The Postal Service Honors Attorney program offers an excellent and challenging employment opportunity for highly motivated 3Ls and recent law school graduates who are called to public service. Honors Attorneys participate in a three-year accelerated career entry program, where each attorney has the opportunity to experience the vast practice of the Postal Service’s Law Department while being mentored by career Postal Service attorneys. As the second-largest civilian employer and the largest unionized employer in the country, the Postal Service provides Honors Attorneys with invaluable exposure and experience. As part of the program, Honors Attorneys participate in regular Honors Attorney Learning Calls and an annual Honors Attorney Summit to gain access to different areas of the Postal Service and learn more about the Law Department.
Honors Attorneys play an important role within the Postal Service’s Law Department, and can expect to work on a wide variety of assignments during their tenure and assume significant responsibility, comparable to work handled by career attorneys. For example, depending on the practice group to which they are assigned, Honors Attorneys conduct legal research, draft memoranda and other advisory documents, draft pleadings and other court and regulatory documents, draft contracts and assist with transactional work, and work directly with clients. More information on the Law Department’s practice groups can be found here. Honors Attorneys also gain exposure to other federal agencies, courts, and administrative boards, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Federal Trade Commission, Merit Systems Protection Board, National Labor Relations Board, Court of Federal Claims, U.S. District Courts and Court of Appeals, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Postal Service Board of Contract Appeals, and Postal Regulatory Commission.
Applications for the Honors Attorney Program generally open in September and are typically posted to usajobs.gov, usps.com/careers/, and other sites. Qualified Honors Attorney applicants must earn a Juris Doctor from an accredited law school no more than 30 months prior to the date of employment. Additionally, applicants must meet the requirements listed in the vacancy announcement.
I have served in the position of attorney in the Postal Service Law Department since 2014, which began with my completion of a 3-year Honors Attorney program that allowed me to dive feet-first into a fast-paced litigation environment focused on Labor and Employment. Serving as an Honors Attorney for the Postal Service provided me with unique training and collaboration opportunities with colleagues around the country, as well as mentorship from senior attorneys that thoroughly prepared me to interface with high-level clients and independently litigate Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Merit System Projection Board (MSPB) cases to completion within my first 3 years. My experience as an Honors Attorney continues to impact both my enthusiasm and confidence as a career attorney, resulting in leadership roles, diverse subject-matter expertise through work group participation, and handling increasingly complex advice and litigation.
-Rebecca Stephenson, Attorney, Area Law Office (Honors Attorney graduate)
I have served as an Honors Attorney with the Postal Service Law Department since 2018. Working within a field office has allowed me to practice different areas of the law and provide timely guidance on complex issues. From the start, I have been afforded the opportunity to litigate my own cases and interact directly with clients across multiple states.
-Richard Saliba, Honors Attorney, Area Law Office
The Honors Attorney Program prepared me for many of the challenges I would face, not only as a new attorney for a federal agency, but also as a new employee of a massive bureaucracy. It comforted me that I was part of a group of new attorneys scattered across the country that were all going through the same things together. I will take the principles I learned and the friendships I made through the Honors Attorney Program with me throughout my career with the Postal Service.
-Sion New, Attorney, Area Law Office (Honors Attorney graduate)
I have been an attorney with USPS since 2012, starting as an Honors Attorney. The Law Department offered me a chance to do meaningful attorney work straight out of law school. The Law Department works hand-in-hand with its internal agency clients to ensure efficient delivery of the mail. We do interesting legal work while supporting a valuable public service.
-Alex Rivera, Attorney, MSPB Unit (Honors Attorney graduate)
I have worked for the Postal Service Law Department since graduating law school in 2018. My supervisors and coworkers have worked to ensure that I had a wide variety of experiences, and I have been able to work on a range of matters including policy analysis, lease and contract disputes, and a wide variety of appellate litigation. The Postal Service Law Department invests in its employees, and is a great place to learn and develop.
-Michael Weaver, Honors Attorney, Legal Strategy