Assistant Director and Counsel

Servicemembers and Veterans Initiative
810 7th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20530
United States
About the Office: 

The Department is seeking an experienced attorney to serve as Assistant Director of the Servicemembers and Veterans Initiative, which coordinates and expands the Department's enforcement, outreach, and training efforts on behalf of servicemembers, veterans, and their families. The Initiative is led by a Coordinating Committee of component heads and U.S. Attorneys (chaired by the Associate Attorney General), and managed by a Director and two Assistant Directors. The Director and Assistant Directors work closely with representatives to the Initiative from various Divisions and Offices, who coordinate work on behalf of servicemembers and veterans in their respective offices and districts.

Job Description: 

The responsibility of the Assistant Director will include:
•Raising awareness about the breadth of work the Department of Justice does related to protecting and supporting servicemembers, veterans, and their families;
•Promoting collaboration and consistency among various parts of the Department handling cases related to servicemembers, veterans, and their families;
•Working with Divisions and Offices to prioritize the enforcement of civil and criminal statutes against those who violate the rights of servicemembers, veterans, and their families;
•Engaging with federal and state enforcement agencies and other partners to aid them in identifying problem areas, spotting issues, and developing cases to prosecute;
•Creating and regularly updating public resources for servicemembers, veterans, and their families, as well as partners and stakeholders;
•Representing the Department on existing and future interagency working groups focused on legal issues affecting   servicemembers and veterans;
•As necessary, facilitating meetings between Department leadership and senior law enforcement, military, and other government officials;
•Assisting training efforts across the Department, including:
   •Training for servicemembers and veterans (and the federal government personnel who work with them) on how to protect their rights;
   •Training for law enforcement and other partners across the country, focusing on tools and best practices to handle cases involving             servicemembers, veterans and their families; and
   •Training for volunteer attorneys (in coordination with DOJ's Pro Bono Project and outside legal service providers);
•Using grants and other resources to support the efforts of courts, law enforcement, and other organizations to identify and respond appropriately to the specialized circumstances of servicemembers and veterans in the criminal and civil justice systems.


Interested applicants must have a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any U.S. jurisdiction), and have at least 5 years of post-J.D legal or other relevant experience, at least one year of which has been with the Department of Justice. Applicants must be current Department of Justice employees.

We are seeking applicants with creativity, the ability to motivate a team, and leadership potential. While experience is always valued, enthusiasm for and commitment to the work of the Initiative are particularly important for applicants to possess.

As a detail, there is no change to the attorney's salary. This is a non-reimbursable detail assignment.
Some travel may be required.
Application Process: 

Applicants must submit a cover letter (highlighting relevant experience) and a resume. Please reference announcement OASG ATY15-003 in your cover letter. Applications must be received by November 5, 2015.

Applicants are encouraged to send applications to Silas Darden, Director, Servicemembers & Veterans Initiative, by email to

U.S. Department of Justice
Servicemembers and Veterans Initiative (Attn: Silas Darden)
810 7th Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20531

Application Deadline: 
Thursday, November 5, 2015
Relocation Expenses: 
No relocation expenses will be authorized.
Number of Positions: 
Updated April 7, 2016

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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 color, race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, marital status, disability (physical or mental), age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as a parent, membership or non-membership in an employee organization, on the basis of personal favoritism, or any other non-merit 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.

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 targeted/severe disabilities are encouraged to register for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Shared List of People with Disabilities (the Bender Disability Employment Registry) by submitting their resume to and referencing "Federal Career Opportunities" in the subject line.  Additional information about the Bender Registry is available at  Individuals with disabilities may also contact one of the Department’s Disability Points of Contact (DPOC).  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 who have lived outside the United States for two or more of the past five years will likely have difficulty being approved for appointments by the Department Security Staff. The two-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.

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 his  or her retirement was due to a permanent service-connected disability or that he/she was transferred to the permanent disability retired list (the statement or retirement orders must indicate that the disability is 10% or more).


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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.