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Legal Careers

Six-Month Special Assistant United States Attorneys (SAUSAs) Detail Opportunity to Prosecute Immigration Cases in United States Attorneys’ Offices

Hiring Organization
Office of the Deputy Attorney General (ODAG)
Hiring Office
Office of the Deputy Attorney General
Location:
United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Office of the Deputy Attorney General (ODAG) seeks Department attorneys for six-month detail assignments to work full time on the prosecution of immigration offenses in designated USAOs along the northern and southern borders. This detail opportunity will provide invaluable experience for attorneys seeking criminal investigatory, courtroom, and trial experience, while making a meaningful contribution to a Department priority.

While candidates with trial experience are preferred, all interested attorneys will be considered, regardless of experience.

Attorneys are needed at USAOs along the border to investigate and prosecute immigration offenses, especially given the expanding cross-section of migration with transnational criminal organizations, including cartels and gangs; the criminal organizations’ targeting and exploitation of migrants who make the long, arduous journey to the United States along dangerous migration paths; and the number of individuals illegally entering the United States. Such treacherous conditions have also led to violence along the border, as well as firearms possession and drug importation and trafficking during immigration criminal activity.

SAUSAs will have the unique opportunity to participate in investigations, prosecutions, and trials involving important criminal immigration offenses, including human smuggling, illegal entry, assault on federal officers, and immigration fraud. While USAOs utilize SAUSAs in varied ways based on the needs of the USAO and local practice, SAUSAs should anticipate frequent court appearances, drafting briefing and sentencing responses, debriefing defendants, conducting material witness depositions, and representing the United States during evidentiary hearings and trials, among other important responsibilities.

Below is a list of USAOs seeking SAUSA assistance. Applicants should list three USAO locations for which they would like to be considered in order of preference. While preferences will be considered when reviewing the application, stated preference is not a guarantee of placement location.

  • Northern District of New York, located in Plattsburgh
  • District of Arizona, located in Yuma, Tucson, and Phoenix
  • Southern District of Texas, located in Laredo, McAllen, and Corpus Christi
  • Western District of Texas, located in Del Rio, El Paso, Alpine, and San Antonio
  • District of New Mexico, located in Las Cruces
  • Southern District of California, located in San Diego and El Centro

As the federal agency whose mission is to ensure the fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans, the Department of Justice is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment. To build and retain a workforce that reflects the diverse experiences and perspectives of the American people, we welcome applicants from the many communities, identities, races, ethnicities, backgrounds, abilities, religions, and cultures of the United States who share our commitment to public service.

Job Description

Attorneys are needed at USAOs along the border to investigate and prosecute immigration offenses, especially given the expanding cross-section of migration with transnational criminal organizations, including cartels and gangs; the criminal organizations’ targeting and exploitation of migrants who make the long, arduous journey to the United States along dangerous migration paths; and the number of individuals illegally entering the United States. Such treacherous conditions have also led to violence along the border, as well as firearms possession and drug importation and trafficking during immigration criminal activity.

SAUSAs will have the unique opportunity to participate in investigations, prosecutions, and trials involving important criminal immigration offenses, including human smuggling, illegal entry, assault on federal officers, and immigration fraud. While USAOs utilize SAUSAs in varied ways based on the needs of the USAO and local practice, SAUSAs should anticipate frequent court appearances, drafting briefing and sentencing responses, debriefing defendants, conducting material witness depositions, and representing the United States during evidentiary hearings and trials, among other important responsibilities.

Below is a list of USAOs seeking SAUSA assistance. Applicants should list three USAO locations for which they would like to be considered in order of preference. While preferences will be considered when reviewing the application, stated preference is not a guarantee of placement location.

  • Northern District of New York, located in Plattsburgh
  • District of Arizona, located in Yuma, Tucson, and Phoenix
  • Southern District of Texas, located in Laredo, McAllen, and Corpus Christi
  • Western District of Texas, located in Del Rio, El Paso, Alpine, and San Antonio
  • District of New Mexico, located in Las Cruces
  • Southern District of California, located in San Diego and El Centro
Qualifications

While DOJ attorney candidates with trial experience are preferred, all interested attorneys will be considered, regardless of experience.

Application Process

Detailees are needed immediately. Determinations on availability of possible reimbursement to the detailing office will be made subsequent to the application process. Applicants should submit via email an informal resume and cover letter, no later than May 29, 2024 to:

Lara Stingley
National Border and Immigration Legal Issues Coordinator
Legal Programs Office
(202) 252-5845
Lara.Stingley@usdoj.gov

Salary

Determinations on availability of possible reimbursement to the detailing office will be made subsequent to the application process.

Number of Positions
Undetermined

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Department Policies

Equal Employment Opportunity:  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 race, color, religion, national origin, sex - including gender identity, sexual orientation, or pregnancy status - or because of age (over 40), physical or mental disability, protected genetic information, parental status, marital status, political affiliation, or any other non-merit based factor.  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. For more information, please review our full EEO Statement.

Reasonable Accommodations:  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.

Outreach and Recruitment for Qualified Applicants with Disabilities:  The Department encourages qualified applicants with disabilities, including individuals with targeted/severe disabilities to apply in response to posted vacancy announcements.  Qualified applicants with targeted/severe disabilities may be eligible for direct hire, non-competitive appointment under Schedule A (5 C.F.R. § 213.3102(u)) hiring authority.  Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to contact one of the Department’s Disability Points of Contact (DPOC) to express an interest in being considered for a position. See list of DPOCs.   

Suitability and Citizenship:  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. Congress generally prohibits agencies from employing non-citizens within the United States, except for a few narrow exceptions as set forth in the annual Appropriations Act (see, https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/working-in-government/non-citizens/). Pursuant to DOJ component policies, only U.S. citizens are eligible for employment with the Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Trustee’s Offices, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Unless otherwise indicated in a particular job advertisement, qualifying non-U.S. citizens meeting immigration and appropriations law criteria may apply for employment with other DOJ organizations. However, please be advised that the appointment of non-U.S. citizens is extremely rare; such appointments would be possible only if necessary to accomplish the Department's mission and would be subject to strict security requirements. Applicants who hold dual citizenship in the U.S. and another country will be considered on a case-by-case basis. All DOJ employees are subject to a residency requirement. Candidates must have lived in the United States for at least three of the past five years. The three-year period is cumulative, not necessarily consecutive. Federal or military employees, or dependents of federal or military employees serving overseas, are excepted from this requirement. This is a Department security requirement which is waived only for extreme circumstances and handled on a case-by-case basis.

Veterans:  There is no formal rating system for applying veterans' preference to attorney appointments in the excepted service; however, the Department of Justice considers veterans' preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring. Applicants eligible for veterans' preference must include that information in their cover letter or resume and attach supporting documentation (e.g., the DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and other supporting documentation) to their submissions. Although the "point" system is not used, per se, applicants eligible to claim 10-point preference must submit Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, and submit the supporting documentation required for the specific type of preference claimed (visit the OPM website, www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/SF15.pdf for a copy of SF 15, which lists the types of 10-point preferences and the required supporting document(s). Applicants should note that SF 15 requires supporting documentation associated with service- connected disabilities or receipt of nonservice-connected disability pensions to be dated 1991 or later except in the case of service members submitting official statements or retirement orders from a branch of the Armed Forces showing that their retirement was due to a permanent service-connected disability or that they were transferred to the permanent disability retired list (the statement or retirement orders must indicate that the disability is 10% or more).

USAO Residency Requirement:  Assistant United States Attorneys must reside in the district to which appointed or within 25 miles thereof.  See 28 U.S.C. 545 for district specific information.

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This and other vacancy announcements can be found under Attorney Vacancies and Volunteer Legal Internships. The Department of Justice cannot control further dissemination and/or posting of information contained in this vacancy announcement. Such posting and/or dissemination is not an endorsement by the Department of the organization or group disseminating and/or posting the information.

Updated May 13, 2024