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Legal Careers

Assistant Branch Director (Supervisory Trial Attorney)

Hiring Organization
Civil Division (CIV)
Hiring Office
Commercial Litigation Branch/ National Courts
Job ID
1100 L Street NW
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The National Courts Section of the Commercial Litigation Branch handles a wide variety of lawsuits filed by and against the government involving monetary claims worth billions of dollars, as well as the review of critical government decision-making in areas as diverse as procurement, international trade, benefits for veterans and government retirees, whistleblowing, and government personnel actions.  Attorneys handle trial and appellate stages of high-stakes monetary actions, including government contract and other commercial disputes, constitutional claims, military and civilian pay claims, and recovery of money secured fraudulently from the United States.  Attorneys handling international trade matters defend the imposition of special duties, prosecute customs fraud, defend Executive policies and determinations, and enforce other international trade laws and agreements.  Attorneys regularly file briefs and present oral argument in appeals from the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, the Merit Systems Protection Board, and the Board of Contract Appeals. Attorneys appear routinely in the United States Court of Federal Claims, the United States Court of International Trade, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and other fora.

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

The National Courts Section will be filling one supervisory Assistant Branch Director position. This position will supervise and direct section attorneys in all phases of litigation, including proper case development, review of briefs and legal memoranda, and conducting moot courts for all oral arguments. The incumbent will also be expected to engage broadly in the strategic goals and management of the office. The Assistant Branch Director will ensure compliance with Departmental policy, regulations, and applicable laws, and participate with the Branch Director and Deputy Directors in the establishment of policy in the conduct of the Section’s litigation. This position is also responsible for various aspects of management of the Section’s non-attorney staff.  In addition to supervisory duties, the Assistant Branch Director may also assume primary responsibility for handling some of the most important and difficult Section cases.


Applications will be accepted only from current GS-15 attorneys of the Commercial Litigation Branch, Civil Division, United States Department of Justice.

Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be duly licensed and authorized to practice as an attorney under the laws of any State, territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia,and be an active member of the bar in good standing.  

Applicants must have at least four years of post-J.D. experience.

Applicants should have excellent writing, negotiation, and interpersonal skills, exhibit good judgment, and have experience in trial and appellate work.  Applicants should have a strong background in the substantive areas within the jurisdiction of the national courts.

Application Process

To apply for this position, you must submit a cover letter, resume, and writing sample (not more than 25 pages in length). 

Applicants are encouraged to submit their materials by email or hand delivery to the attention of Susan Minor in Room # 10532 or at: 

Please submit your application materials no later than 5:00 pm on Friday, March 6, 2020.



$142,701 to $170,800 per year

Number of Positions
This position my require travel.
Relocation Expenses
Not Authorized

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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, 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, 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 February 14, 2020