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Entry-Level Attorney Careers – Accepting Applications

The Chief Counsel's Employment Program

The OCC’s Entry-Level Attorney Program is designed to provide valuable, stimulating opportunities for outstanding candidates.  OCC assigns appointees to positions affording both extensive legal experience and substantial individual responsibility.

The training program also ensures careful evaluation and supervision of the appointees’ work.

Program Qualifications

The OCC’s Entry-Level Attorney Program is open to students and graduates from the classes of 2014, 2015, and 2016 as well as recent law school graduates who are completing judicial clerkship programs. Competition for available entry-level positions is keen.  OCC considers the following factors in reviewing an application:

  • Law school and undergraduate academic record, with relevant course work in financial services, securities, commercial, consumer financial law, and/or administrative law;
  • Top 25-percent class ranking (preferred, but not mandatory);
  • Financial services-related work experience (legal or business) or Judicial Clerkship;
  • Personal experiences that reflect a desire to excel and overcome challenges; and
  • A genuine interest in the field of financial services law.

(Experienced attorneys can find OCC Law Department current openings through our search page.)

How to Apply

A complete application should include all of the following:

  • Resume;
  • Law school transcript (photocopy acceptable), with any unusual grading systems explained, and class rank, if available;
  • Legal writing sample that demonstrates analytical and writing skills;
  • DD Form 214, Certificate of Separation or Discharge From Active Duty, or other proof of eligibility for those claiming veteran’s preference; and
  • Geographic availability for office location.  (Most graduates are hired to work in our Washington, D.C., headquarters location; others work in Chicago, Dallas, Denver, or New York.)

Deadline Date – Applications are due September 18, 2015, and we cannot guarantee that any application filed after that date will be considered.

Interviews - Initial interviews may be conducted by phone and may also be conducted at certain law schools.  The written qualifications of all applicants are carefully reviewed, and in October, selected applicants are invited to the Law Department’s offices in Washington Headquarters for interviews with experienced agency attorneys and supervisors.  Travel reimbursement may be available for the selected applicants. Successful candidates will be notified in November or December 2015.

Character Investigation - All appointments are subject to a character and background investigation.

All application materials should be e-mailed to

Any questions regarding entry-level attorney careers at the OCC should be e-mailed to

Program Appointment and Salary

Reporting Dates - Most selections for job offers and commitments are expected to be made late in the calendar year.  Successful candidates will ordinarily report the following fall with some flexibility in determining the specific reporting date.

Successful candidates serve as law clerks pending bar membership.  Upon admission to the bar, clerks are reclassified as attorneys (this is not a promotion and does not involve a salary increase).  Candidates are generally expected to acquire bar membership within 14 months.

Salaries for incoming 2016 attorneys will be at least $107,500 for Washington headquarters positions.  Salaries in the various district office locations may be different because of geographic differentials that apply to those offices.  Judicial law clerks and recent law graduates may be paid a higher starting salary, taking into consideration prior experience as an attorney.  The OCC also offers incoming attorneys up to $2,500 for a bar review course and $2,500 for relocation expenses when an applicant is required to move 50 miles or more for their work location. Additional salary information is available upon request.


The OCC provides one of the best benefits programs in government. Although part of the federal government, the OCC has a more flexible salary and benefits program than most other government offices. Many benefits are paid for by the agency, at no cost to employees, while others are generously subsidized. Employment with the OCC may qualify for federal student loan repayment programs.

Recent Employment Data for Entry-Level Attorneys

The OCC hired from the following law schools in recent years :

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law UC Berkeley School of Law
Boston College Law School Boston University School of Law
University of Chicago Law School Columbia University Law School
Cornell Law School University of Denver Law School
Duke University School of Law Fordham University School of Law
George Washington University Law School Georgetown University Law Center
Harvard Law School Howard University School of Law
IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law University of Iowa College of Law
University of Michigan Law School New York University School of Law
University of North Carolina School of Law Northwestern University Law School
University of Southern California School of Law Southern Methodist University School of Law
Stanford University Law School University of Texas School of Law
University of Virginia School of Law Washington University School of Law
University of Washington School of Law William & Mary Law School
Yale Law School  

The OCC hired a number of entry-level attorneys in recent years with the following clerkship experiences:

U.S. Court of Appeals
U.S. District Court 
State Supreme Court 

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