Attorney Honors Program

The 2023 application window has now closed for the program starting in September 2023.

Who We Are

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), a nonprofit organization established by Congress, oversees the audits of public companies and SEC-registered brokers and dealers to protect investors and to further the public interest in the preparation of independent, accurate, and informative audit reports.  

Our investor protection mission is focused on modernizing audit standards, enhancing audit inspections, and strengthening enforcement of PCAOB rules and standards and other related laws and rules. People are at the heart of our mission at the PCAOB. As we carry out that mission, we strive to uphold the highest standards in audit quality with investors’ families, savings, and futures in mind.  

We are hiring mission-driven professionals interested in a career with purpose, competitive benefit offerings, and work-life flexibility. If you are interested in working with a diverse group of talented professionals to protect investors and drive audit quality and innovation while adhering to the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct, join us. 

Attorney Honors Program 

The Attorney Honors Program is a unique opportunity for highly skilled law school graduates and attorneys concluding clerkships to provide public service and gain valuable insight into how the PCAOB oversees the audits of public companies and SEC-registered brokers and dealers to protect investors.  

Attorney Honors Program participants will join the PCAOB in a full-time role beginning no later than September 2023. Participants will engage in substantive legal work in support of our investor protection mission working primarily in the PCAOB’s Division of Enforcement and Investigations, which investigates, and where appropriate, brings enforcement actions against registered firms and their associated persons for violations of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the rules of the PCAOB, and relevant provisions of the securities laws or professional standards. Honors Program participants may also work with the PCAOB’s Office of the General Counsel, Office of the Chief Auditor, and other PCAOB divisions/offices. Selected participants will have the opportunity to:  

  • Develop specialized knowledge of the PCAOB’s mission; 
  • Gain substantive legal experience planning, organizing and conducting investigations, litigating with supervision; conducting legal research and providing legal advice, drafting legal documents and honing other legal skills; 
  • Work closely with attorney, auditor, enforcement, and investigation colleagues; 
  • Work with an assigned mentor for career development and support;  
  • Gain exposure to training and development opportunities; and 
  • Build a professional network through meaningful engagement across the organization. 

What We Offer  

At the PCAOB, we offer a highly competitive compensation and benefits package with a focus on the health and financial well-being of our valued team members. Some of the features of our comprehensive Total Rewards package include:  

  • Hybrid work option – Program participants will be assigned to the Washington, DC (Headquarters) office or our New York City office. Participants can choose to live and work from anywhere within the United States but will be required to commute to their assigned office or location for occasional intentional gatherings or meetings at the frequency required by their supervisor. Travel to an assigned office or location for commuting purposes will not be considered reimbursable business travel, unless otherwise required by state law. Business travel is reimbursable in an amount not exceeding the cost to travel from the assigned office or location, unless otherwise required by state law.  
  • Compensation We support transparency, equity, and fairness in our compensation programs and provide a reasonable estimate of the salary range, based on data-driven market analysis, for each job posting. While it is not typical for an individual to be hired at or near the top of the range, a reasonable estimate of the salary range is $111,600 - $162,600 for Washington, DC and $121,300 to $176,700 for New York City.  
  • Generous paid time off – Up to six weeks annually, in addition to 12 federal holidays, two floating holidays, and a year-end break from December 25-29, 2023. 
  • Highly competitive 401(k) match – Immediate vesting and contributions matched dollar for dollar, up to 7 percent of eligible compensation. 
  • Comprehensive and competitive health benefit offerings– Medical, dental, and vision plans.  
  • Supportive paid family leave benefits – Up to 16 weeks paid parental leave and up to 16 weeks paid caregiver leave.   
  • Life insurance benefits – Basic life and AD&D insurance provided; supplemental insurance also available. 
  • Well-being and family resources – Mental health and well-being resources, emergency child/adult dependent back-up care services, paid volunteer time, tuition assistance, employee assistance program, health advocate program, college coach program, and more. 
  • Commuter benefits – Tax-free employer subsidy and pretax employee deductions.


  • Planning, organizing, and conducting investigations of possible violations of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the rules of the PCAOB and of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, relevant provisions of the securities laws, or professional standards. 
  • Working with attorneys on investor risk enforcement matters, including taking sworn testimony from witnesses in preparation for administrative hearings; 
  • Engage in assignments involving novel legal issues and coordinate with other PCAOB offices and divisions; 
  • Providing legal advice and conducting research on various PCAOB program areas, including Registration, Inspections, Enforcement, Standards, and organizational operations; 
  • Reviewing and analyzing audit working papers, corporate books and records, and other financial and accounting documents; and 
  • Drafting legal memoranda, persuasive briefs, and enforcement-related documents for Division of Enforcement staff. 


To be eligible for the 2023 PCAOB Attorney Honors Program, interested individuals must:

  • Be in the final year of law school graduating from an accredited law school no later than the spring or summer of 2023 and be available to start work no later than September 2023; or   
  • Be a recent law school graduate leaving a judicial clerkship or graduate law program;  
  • Have an overall grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale;   
  • Pass bar examination and be admitted to practice to a state bar within 14 months of becoming a PCAOB Attorney Honors Program participant; and 
  • Demonstrate exceptional research, writing, critical thinking, and analytical skills.  

Attorney Honors Program Application Dates

  • Applications accepted: November 15, 2022, to January 6, 2023  
  • Interviews conducted: February 2023 
  • Candidates selected: March 2023 
  • Program start date: September 2023 

Application Materials

  • Resume  
  • Unofficial law school transcript  
  • Writing sample (five to ten pages)  
  • Two professional references  

Equal Employment Opportunity 

All PCAOB employees are entitled to equal opportunity and a professional work environment, free of discrimination and harassment. A workplace free of discrimination and harassment is fundamental to professional success and to the PCAOB's mission. The PCAOB will consider for employment all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with applicable law.