The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives offers some really good career opportunities for a large variety of professionals. Because of the breadth and scope of the organizations mission, they employ professionals in a wide range of fields including intelligence analysis, information technology, laboratory sciences, human resources, general management, administration, etc. No matter the career field, all ATF employees — agents, investigators, and professionals alike — are dedicated to fulfilling ATF's priorities and accomplishing ATF's core mission.
The central purpose of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is to prevent violent crime by administering and enforcing the Gun Control Act, alcohol and tobacco trafficking laws and the Federal firearms and explosives laws. When compared with other federal agencies, the ATF is a relatively small agency with broad, interrelated missions which involve law enforcement, regulatory compliance, homeland security concerns, and alcohol and tobacco diversion. As such, the ATF provides aspiring attorneys, interns, and recent law school graduates with a variety opportunities to experience a diverse array of legal disciplines in a dynamic and collegial environment.
ATF's Office of Chief Counsel is made up of about 80 attorneys who provide legal services and advice to support the agency's programs and operations throughout the nation. A lot of attorneys who work with the ATF are located in Washington D.C. (ATF headquarters), where they provide legal advice, law services and strategic guidance directly to Bureau leadership. These attorneys are divided into four practicing groups, including: Administration and Ethics; Disclosure, Forfeiture and Criminal Law; Litigation; and Firearms, Explosives, and Arson. ATF attorneys are also found throughout the nation in local field offices, where they work with ATF field agents and ATF investigators in preparing cases.
Although the responsibilities of ATF lawyers and legal counsel will vary depending on the division or location to which they are assigned, ATF lawyers throughout the United States work hand in hand with one another as well as their clients to support the primary mission and core values of the ATF as a law enforcement and regulatory agency. ATF attorneys are frequently encouraged to take opportunities to increase their knowledge and experience by being assigned on details to other areas of legal practice.
For Aspiring Students
Summer Law Intern Program
Via the Department of Justice's (DOJ's) Summer Law Intern Program (SLIP), the ATF provides a summer internship program for prospective ATF employees (SLIP is the Department's recruitment program for paid summer internships.) Admission to the ATF's summer internship program is highly competitive and most of the students applying are second year law students. Upon graduation, law students are eligible for a summer internship with the DOJ before entering a full-time graduate law program or judicial clerkship. Students can go to http://www.usdoj.gov/oarm/arm/sp/sp.htm for more information on the DOJ's internship program. Application deadlines for the following summer are usually in September.
Volunteer Legal Intern Program
In addition to the DOJ's Summar Law Intern Program, ATF offers unpaid summer and in-semester internship opportunities at it's headquarters in Washington D.C. and a variety of other locations throughout the United States. Many of these positions provide academic credit for law students, subject to law school policy and practice. Law students who want to apply for a volunteer summer position should submit a cover letter and a resume via email to email@example.com. The following are the application deadlines for internship programs:
Permanent Job Opportunities for Graduating Law Students
ATF also participates in DOJ's Attorney General's Honors Program. This program is the only method by which the ATF or DOJ hires graduating law students to fill entry-level attorney positions. The deadline for this program is usually in September of the fall semester of the student's final year of law school, or the final year of their judicial clerkship. You can visit http://www.usdoj.gov/oarm/arm/hp/hp.htm for more information on this program. Again, as is the case with the DOJ, the ATF cannot hire students directly out of law school or following their judicial clerkship unless they apply through the Honors Program.
A Forensic Chemist for the ATF is responsible for performing forensic investigation, analysis, and interpretation of the composition, physical and chemical properties, molecular structure and chemical reactions of substances; the prediction of transformation they undergo; and the amount of matter and energy included in these transformations. A career as a forensic chemist typically requires a full 4-year bachelors degree (and/or masters degree) as well as industry relevant training and experience in the field of forensic chemistry.
A forensic chemist with the ATF:
In valient and ongoing effort to protect the public, stop violent crime, and enforce U.S. Department of Justice asset seizure and forfeiture authority, the central mission of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Financial Investigative Services Division (FISD) is to grow and maintain a skilled team of forensic auditors trainted to apply the latest technologies and scientific audit methods to the financial investigations process.
Forensic investigative auditors:
The Intelligence Research Specialist (IRS) occupation within the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is tasked with identifying, gathering, and assembling mission critical information on major complex, conspiratorial-type (i.e., involve multiple defendants) criminal investigations of such targets as firearms and narcotics trafficking organizations, traditional and non-traditional organized crime groups, arson rings, and similiar criminal conspiracies, fronts, and organizations. In an effort to carry out their mission, Intelligence Research Specialists apply the techniques and principles of inductive and deductive reasoning, and the knowledge of either a functional or geographic area to produce complete intelligence reports. The Intelligence Research Specialist interprets and extrapolates existing data to fill gaps in existing information, and reviews and evaluates finished intelligence reports.
Intelligence Research Specialists:
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