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CFPB Honors Attorney Program

About the Bureau

We are at a critical moment in our nation. Americans’ financial lives have suffered tremendously as a result of the pandemic, the associated economic dislocation, and ongoing racial inequity. These challenges are most acute for the most economically vulnerable Americans.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created for moments like this. Born out of the Great Recession, the Bureau was forged in crisis to vigorously protect America’s consumers. Our mission is to help consumer-finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives.

The Bureau has rulemaking, supervisory, and independent litigating authority, and its jurisdiction includes certain aspects of mortgage lending, credit reporting, auto lending, small-dollar lending, debt collection, student lending, and consumer bank accounts.

The Honors Program

The Honors Program is a two-year program designed to provide exceptional recent law school graduates with early, substantive opportunities to use and develop their legal skills and make a difference in the lives of American consumers. Honors Attorneys are given increasingly complex assignments designed to build their legal skills and increase their ability to support the Bureau’s mission. Honors Attorneys are hired on a 2-year term limited appointment, which may be converted to a permanent position upon successful completion of the program.

Honors Attorneys are placed in a particular office in Washington, D.C. These include the Office of Enforcement, the Office of Supervision Policy, the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity, the Office of Regulations, and the Legal Division. During the program, Honors Attorneys may also be able to rotate into a different Bureau office or other federal agency to develop additional skills. Rotation lengths may vary, but typically four to six months.

The Honors Program also includes mentorship and both formal and informal training to enhance analytical thinking, writing, communication, and other legal skills, as well as an understanding of the Bureau’s mission and work.

Honors Attorneys are hired at the CN-51, CN-52, or CN-53 level pay bands, depending on their level of experience. Promotion opportunities are available during and after the program.

Sample assignments include:

  • Investigating and litigating potential unfair, deceptive, abusive, and discriminatory acts or practices or other potential violations of federal consumer financial law;
  • Defending Bureau regulations in litigation;
  • Drafting appellate and amicus briefs regarding consumer financial law and other issues;
  • Providing analysis and advice for legal and policy issues arising in supervisory examinations
  • Participating in complex rulemakings;
  • Developing policy guidance to improve industry compliance; and
  • Advising senior Bureau officials on legal and policy issues, including those with general applicability to the federal government, such as labor, employment, ethics, and intellectual property.

To Apply

We want our agency’s workforce to reflect the diversity of the American public. Our work will be most effective when we are able to incorporate a broad range of perspectives. We are, therefore, particularly interested in hearing from a diverse set of candidates with a range of personal and professional experiences.

The application period runs from August 22 to September 19, 2022. Applicants must submit the following documents: A current resume, highlighting your legal education and experience; a law school transcript (an unofficial version is acceptable); a cover letter, describing why you want to work at the Bureau, the type of work you would like to do, how your experiences will contribute to your success at the Bureau, and which office(s) you would prefer to work in (although your application may be reviewed by each participating office); and Veterans’ Preference documentation, if applicable.

Application materials must be submitted through the formal announcement on USAJobs by 11:59 PM Eastern on September 19, 2022. To apply please click here.

Candidate Evaluation

Applicants will be evaluated for program eligibility and based on required submissions. Incomplete applications will not be considered. The Bureau may also consider additional materials requested throughout the process, such as writing samples and references. Applicants may be asked to complete additional screening processes, including interviews. Veterans’ preference will be applied as appropriate.

The program is highly selective, and successful candidates should have a distinguished academic and professional record, which may include graduation with honors, high class rank, experience on law review or other legal journals, moot court experience, a judicial clerkship or other post-graduate legal experience, and a demonstrated commitment to public service or consumer protection.

Program Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible, applicants must be either: (1) current law students who expect to graduate before August 1, 2023, and who have superior academic achievements, which includes at least a 3.5 GPA (on a 4.00-point scale) or equivalent, graduation with honors, or in the top 15% or higher in their class or other evidence of superior academic achievement or (2) attorneys who graduated from law school after August 1, 2019 with superior academic achievements, and who, at the time of appointment, will have spent no more than one year since graduating law school in a position other than a graduate education program, judicial clerkship, public-interest position, or comparable activity. Applicants must be U.S. Citizens or U.S. Nationals. Selectees will undergo a background investigation.

If you are eligible for Schedule A appointments due to a qualifying disability, please reach out directly to CFPB_DisabilityProgram@cfpb.gov for further information and assistance.

If you have additional questions, please email CFPB_HonorsAttorneys@cfpb.gov.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is an equal opportunity employer and seeks to create and maintain a vibrant and diverse workforce. Women, minorities, veterans, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.