Assistant United States Attorney

Pittsburgh, PA
Federal Courthouse
700 Grant Street, Suite 4000
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
United States
About the Office: 

The United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania (USAO) is an energetic and collegial office with 109 employees and contractors, which represents the United States in all criminal prosecution and civil and appellate litigation in the Western District of Pennsylvania.  The Western District of Pennsylvania consists of 25 counties in the western part of the state; its main office is in Pittsburgh, with staffed branch offices in Erie and Johnstown.  The USAO strives to provide an inclusive, rewarding work environment for employees of all backgrounds.  Additional information about the District can be found on our website at

To learn more about what the area and what the State of Pennsylvania has to offer, please visit and

The United States Attorney's Office is a part of the Department of Justice (DOJ).  With a diverse and talented workforce of over 100,000 men and women, DOJ ensures the protection of all Americans while preserving their constitutional freedoms. You can be part of a dedicated team helping to enforce Federal criminal and civil laws that protect life, liberty and the property of citizens. If you are looking for an exciting and challenging legal career, this is the position for you!  For more information on the Department of Justice and the United States Attorney's Office, please visit

The United States Attorney's Office/Executive Office for United States Attorneys is a great place to work. The Department of Justice ranked #10 out of 17 large agencies and EOUSA/USAO ranked #77 out of 415 agency subcomponents in a study, "The Best Places to Work in the Federal Government, 2018 Ratings" published by the Partnership for Public Service.

Our office places a high value on diversity of experiences and perspectives and encourages applications from all qualified men and women from all ethnic and racial backgrounds, veterans, LGBT individuals, and persons with disabilities.
Job Description: 

The United States Attorney's Office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is seeking an attorney for its Civil Division.  This dynamic civil practice features a challenging mix of cases and represents a unique opportunity for attorneys seeking greater autonomy and litigation experience.  The defensive civil docket includes defending the United States, its agencies and employees in complex employment matters, federal tort claims, including catastrophic medical malpractice cases, constitutional matters, habeas corpus litigation, and other significant defensive litigation that offers significant trial experience to civil AUSAs.  Our Civil Division also prides itself on its Affirmative Civil Enforcement litigation, to include civil rights enforcement.  Civil AUSAs confront meaningful and compelling issues that have a tangible, positive impact on our district’s residents.  Responsibilities will increase and assignments will become more complex as your training and experience progresses.

Applicants must demonstrate personal integrity, good judgment, analytical ability, and excellent organizational, interpersonal, and litigation skills. In addition, applicants must be willing to follow rules and directives, and work in a supportive and professional manner with other attorneys, support staff, and client agencies.

All initial attorney positions are filled on a provisional 14 month basis, pending adjudication of the background investigation.


Required Qualifications:

Applicants must have a J.D. degree and at least one year of post-J.D. legal experience.  In addition, applicants must possess superior oral and written communication skills as well as strong interpersonal skills, exhibit good judgment, and be able to function with minimal guidance in a highly demanding environment. The District seeks attorneys who have outstanding legal ability, high moral character, mature judgment, and demonstrated excellence in civil trials.

Applicants must be duly licensed and authorized to practice as an attorney under the laws of a State, Territory, or the District of Columbia.  In addition, the local rules for the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania require all Assistant United States Attorneys to become admitted to our District. 

Applicants will be required to go through a background investigation, including credit, tax, and drug tests.  Initial appointment is conditional based upon a satisfactory pre-employment adjudication, and continued employment past the 14 month provisional period is subject to a favorable adjudication of the background investigation.

You must be a United States Citizen or National.  

You must be registered for selective service, if applicable.

You must meet all the above qualifications as of the closing date of this announcement.

Preferred Qualifications:

Ideal qualifications include at least three to seven years of post-J.D. litigation experience, including experience handling a variety of complex civil matters, first‑chair federal trial experience, strong academics, outstanding organizational skills, superior legal writing and research ability, and a demonstrated commitment to professionalism, ethics, civility and public service.

Applicants must demonstrate a quick analytical ability and the facility to accurately and precisely articulate the critical issues in a case.   Applicants must demonstrate superior oral and writing skills, as well as strong research and interpersonal skills, and good judgment.   Applicants must have a demonstrated capacity to work independently and function, with minimal guidance, in a highly demanding environment while balancing a high case load.  Excellent computer literacy skills and presentation skills are also necessary.

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

Security: Initial appointment is conditioned upon a satisfactory pre-employment adjudication. This includes fingerprint, credit and tax checks, and drug testing. In addition, continued employment is subject to a favorable adjudication of a background investigation.

Position may require up to Confidential/Secret

Benefits: The Department of Justice offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation; sick leave; holidays; life insurance; health benefits; and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System.

AD 21 ($53,805 - $91,468) to AD 29 ($82,784 to $140,733) base pay annually. AUSA pay is administratively determined based on the years of professional attorney experience, performance, and availability of funds, plus 18.86% locality pay for 2019.
Occasional travel within and outside the district will be required.
Application Process: 

How You Will Be Evaluated/ What to Expect Next:


You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.  Once your complete application package is received, it will be reviewed to ensure you meet all job requirements. An attorney interview panel will then review all qualified applicants and make recommendations for invitation to interview.   The Occupational Questionnaire will take you approximately 20 minutes to complete. 


We will notify you that your resume has been received. You will be notified if selected for an interview, and after making a tentative job offer, we will conduct a suitability/security background investigation for the candidate selected.  We expect to make a final job offer within 120 days from the closing date of the announcement.  Once a final selection is made, notification will again be sent to all applicants.

 Veterans' Preference: 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 indicate their preference in response to the appropriate question in their assessment questionnaire (it is also recommended that information is included in their cover letter or resume) and they must submit supporting documentation (see the veterans preference information in department policies for more details.)

 Application Process: 

To be considered for a position, applications must be submitted by 11:59pm (EST) on 10/21/2019. Applications will only be accepted through the USAJobs system at Resumes will not be accepted by fax or regular mail. 

Your complete Application Package should include:

  • Your Resume (required) showing relevant experience and dates of employment (including month, date and year).  Please ensure your resume notes month/year of J.D. and bar membership information.
  • Your responses to the occupational questionnaire (required) (online).
  • Cover Letter (optional).
  • Required (if a federal employee): A recent copy of your SF-50 (Notification of Personnel Action), showing title, series, grade and current salary; and a copy of your most recent performance appraisal.
  • Required (if applicable): To receive veterans preference consideration, you indicate that you have preference on your resume and be prepared to provide appropriate supporting documentation (DD-214, Veterans Administration Letter, etc).

As needed, additional vacancies may be filled using this announcement.

This and other attorney announcements can be found at:

The point of contact for questions about this announcement is the HR office for the Western District of Pennsylvania which can be reached at  Please include the vacancy # in the subject line of any inquiries.  

Application Deadline: 
Monday, October 21, 2019
Relocation Expenses: 
Relocation expenses are not authorized and will not be paid.
Number of Positions: 
One or more.
Updated October 9, 2019

*         *         *

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, protected genetic information, pregnancy, status as a parent, or any other nonmerit-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 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).


*         *         *


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.