American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE)

General Counsel's Office
Washington, DC

This is the 2019 fellowship description for this mentor organization.

The American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO is the largest federal-sector labor union, representing over 650,000 federal and DC government workers from over 75 different agencies. Our General Counsel's Office in Washington has 20+ attorneys and, normally, between 6 and 10 legal interns. Each intern receives an initial orientation and training as well as ongoing mentoring, guidance and direction by the attorneys who also supervise their legal work. If possible, interns are invited to attend a court hearing or arbitration when a staff attorney has a case nearby.

Legal interns at AFGE perform legal research and writing on a wide variety of issues in federal (and DC) public sector labor law.  Writing assignments include internal memos involving legal analysis on labor, employment and policy issues.  Our legal interns also prepare, under the supervision of an attorney, appeals and written arguments on behalf of workers facing discipline, removal or other adverse personnel actions. This typically involves client intake, witness interviews, document review, research and writing.  Interns have always told us they like this hands-on, direct involvement in representing workers.  Other duties include:  contacts with district, local, and national union officials to obtain information relating to the preparation of cases; assistance in the preparation of briefs and other legal pleadings for court, administrative and arbitration cases; assistance in preparing court and administrative cases for hearing under the direct guidance of an attorney.

In addition to their formal duries, our interns usually have an opportunity to participate in a few rallies or marches for labor and other progressive causes.  This helps break up the routine and gives the interns a flavor of the larger struggle for labor rights and social justice. 

We also coordinate with the AFL-CIO on education and networking programs for legal interns.  The AFL and numerous other unions in DC have summer intern programs, so these events have been well attended.  Programs have included high-level staff and officials from the AFL, other unions, and agencies like EEOC, NLRB, etc.

AFGE legal interns work 40 hours per week during the summer and up to 20 hours per week during the school year. The rate is $18/hour.  Upon mutual agreement, our summer interns continue through the school year.  Therefore, preference is given to interns who can commit to remaining throughout the school year.  Travel to and from DC, and room and board while they are here, are the responsibility of the individual intern.  Our offices are on Capitol Hill, just a short walk from the Capitol and Union Station.  Easy access to DC's Metrorail subway system makes it easy to commute to the office from anywhere in the city.

AFGE is an equal opportunity employer.

Address cover letter to:

Gony Frieder Goldberg, Deputy General Counsel
80 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20001