Employment Opportunities

The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois employs approximately 340 permanent status employees in a variety of professional, administrative, technical and clerical occupations. The office also employs about a dozen students on temporary appointments. Most of the staff is assigned to the main office located in downtown Chicago, and there is a small branch office located in Rockford.

The office is committed to equal employment opportunity. Qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, membership or non-membership in an employee organization, or on the basis of personal favoritism. The office welcomes applications from persons with disabilities and will reasonably accommodate the needs of those persons.

It is the policy of the Department to achieve a drug-free workplace and persons selected for employment will be required to pass a drug test which screens for illegal drug use prior to final appointment. Employment is also contingent upon the completion and satisfactory adjudication of a background investigation. You must be a U.S. citizen to be eligible for employment with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Dual citizens of the U.S. and another country will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Opportunities for Attorneys

The United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois periodically recruits for Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs), as vacancies occur. In addition, the U.S. Department of Justice maintains a current list of attorney vacancies at the Office of Attorney and Recruitment and Management.

Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction), and have at least two years post J.D. experience. Additionally, it is desired that successful candidates have excellent academics, significant litigation experience, criminal law experience, strong legal writing skills, and a demonstrated commitment to public service.

Opportunities for Support Staff

Support position vacancies (Experienced, Recent Graduates, and Students) are listed on The Office of Personnel Management USAJOBS website.

Opportunities for Law Students

Information about Law Student opportunities is maintained centrally by the U.S. Department of Justice - Opportunities for Law Volunteer Internships. For opportunities within the Northern District of Illinois, visit the Law Student Intern Program page for more information.

Employee Benefits

Permanent status employees of the U.S. Attorney's Office are eligible to receive a comprehensive Federal government benefit package which includes the following:

  • Retirement - The Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) is an outstanding 3-tiered plan to provide secure retirement, disability, and survivor benefits for employees and their dependents. In addition to Social Security benefits as a base, FERS offers both an annuity that grows with length of service and a tax deferred savings plan. Employees pay eight-tenths of 1 percent of salary to qualify for the annuity and are fully vested after five years of service and, for disability benefits, after just 18 months. The government contributes 1 percent of salary to employees who do not contribute and will match up to another 4 percent of salary for employees who do contribute.*

  • Health Insurance - Employees can enroll in health insurance coverage for themselves and their families at reasonable rates. Employees can choose between several managed fee-for-service plans and health maintenance organization plans. There is an annual open season during which employees can change their enrollment. Unlike a growing number of private sector health benefits programs, Federal employees can continue their health insurance coverage into retirement with a full Government contribution. Most enrollees pay only one-fourth of the health benefit premium. The employee contribution for health insurance premiums are made on a pretax basis.*

  • Life Insurance - Most full-time and part-time employees are automatically enrolled in basic life insurance equal to their salary, rounded to the next $1,000, plus $2,000. The government pays one-third of the cost of this group term insurance. Employees do not have to prove insurability; no physical is required. Basic coverage includes double benefits for accidental death and benefits for loss of limb(s) or eyesight. Employees can also purchase optional insurance at their own expense. Optional coverage includes additional insurance on the employee's life as well as coverage for the employee's spouse and eligible children, if any. Those younger than 45 receive an additional amount of coverage at no greater cost.*

  • Leave - Employees earn 13 days of sick leave each year; sick leave can be used to care for family members, to arrange for or attend funeral services of family members, and for absences relating to adopting a child. Federal employees also earn 13 days of annual leave during each of their first three years of Federal employment. Employees earn additional annual leave as their tenure with the Federal government increases, up to a maximum of 26 days per year after 15 years of service.

  • Holidays - Employees are entitled to ten paid holidays each year.

  • Quality Worklife Programs - Employees of the U.S. Attorney's Office are eligible to receive certain no-cost medical and counseling services through the U.S. Occupational Health Service, and the Employee Assistance Program. Innovative leave sharing programs allow employees to voluntarily transfer some of their annual leave to specific coworkers or to a leave bank to assist coworkers in dealing with a personal or family medical emergency.

  • Liability Insurance - Attorneys and supervisors are eligible to receive reimbursement for up to one-half the cost of professional liability insurance.

  • Training and Tuition Assistance - Through the resources of the Department of Justice, Office of Legal Education, our agency is able to offer a comprehensive range of courses to assist attorneys, paralegals, legal assistants and other support personnel in improving their skills. Courses are generally conducted at the National Advocacy Center, a state-of-the-art training facility located in Columbia, South Carolina. Permanent employees are also eligible to receive tuition reimbursement for continuing education seminars and/or college course work which relates to their assigned duties.

  • Transit Subsidy - Although the office does not offer free or subsidized parking benefits, there is a transit subsidy program in place which allows most employees to be fully reimbursed for expenses incurred in utilizing public transportation for their daily commute to and from the office.

  • Long Term Care Insurance - The government has developed a long term care insurance program which includes benefits for all levels of care, custodial to skilled, including home care, assisted living facilities, and nursing home care. Although employees electing this benefit pay all costs, the premiums are very competitive, and the coverage among the most comprehensive and flexible available at any price.*

  • Flexible Spending Accounts - Employees have the option of establishing Flexible Spending Accounts for health care and dependent care expenses. FSAs allow you to set money aside for eligible expenses before taxes are deducted from your paycheck. This means the amount of your income that your taxes are based on will be lower, so your tax liability will also be decreased.*

  • Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program (ASLRP) - The Department of Justice administers a program that allows the repayment of certain types of Federal student loans as a recruitment or retention incentive for highly qualified attorneys in exchange for a service obligation of at least three years. Qualifying employees are eligible for up to $6,000 per calendar year subject to a lifetime maximum of $60,000. Each attorney requesting consideration for the ASLRP must submit a request with proper documentation; a Department-level panel makes final selections.*

  • *Please note that although individuals serving on temporary appointments are generally not eligible for retirement, life insurance, health insurance, long term care, flexible spending accounts, and tuition assistance, they may qualify for annual and sick leave, holiday pay and transit subsidy benefits. Additional information on Federal benefits is available at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

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The United States Attorneys Office Diversity Policy

Attorney General Holder's statement on Diversity.

The U.S. Department of Justice is an Equal Opportunity/Reasonable Accommodation Employer. Except where otherwise provided by law, there will be no discrimination because of color, race, religion, national origin, politics, marital status, disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, membership or non-membership in an employee organization, or on the basis of personal favoritism.

For more information on diversity at Department of Justice, please go to: The Department of Justice - Equal Employment Opportunity Website.

The Northern District of Illinois (ILN) further supports the Attorney General's commitment to promote diversity within the district:

“Diversity is a core value of our district and an important consideration in every aspect of hiring and management. Our goal is to be proactive in our diversity recruitment and maintain a diverse staff. Our district fosters a culture of inclusion, mutual trust and respect, ensuring that everyone has an equal opportunity to participate, contribute, and advance. This positive work environment will allow employees to achieve their full potential and to accomplish the Department’s diversity mission.”

The Department of Justice welcomes and encourages applications from persons with physical and mental disabilities. The Department is firmly committed to satisfying its affirmative obligations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to ensure that persons with disabilities have every opportunity to be hired and advanced on the basis of merit within the Department of Justice. This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case by case basis.

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