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Careers at NLRB

Careers at NLRB
We are currently recruiting to fill multiple Student Volunteer positions. Click here to see all open positions at USAJOBS.

Student Volunteer Positions

The Student Volunteer Program is a non-paid program that offers students 16 years of age and older who are enrolled in high school or an accredited academic institution, the opportunity to learn about the NLRB, gain valuable on the job work experience in the federal sector, and earn credit towards their degree for their volunteer service. The program offers flexible work schedules, situational telework, and job skills development through training. Student Volunteers can expect to gain work experience with Fair Labor Practices or Administrative Operations at our Headquarters Office or Regional Offices. Student volunteers will work within their assigned office on an array of duties to include, but are not limited to:

  • Interpreting Relevant Case Law
  • Conducting Legal Research
  • Performing Case Evaluation
  • Preparing and Presenting Reports of Findings
  • Preparing Disposition Letters and Memorandums
  • Presenting Oral and Written Reports of Cases
  • Assisting with Settlement Templates
  • Conducting Unfair Labor Practice Investigations
  • Assisting with Conducting Union Elections
  • Organizing, Analyzing, and Managing Case Files
  • Converting Physical Files to Electronic Files
  • Assisting with Developing Training Resources
  • Assisting with Meetings and Special Projects
  • Assisting with Updating Policies and Procedures
  • Gathering Information in Response to Inquiries
  • Providing General Administrative Support

Headquarters’ Offices (Washington, DC)

click on the links below for more information

Regional Offices

Click here for the nationwide list


To apply for a Student Volunteer position, go to For instructions on how to register and apply on USAJOBS, click here. If you have questions about the Student Volunteer program, you may email

Student Volunteer Administrative Professional Positions

Student Volunteer Administrative Professional Positions can include but are not limited to: database and file management, conducting research and data analysis, preparing reports and presentations, and updating policies and procedures.

Student Volunteer Field Examiner Positions

Student Volunteer Field Examiners will work in a Regional Office and assist in conducting unfair labor practice investigations, arranging representation elections, conducting elections and performing basic legal research. Students will work directly with agents and report to a supervisor who will guide them in handling case work and investigations. Students may be briefed by senior officials from throughout the Region and Agency about the NLRB on both procedural and substantive labor law issues. Students will be asked to produce written work products summarizing the results of investigations along with recommendations.




  1. Must be at least a part-time student;
  2. Have completed at least two years of college or be in graduate school;
  3. Be majoring in a liberal arts subject or in such disciplines as: industrial relations, business, criminal investigations, journalism or computer forensics;
  4. Possess strong writing and analytical skills.

Student Volunteer Legal Positions can include but are not limited to: case evaluation, researching labor laws, federal and state security and collection laws, drafting legal memoranda and federal court pleadings, drafting civil discovery subpoenas and other discovery requests, project management, and developing training resources to advance the Agency’s best practices.


Full or part-time undergraduate and graduate/law students who have a strong interest in public sector work with an interest in labor and employment law.

The Board

The Board has five Members and primarily acts as a quasi-judicial body in deciding cases on the basis of formal records in administrative proceedings. Board Members are appointed by the President to 5-year terms, with Senate consent, the term of one Member expiring each year.

Law students who have completed their first or second year of law school may be employed to work in the Office of a Board Member. It is preferable that candidates have strong research and writing skills as well as strong academic credentials, and, although not required, that they have taken labor law courses.

Typical assignments, which will involve cases commensurate with academic knowledge, may consist of the following:

  1. Performing legal research of Board and court decisions that may be applicable to a given case.
  2. Analyzing assigned unfair labor practice and representation cases before the Board for adjudication.
  3. Reading transcripts of hearings, Administrative Law Judge's Decisions, Hearing Officer's reports, exhibits and other evidence, as well as motions and briefs filed after a hearing. Outlining and summarizing the significant points involved, both as to the facts of the case and points of law for use in making further case analyses.
  4. Presenting cases orally to the Board Members.

Applicants must provide the following materials: cover letter, resume, law school transcript (unofficial copy acceptable), and two unedited writing samples.

Office of the General Counsel

The Office of the General Counsel is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of unfair labor practice cases and for the general supervision of the NLRB field offices in the processing of cases.

Chief Financial Officer

The mission of the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) is to lead the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) financial management services with integrity and accountability. The OCFO provides expert planning and financial advice on budget, finance, acquisition management, internal controls, and travel.

The primary purpose of the OCFO is to assure the effective management and financial integrity of the NLRB programs, activities, and resources. Assurance is achieved by developing, implementing, and monitoring Agency-wide policies and systems in the areas of budget administration, program analysis and evaluation, finance, NLRB financial systems, acquisitions, and internal controls.

Chief Information Officer

The mission of the Office of the Chief Information Officer is to establish and provide: assistance and guidance on the use of technology-supported business process reengineering; investment analysis; performance measurement; strategic development and application of information systems and infrastructure; policies to provide improved management of information resources and technology; and better, more efficient service to our clients and employees.

Congressional and Public Affairs

The primary function of the Office of Congressional and Public Affairs (OCPA), one of the five original NLRB divisions established in 1935, is to act as an official gateway through which the media, general public and Congress learn about the Agency's activities. The purpose of the office is to centralize the handling of public inquiries and the dissemination of statements by the Board and the General Counsel. The Office of Congressional and Public Affairs coordinates the Agency's information and public relations programs by conducting briefings and disseminating information of Agency activities through all news media and to companies, unions, law firms, academic groups, and others; and arranges for distribution of decisions and summaries of decisions.

While writing and disseminating press releases to generate news coverage is the most visible part of OCPA's work, a big responsibility is answering phone and written inquiries from the general public regarding, for example, the parties' rights under the NLRA, the status of pending cases, NLRB administrative procedures, Board decisions, or Agency statistics. The public may also submit online inquiries via the Agency's website ( using a Q&A system and e-mail messages. Thousands of online questions are submitted annually for response by the OCPA staff.

Division of Administration

The Division of Administration manages the operational functions of the department and reports to the Office of Personnel Management. Its responsibilities range from personnel management, employee training, fiscal management, procurement, facilities management and contract management.

Division of Advice

The Division of Advice includes both the Regional Advice and Injunction Litigation Branches. The Regional Advice Branch provides legal guidance to Regional Offices in novel or complex unfair labor practice cases, cases involving the establishment of new policy, and other cases warranting attention by the General Counsel. The Injunction Litigation Branch oversees the initiation and litigation of proceedings in U.S. district courts for temporary injunctions under Section 10(j) and 10(1) of the National Labor Relations Act and any related contempt proceedings. The Branch also directly handles all appeals to U.S. circuit courts of Section 10(j) and 10(1) cases and related contempt orders.

The Division of Legal Counsel is comprised of three branches: Contempt, Compliance and Special Litigation Branch; FOIA Branch; and E-Litigation Branch. The specific functions of each of these branches are described below.

  • The Contempt, Compliance, and Special Litigation Branch (CCSLB) represents the Board and the General Counsel in all suits not statutorily based on Sections 10(e) and (f) of the Act, and conducts civil and criminal contempt litigation to obtain compliance with Board orders.
  • The FOIA Branch works to provide the general public with access to releasable NLRB information in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. Sec. 552.
  • The E-Litigation is responsible for recommending and implementing Agency policy and procedures related to managing electronic discovery, e-litigation, litigation support, and information governance for the Agency. The Branch is responsible for providing strategic guidance for the Agency's identification, production and management of its own electronically stored information (ESI); for assisting the Board's litigation arms (both in headquarters and Regional Offices/Sub-regions throughout the country) with litigation related to subpoenas in administrative matters and e-discovery in federal court litigation related to ESI, both as a requesting and a producing party; and for assisting the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Branch with responding to FOIA requests that involve ESI.

Division of Judges

National Labor Relations Board Administrative Law Judges hear and adjudicate unfair labor practice complaints issued by the General Counsel, an independent prosecutor, against unions and employers. The judges also are involved in settlement discussions in cases pending before other administrative law judges. Judge’s decisions may be appealed to the Board in Washington, the US Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.

Students assist judges by performing legal research and writing, reading transcripts of hearings and drafting legal memoranda analyzing the facts of cases and applicable law for use by judges in developing legal analysis. Students assigned to the Washington, New York or San Francisco offices are assigned to work primarily with judges who receive assignments from those offices. However, when necessary, students may be assigned to work with judges in other offices. Internships, which are unpaid, require a minimum of 12 to 15 hours of work per week for semester periods and 35 hours for summer periods. Applicants need not have a background in labor law, but must have excellent skills in legal writing and analysis.

Employee Development

The Office of Employee Development provides professional instructional services and employee development guidance and assistance in the formulation and implementation of agency-wide training policies and procedures. It also provides the identification of agency-wide training needs; the determination of agency-wide training plans and objectives; the planning, development, implementation and evaluation of agency-wide training and instructional programs, courses, and materials; and the assessment of headquarters and field training and instructional operations.

Enforcement Litigation

The Division of Enforcement Litigation is responsible for representing the Board in court and for assisting the General Counsel exercise “final authority” with respect to unfair labor practice complaints. The Division is comprised of the Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Branch and the Office of Appeals.

The Office of Appeals reviews all cases in which a Charging Party is urging the General Counsel to reverse a Regional Director’s refusal to issue complaint. In addition, the Office reviews appeals from a Regional Director’s determination that a party has satisfactorily complied with the requirements of a Board remedial order.

The Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Branch represents the Board in all cases involving enforcement or review of the Board's orders in all federal circuit courts of appeals. In addition, working with the Office of the Solicitor General in the Department of Justice, the Branch represents the Board in all Supreme Court litigation involving the Board and the National Labor Relations Act.

Applicants must be in their second year of law school and must provide the following materials: cover letter, resume, law school transcript (unofficial copy acceptable), and one writing sample.

Equal Employment Opportunity

The Equal Employment Opportunity office assists the National Labor Relations Board in their effort to develop a diverse workforce that reflects the public we serve and to educate all employees on the prevention of discrimination in the workplace.


The Ethics Office is responsible for administering the Agency’s legal and government ethics programs to ensure that all employees comply with ethics rules and requirements. We are committed to helping Agency employees avoid violations by providing training documents and programs and by preparing individual ethics guidance in response to employees’ inquiries. Our written ethics guidance carries legal weight for employees, and we are an important resource in helping maintain the Agency’s ethical culture and promoting the public’s trust.

Executive Secretary

The functions and responsibilities of the Office of the Executive Secretary (OES) are similar to those of a Clerk of the Court. OES receives and dockets all formal documents filed with the Board and issues and serves on the parties to cases all Board decisions, orders, rulings and other case documents. OES is the exclusive point of contact for communications by the parties to cases pending before the Board and, particularly with regard to questions or guidance sought on Board procedure and case status inquiries, is the principal point of contact for employers, unions, employees, Congressional offices, other Federal agencies, and the public. OES, in its role of facilitating case issuance, ensures that documents filed and those issued are included in the electronic case file, and monitors the progress of cases throughout the case handling process. OES also tracks overall Board case production.

Facilities and Property

The Facilities and Property Branch is responsible for the acquisition of office space, furniture and equipment, property management, commodities, goods and services for the NLRB. The Branch also administers the Agency’s Occupational Safety and Health program, which includes developing and monitoring the Occupant Emergency Plan and maintaining an Emergency Preparedness Program.

Human Resources

The Office of Human Resources provides human resources services related to: recruitment; placement; classification; compensation; employee relations; executive programs and resources; payroll; and management information reporting.

Inspector General

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is an independent office created within the NLRB by the Inspector General Act Amendments of 1988. As set forth in the Act, the OIG is to prevent and detect fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement, and to promote economy and efficiency in government. OIG carries out its responsibilities by conducting audits, investigations, and other inquiries relating to NLRB programs and operations. OIG also reviews proposed and existing laws, regulations, and internal guidance concerning NLRB.

Operations Management

The Division of Operations Management assists the General Counsel in managing the Agency’s regional offices and supporting the enforcement of the National Labor Relations Act. Operations also handles policy and personnel matters for the field offices. Within Operations are two units: the Compliance Unit and the Immigration Unit. The Compliance Unit works with the Agency’s Field Offices, the Division of Enforcement Litigation, and the Division of Legal Service on a broad range of issues including, but not limited to, derivative liability, bankruptcy, securing settlements, and compliance with informal settlements, Board orders and Court judgments. The Immigration Unit addresses the policy of the General Counsel with respect to immigration issues and related questions that arise in the investigation, litigation as well as compliance with settlements, Board orders and court judgments.

In addition to assisting the Division of Operations Management with achieving its mission, Student Volunteers in the Division of Operations Management that volunteer during the summer, also participate in the agency’s ten week summer intern program which involves briefings by senior officials from throughout the Agency about the NLRB on both procedural and substantive labor law issues. Students will also produce written work products (useful for future employment writing samples).

Qualifications: Full or part-time undergraduate and graduate/law students who have a strong interest in public sector work with an interest in labor and employment law.

Representation Appeals

The Office of Representation Appeals (R-Unit) handles all pre- and post-election requests for review (appeals) to the Board in representation cases. These include requests for review of Regional Directors' decisions and orders, including Directions of Elections, Decisions and Orders dismissing petitions, Amendments of Certification (AC) and Unit Clarification (UC) decisions, administrative dismissals, and Supplemental Decisions on post-election objections and challenges. In addition, the R-Unit handles some special appeals filed in representation cases.


The Security Branch is responsible for planning and administering the physical security, personnel security & suitability, and continuity of operations and resident offices throughout the United States in addition to the Washington Headquarters offices.

Special Counsel and Labor Relations

The Special Counsel and Labor Relations branch is concerned with (1) providing advice to the Agency concerning employment matters and representing the Agency in formal proceedings instituted under various statutes, executive orders, Agency management-employee contracts, OPM regulations and similar authorities relating to equal employment opportunity, labor-management relations, employee grievances, and adverse action, and (2) providing advice to the Agency concerning procurement and contract administration matters and representing the Agency concerning tort claims and claims against the Agency and procurement and contract administration matters filed administratively with NLRB and with other agencies such as the General Accounting Office (GAO), Comptroller General: General Services Administration (GSA), Small Business Administration, the Federal Courts and through the various appellate levels to conclusion.


The Office of the Solicitor advises the Board on a wide range of legal and policy matters, including:

  • Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. §500)
  • Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. § 552)
  • Sunshine Act (5 U. S. C. § 552b)

The Office of the Solicitor also acts as a liaison between the Board and the Office of the General Counsel. As part of this function, the Office reviews, researches relevant case law, precedent, and Board policy, and provides written recommendations for action to the Board with respect to requests from the General Counsel to institute various types of litigation requiring authorization by the Board. The Office also drafts orders with respect to various unfair labor practice case matters that require expedited consideration.

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