Honors Program Details

Honors Program Details

Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility Criteria

The Attorney General Honors Program seeks a diverse pool of highly qualified applicants and is open to all:

  • Third-year law students;

  • Students in the final year of other graduate law programs (e.g., LLM program); and

  • Judicial clerks who will complete their clerkship by September 2020.

Attorneys who do not meet these criteria but are nonetheless interested in working for the Attorney General’s Office are welcome to apply through the regular employment application process. For more information, visit:

Application Process

To apply for the Honors Program, applicants must submit an online application by October 18, 2019. As part of the application, applicants will need to upload the following documents:

  • Writing sample. The writing sample should be no more than 5,000 words and should contain your own legal analysis. You may use a document drafted during law school or a summer internship so long as it does not contain material that is privileged or otherwise confidential or contains the necessary redactions.
  • Statement of interest. Applicants must submit a “statement of interest,” explaining in no more than 1,000 words why they are interested in participating in the Honors Program. The Honors Program seeks candidates of diverse backgrounds and experiences, and candidates are encouraged to use the statement of interest to explain how their life experiences inform their interest in public service.
  • Resume. Applicants should attach a current version of their resume.
  • Scanned copy of law school transcript. Applicants may upload and official or unofficial copy of their transcript.

Applicants are not required to submit letters of recommendation; however, they must identify at least two professional references (including at least one law professor or other legal academic) who can vouch for the applicant’s qualifications.

In completing the online application, applicants must select which of eight issue areas they wish to be considered for: civil rights; consumer financial protection; conviction review & innocence claims; data privacy & cybersecurity; environment; gun safety & gun violence; public integrity & corruption; and worker rights & labor enforcement. Applicants may select as many or as few of the practice areas as they like; if they select more than one, they should rank their preferences in the online application. Applicants are also asked to indicate their level of interest in litigation, investigations, and regulatory policy, as well as their preference for civil or criminal law.

We will gladly assist applicants who are unable to complete an application online or who are in need of an accommodation during the application process. If you need assistance, please email

Selection Process

All applications will be reviewed by an Honors Program selection committee, which consists of senior attorneys in the Attorney General’s Office. Candidates will be selected on the basis of several factors, including:

  • Academic and intellectual ability;
  • Legal writing, research, and advocacy skills;
  • Demonstrated interest in, and commitment to, public service; and
  • Leadership in school and/or community activities.

Based on a review of the application, selected candidates will be invited to an in-person interview in Newark or Trenton in late fall 2019. (Telephone or video interviews are available for those where an in-person interview would present a significant hardship.)

Offers will be extended in February 2020. All offers are subject to successful completion of the candidate’s background investigation. Honors Program participants will begin work on September 2020. 

Those selected for the Honors Program must:

  • Commit to two years of service with the Attorney General’s Office;

  • Undergo a background check before beginning employment;
  • Within 6 months of starting the program, pass the New Jersey bar exam;

  • Within 12 months of starting the program, establish residency in New Jersey or obtain an exemption from the residency requirement.  

The Attorney General’s Office is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in our staff. State law prohibits discrimination in hiring or employment on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, age, sex, marital status, pregnancy status, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, or mental or physical disability. For more information about diversity and inclusion initiatives within the Attorney General’s Office, click here:

Salary & Benefits

The starting salary for Honors Program participants depends on whether they are admitted to the New Jersey bar at the start date for employment. 

  • If admitted to the New Jersey bar at the time of employment, an Honors Program attorney begins work as a Deputy Attorney General (or similar title), at an annual salary between $62,000 and $65,900.
  • If not yet admitted to the bar, an Honors Program participant will be hired into a limited term position as a “Law Assistant” at an annual salary of $49,263.43. Once admitted to the New Jersey bar, the participant will be promoted to Deputy Attorney General (or similar title) at an annual salary between $62,000 and $65,900.

All Honors Program participants, whether Deputy Attorneys General or Law Assistants, are entitled to employment benefits, including health and dental insurance. For more information on employment benefits, visit

Please note that certain Deputy Attorneys General in the Division of Law are unionized. Honors Program attorneys assigned to the Division of Law would be entitled to the full privileges of union membership.

Timeline & Checklist
  • August 12, 2019: Application period opens

  • October 18, 2019: Deadline for submitting online application

  • December 2019: Applicants notified if they are selected for interviews

  • December 2019 – January 2020: Applicants interview in Newark or Trenton

  • February 2020: Offers extended

  • September 2020: Start date for employment

By Friday, October 18, 2019, candidates must complete an online application, which includes:

  • Writing sample (no more than 5,000 words)

  • Statement of interest (no more than 1,000 words)
  • Resume

  • Law school transcript

  • Ranked preferences for practice areas

  • At least two references, including one law professor or other legal academic
Have more questions? Take a look at the Honors Program FAQs.

Ready to Apply? Begin the Application

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