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GAO's Office of the General Counsel (OGC) serves GAO and the Congress, following the federal dollar wherever it goes. The scope and depth of our legal expertise is unparalleled in the federal government. Check out our blog post on GAO's Attorneys. Learn more about working for OGC (PDF, 2 pages). Vacancy announcements for current job openings, including lateral attorney positions and entry-level positions, are posted on USAJOBS, but applicants must submit their materials to Information about applying to GAO’s Summer Associate program is provided below.

GAO: GAO's Summer Associate Legal Honors Program


Attorneys at the Government Accountability Office describe the legal services they provide to support GAO’s mission, and the agency’s summer associate legal honors program.

Most of our attorneys are assigned to teams to provide legal advice, analysis, and services to the Comptroller General and GAO analysts assessing federal programs. These services can fall under such diverse practice areas as:

  • homeland security and immigration
  • environment and energy
  • banking and financial services regulation
  • health care
  • administrative law and regulatory process
  • telecommunications
  • federal contracts
  • information technology
  • criminal law
  • legislative drafting and analysis

We also have a group of attorneys who act as quasi-administrative law judges to resolve disputes over the award of federal contracts. Read more about our bid protest process.

Another group serves as the federal government’s experts on appropriations law. Read more about our appropriations law work.

In addition, some of our attorneys serve as in-house counsel to GAO. We deal with a variety of issues in equal employment opportunity, personnel, and labor laws. We also represent GAO in administrative hearings and litigation involving GAO’s work.

Summer Associates

The Legal Honors Program


Occasionally, OGC may provide opportunities for unpaid externships to individuals who express interest. Externs must be students who are enrolled at least half-time in an accredited law school. Externs arrange with their law schools to earn course credit in exchange for working at GAO. If you are interested in an externship, please submit a resume, cover letter, transcript, and writing sample to In your cover letter, please indicate when you are available for an externship (for example, "fall 2024" or "2024-2025 academic year") and any deadlines associated with your law school's externship program.


GAO provides a full range of benefits to all staff, including attorneys. These include flexible work hours, student loan repayments, and a transit subsidy. GAO staff can also take advantage of our on-site fitness center and an on-site day care center.

See more about benefits for all GAO staff.

The following benefits are specific to GAO attorneys:

Professional Development

You get the information and resources you need for professional growth. Intensive training programs help you handle a wide range of assignments and keep you up-to-date on challenges in the law and major public policy issues.

Annual bar dues reimbursement

GAO pays for our attorneys to remain active members in one state bar.

Competitive Salaries

GAO is not subject to the GS scale used by most executive branch agencies. Instead, GAO uses a band system. For Washington, D.C. based employees the 2024 salary ranges are:

Band Level2024 Salary RangesEligibility for Promotion Consideration
I$99,913 - $144,268After two years, eligible for promotion to Band II
II$137,015 - $191,760After two years at Band II, eligible for promotion to Band III
III$170,757 - $191,900