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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. The OCC prefers to hire individuals who expect to work for the agency for at least 3-4 years.

Program Qualifications

The OCC’s Entry-Level Attorney Program is open to students and graduates from the classes of 2013, 2014, and 2015, 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, and/or administrative law
  • Top 25-percent class ranking (preferred, but not mandatory)
  • Relevant course work, such as financial services law, securities law, commercial law, and administrative law
  • Financial services-related work experience (legal or business) or Judicial Clerkship
  • Personal experiences that reflect a desire to excel and overcome obstacles
  • A sincere 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 your 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
  • 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 19, 2014. Because of time constraints, we cannot guarantee that any application filed after that date will be considered. Initial interviews may be conducted by phone, although some personal interviews will be conducted on campus at certain law schools. In October 2014, we will invite selected applicants to panel interviews at our Washington Headquarters. Successful candidates will be notified in November and December 2014.

Character Investigation - All appointments are subject to a character investigation. Appointment to a critical-sensitive position may require a background investigation as well.

All application materials should be e-mailed to

Please e-mail questions regarding entry-level attorney careers at the OCC to

The written qualifications of all applicants are carefully reviewed, and selected applicants are invited to the Law Department's offices in Washington, D.C., for interviews with experienced agency attorneys. Travel reimbursement may be available for interviewees. Initial interviews are also conducted at some law schools.

Program Appointment and Salary

Reporting Dates - Most selections for job offers and commitments are expected to be made late in the calendar year. Selectees will ordinarily report the following fall. There is usually some flexibility in determining the specific date.

Successful candidates serve as clerks pending bar membership. The OCC reclassifies clerks acquiring bar membership as attorneys (this is not a promotion and does not involve a salary increase) and terminates the appointments of candidates who do not acquire bar membership in 14 months.

Salaries for incoming 2015 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 will be paid at a higher starting salary, which takes 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 :

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 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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