office of Administrative Law. In addition, deputy attorneys general prepare legal memoranda, formal and informal opinions, and provide counsel on transactional issues and rule-making initiatives. Our work touches virtually every area of the law. The DOL has served as a training ground for many of New Jersey’s current judges and policy makers. We are committed to maintaining our longstanding and strong reputation for advocacy and our dedication to public service.

The Opportunity

The Attorney General has developed a Volunteer Associate Program for lawyers who are interested in public service in New Jersey. Many recent graduates and admitted attorneys with differing levels of experience have participated in the program since its inception in September of 2009. The Volunteer Associate Program affords participants the opportunity to learn how state government works and allows them exposure to unfamiliar fields of law. The Volunteer Associate Program is specifically designed to give participants:

  • Meaningful and Rewarding Work: Whether writing briefs in child protection appeals, defending actions that affect the public fisc, moving to enforce consumer or environmental protection laws, engaging in motion practice in corrections cases in federal court or assisting in myriad other matters to which the state is a party, we offer participants an opportunity to use their time to make a difference. A position with the DOL may be the most rewarding experience in your legal career.
  • Experience to Enhance Skills and Foster Professional Development: Depending on interest and experience, volunteers may be asked to conduct depositions, perform research and write briefs, work with investigators or assist with discovery demands. Those who can make substantial time commitments may be able to get on their feet experience in administrative matters before agencies and the Office of Administrative Law and in court. Ongoing supervision will be provided to ensure that volunteers have a valuable educational experience. Participants will also be able to participate in informal section training and attend seminars offered by the Attorney General’s Advocacy Institute, a highly regarded program available to DOL lawyers, for which credit may be granted towards continuing legal education requirements.
  • Flexibility to Explore Other Career Options: While participants are asked to make a significant
    commitment, they do have flexibility to seek other
    employment. Participants able to commit to longer periods of time or who decide to stay on for a longer duration may be afforded greater opportunities to assume responsibility in litigation assignments. Participants who have fulfilled the commitment and obtain full time legal employment or decide to leave for other reasons will be expected to give reasonable notice and to act as responsible professionals in the finalization or transfer of work responsibilities.

Our Practice Locations

The DOL has primary offices in three New Jersey locales:

  • Trenton: Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex, 25 Market Street. – The substantive areas of law practiced in the Trenton office include environmental protection, education, banking, insurance, health and financial affairs. The tort, corrections and employment litigation sections are also located in Trenton. One of the four sections of the DOL dedicated to providing child protection services to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) is located in Trenton as well.
  • Newark: 124 Halsey Street and the Gateway – Substantive areas of legal practice in the Newark office include affirmative civil enforcement in the field of consumer protection, securities fraud, government fraud and civil rights, as well as representation of boards, including licensing boards, the Board of Public Utilities, NJ Transit and University Hospital. In both Newark offices DCF deputies handle child abuse and neglect cases and appeals, as well as guardianship matters. NJTransit is represented by a group of DAsG located in its headquarters.
  • Voorhees: 4 Echelon Plaza, 201 Laurel Road – A separate DCF section operates out of the Voorhees location.

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. Applicants should have strong research and writing skills. Volunteer Associates will be asked to commit to work at least 20 hours per week, for a period of at least three months in order to meet the programs objectives. Applicants who are admitted to the New Jersey bar and able to commit to a longer period will be given a wider range of responsibilities, with the possibility of trial work. Volunteer Associates will serve in an unpaid capacity, without benefits, but are not prohibited from receiving stipends from law firms or third parties. Voluntary Associates are subject to the Rules of Professional Conduct and other ethics standards of the Department, including the Conflicts of Interest Law. Assignments will be made in a manner to avoid potential conflicts of interest if at all possible.

How to Apply

Applicants must e-mail a completed application and a cover letter (expressing a preference for an area of the law or type of work and location), resume, unofficial law school transcript, writing sample and two references to: dolapplicant@lps.state.nj.us
It is not necessary for you to sign the application at this initial stage of the process. Related correspondence may be forwarded to:

Division of Law,
c/o Assistant Attorney General Michelle Miller
P.O. Box 112,
Trenton, New Jersey, 08625.

Applicants may direct questions about the Volunteer Associate Program to AAG Michelle Miller

The Division of Law is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is dedicated to diversity in the workplace. We strongly encourage people from all groups and communities to apply. A positive experience in the program and a demonstrated desire to be in public service may be considered in future employment decisions should volunteers elect to pursue employment as a Deputy Attorney General. Participants, however, should not view their participation, in any way, as a promise of future employment.

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