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Legal Careers

Assistant United States Attorney

Hiring Organization
USAO District of Oregon
Hiring Office
Civil Division
Job ID
Portland, OR - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The United States Attorney's Office is the chief federal law enforcement agency in Oregon and is responsible for representing the federal government in litigation involving the United States in the District of Oregon. This includes criminal prosecutions for violations of federal law, civil lawsuits by and against the government, and actions to collect monetary judgments and restitution on behalf of victims and taxpayers.

The United States Attorney's Office (USAO) for the District of Oregon has over 60 Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs) working in its Criminal and Civil Divisions. AUSAs assigned to the Criminal Division handle a wide variety of cases, including drug trafficking and money-laundering crimes, terrorism-related offenses, firearms, and other violent crime offenses, cyber-crimes, environmental crimes, and a variety of fraud, public corruption, and white-collar offenses. AUSAs assigned to the Civil Division handle an array of defensive and affirmative litigation on behalf of the United States, its agencies, and employees. Defensive litigation includes medical malpractice and other personal injury cases, employment discrimination cases, challenges to agency actions, FOIA, immigration, etc. Affirmative matters include civil rights, environmental, food and drug, along with health care and other civil fraud cases.

To learn more, visit:

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

AUSAs in our Civil Division are responsible for representing the United States and its departments, agencies, and employees in civil actions brought against the United States at both the trial and appellate levels. The Civil Division's defensive cases include suits alleging negligence under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), including medical malpractice; allegations of unlawful discrimination in federal employment; challenges to agency actions under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA); suits seeking release of records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Privacy Act; the defense of government officials sued in their individual capacities for constitutional violations (Bivens actions); responses to prisoner habeas petitions; immigration matters, and motions to quash subpoenas that fail to comply with applicable federal regulations. The Civil Division also handles some affirmative civil rights matters in which it seeks enforcement of statutes that prohibit discrimination in areas such as housing, education, or employment. The AUSA will serve as a generalist, receiving assignments in any of the above subject-matter areas, but should expect to handle defensive cases involving medical malpractice, employment discrimination, immigration, and possibly environmental matters.

Responsibilities will increase and assignments will become more complex as your training and experience progress.

Type of Position: All initial attorney appointments to the Department of Justice are made on a 14 month (temporary) basis pending favorable adjudication of a background investigation.



Required Qualifications: Applicants must possess a J.D. Degree, be an active member of the bar (any U.S. jurisdiction), and have at least 1 years of post-J.D. legal experience.

  • You must be a United States Citizen or National.
  • Initial appointment is conditioned upon a satisfactory pre-employment adjudication to include fingerprint, background investigation, credit and tax checks, and drug testing.
  • You must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable.
  • J.D. degree and active member of the bar (any U.S. jurisdiction) required.
  • Continued employment is subject to a favorable adjudication of a background investigation.
  • Assistant United States Attorneys generally must reside in the district to which he or she is appointed or within 25 miles thereof. See 28 U.S.C. 545 for district-specific information.
  • This is an excepted service position.

Preferred Qualifications: Hiring for AUSA positions within the U.S. Attorney's Office is highly competitive. The U.S. Attorney's Office seeks a diverse complement of lawyers with a wide range of exceptional skills and experience, which include: a superior academic record, litigation experience, outstanding organizational skills, superior legal writing and research ability, demonstrated analytical ability, excellent communication abilities, good judgment, exhibit the ability to work in a supportive and professional manner with other attorneys, support staff, and employees of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, ability to successfully represent the interest of the United States in the federal court, and a commitment to professionalism, ethics, civility, and public service. An ideal candidate would have five years of experience.

You must meet all qualification requirements upon the closing date of this announcement.

Application Process

To be considered for a position, applications must be submitted by 11:59pm (EST) on December 11, 2019. Applications will only be accepted through the USAJobs website at:

Applications will not be accepted by fax or regular mail.

 You must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

- Required - Your responses to the Online Occupational Questionnaire (This is completed automatically during the apply online process)
- Required - Your resume showing relevant experience, dates of employment (include day/month/year) and indicating full time or part time, law school graduation date (month/year) and bar admission date (month/year).
- Required - Cover letter.
- Required - Legal writing sample, not to exceed 10 pages. The writing sample selected should be the applicant's exclusive work product and maybe an excerpt of a longer brief.
- Required, if applicable - A recent copy of an 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 get Veterans' Preference, you must indicate your preference in response to the appropriate question in your assessment questionnaire and you must submit the appropriate supporting documentation. See the "How you will be Evaluated" section for details regarding what is appropriate Veterans' Preference documentation. It is also recommended that you include veterans' preference information in your cover letter or resume.

The Point of Contact for this vacancy announcement is District of Oregon who can be reached at 503-727-1064 or


The range of basic pay is $66,250 to $166,400, which includes 23.13%.

Number of Positions
One Position, but as needed, additional positions may be filled using this announcement.
Occasional travel: 1 to 5 nights of travel may be required per month.
Relocation Expenses
Relocation expenses will not be 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 November 27, 2019