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Legal Careers

Assistant General Counsel

Hiring Organization
Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP)
Hiring Office
Central Office, Office of General Counsel, Commercial Law Branch, Washington, DC
320 First Street NW
Washington, DC 20534 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Commercial Law Branch ("CLB") represents the Federal Bureau of Prisons in all litigation involving acquisitions by, and financial operations of, the Federal Bureau of Prisons to include the award of contracts and contract disputes seeking money damages. The branch also represents the BOP in other acquisition related litigation, including civil fraud claims, bankruptcies and intellectual property matters. 

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 attorney will provide legal advice and assistance in such areas of law as Government contracts, contract agreements (including inter-governmental and inter-agency agreements), appropriations, intellectual property, acquisitions, and financial operations to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Federal Prison Industries (also known as UNICOR), and the National Institute of Corrections. The attorney will represent the Bureau of Prisons in the litigation of contract appeals before the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals and in the litigation of protests of contract awards before the Government Accountability Office, and assist in litigation at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the U.S. District Courts, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. This involves reviewing proposed actions to ensure compliance with laws and regulations, as well as interpreting laws and regulations and providing advice on alternatives to achieve desired objectives.
The attorney will work with Central Office, regional, and institution management and line staff with respect to commercial law matters.


Required qualifications:  Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction), and have at least one (1) year of post-J.D. experience. 
Preferred qualifications:  Prior experience in government procurement law, appropriations law, intellectual property law, and in litigation related thereto in a correctional setting is highly desired but not required.

Application Process

Applicants must submit a cover letter highlighting relevant experience, resume, writing sample, and a list of legal references by July 10, 2024, to:
U.S. Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Office of General Counsel
Commercial Law Branch
320 First Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20534
Attention: William Robinson, Associate General Counsel
It is preferred that you submit your application packet via email to:

Please include in the subject line "CLB Assistant General Counsel."  
No telephone calls, please.  This position is open until filled, but no later than July 10, 2024.


The possible salary range is: GS-12 ($99,200 - $128,956) GS-13 ($117,962 - $153,354) GS-14 ($139,395 to $181,216); or GS-15 ($163,964 to $191,900). 

Number of Positions
Limited travel may be required.
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 June 21, 2024