Skip to main content

Legal Careers

Assistant Director

Hiring Organization
Civil Division (CIV)
Hiring Office
Office of Immigration Litigation-Appellate Section
Job ID
450 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Office of Immigration Litigation is responsible for all civil litigation arising under the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (INA), as amended (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.), and related statutes.  Immigration litigation is primarily defensive in nature, with the volume and character of the cases reflecting the varied personal, political, and economic circumstances that bring persons to the United States.  Most immigration cases handled by the Office are suits by individual aliens seeking to avoid or defer expulsion from the United States.  Typically, such cases involve claims that have been adjudicated administratively in proceedings before the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), or by the Immigration Judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), components of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR).  In general, these cases are heard in the federal circuit courts of appeals, and the Office’s attorneys therefore are expected to brief and argue cases in nearly all of the circuit courts.

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

OIL will be filling one supervisory Assistant Director position.  The Assistant Director will supervise and direct OIL trial attorneys in all phases of litigation, including review of pleadings, briefs, and legal memoranda.  The incumbent will ensure compliance with Departmental policy, regulations, and applicable laws, and participate with the Office Director and Deputy Directors in the establishment of policy in the conduct of the Office’s general litigation.  The incumbent will also be responsible for various aspects of management of the Office’s non-attorney staff.  In addition to supervisory duties, each Assistant Director may also assume primary responsibility for handling some of the most important and difficult immigration cases.   


Applications will be accepted only from current GS-15 attorneys of the Civil Division/Office of Immigration Litigation-Appellate Section.

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 should have excellent writing, negotiation, and interpersonal skills, exhibit good judgment, and have experience in trial and appellate work.  Applicants must have a strong background in immigration law.

Application Process

To apply for this position, you must submit a cover letter, resume, and writing sample (not more than 12 pages in length) to: 

Applicants are encouraged to submit their materials by email to  

Applicants may also send their materials by commercial courier service, (FedEx or UPS) to:

U.S. Department of Justice

Civil Division, Office of Immigration Litigation-Appellate           

450 Fifth Street, NW; Room 10000

Washington, D.C. 20001

Attn.: David M. McConnell, Office Director


No telephone calls, please. 


Applications will be accepted from February 14, 2020 through February 28, 2020.  All materials must be received by the application deadline.


$121,316-$170,800 per year

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

*         *         *

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.

*         *         *

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