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Internships in the Office of Unfair Import Investigations

The United States International Trade Commission is an independent, quasi-judicial Federal agency with broad investigative responsibilities on matters of trade.  The Commission makes determinations in proceedings involving imports alleged to injure a domestic industry or violate U.S. intellectual property rights; provides independent tariff, trade and competitiveness-related analysis and information; and maintains the U.S. tariff schedule.

The Office of Unfair Import Investigations ("OUII") represents the public interest in adjudicatory investigations conducted under Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, 19 U.S.C. § 1337, which prohibits unfair practices in the import trade.  These investigations most frequently involve allegations of patent or trademark infringement.  Allegations of copyright infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets, passing off, false advertising, and antitrust violations also can be litigated in these investigations.   More information is available at http://www.usitc.gov/intellectual_property.htm.

OUII has internship positions available.  Qualifications include an interest in intellectual property law, especially patent law, litigation, or international trade.  An engineering or science background is preferred but not required.  In order to be considered for an internship, an applicant must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen;
  • Be a student at an accredited U.S. law school at the time of the internship;
  • Enter into a student agreement with the law school and the USITC;
  • Pass a background investigation.  

Interns will conduct research involving intellectual property law (frequently patent law), discovery, evidence, procedure, and other subjects pertinent to litigation concerning allegations of unfair trade practices.  Interns will also draft legal memoranda, motions, responses to motions, and discovery requests, and will assist at trials and hearings and perform other tasks related to administrative proceedings under Section 337.  Interns will work closely with one or more of the Investigative Attorneys litigating alleged violations of Section 337.

Internships are available for the fall, spring, and summer semesters.  Students should submit their applications at least four months prior to the start of the semester (e.g., students interested in a spring internship should submit their applications at the beginning of the fall semester).  Part-time interns should be able to work 16-20 hours per week.  Full time interns should be able to work 40 hours per week.  OUII cannot currently offer compensation to interns; however, many interns have worked with their schools to arrange for academic credit.

Students interested in an internship at OUII should send a cover letter, resume, and unofficial law school transcript to:  OUIIinternships@usitc.gov