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Legal Careers

Assistant United States Attorney

Hiring Organization
USAO District of Columbia
Hiring Office
United States Attorney's Office - District of Columbia
Job ID
555 4th Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20001 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia is unique among U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the size and scope of its work. It serves as both the local and the federal prosecutor for the nation’s capital. On the local side, cases prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs) assigned to the Superior Court Division range from misdemeanor offenses to homicides. On the federal side, cases prosecuted by AUSAs assigned to the Criminal Division include, but are not limited to, drug trafficking; violent crime and firearms possession; cybercrimes; fraud and public corruption; and terrorism. In both roles, the Office is committed to being responsive and accountable to the citizens of the District of Columbia. The Office’s Civil Division further enforces the law and defends the interests of the United States in civil suits brought in the District of Columbia. 

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.

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 mission of the Major Crimes Section is to investigate and prosecute violent crime and significant local economic crime. The Section is responsible for investigating and prosecuting violent crimes ranging from carjacking and armed robbery to attempted murder (known in the jurisdiction as assault with intent to kill while armed), with a particular emphasis on shootings. The Section is also responsible for investigating and prosecuting local economic crime, including fraud, embezzlement, and financial exploitation of elderly and other vulnerable victims.

The supervisors and attorneys in the Major Crimes Section work closely with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and many federal law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Capitol Police, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the U.S. Park Police.

An appointment as Deputy Chief of the Major Crimes Section within the U.S. Attorney's Office offers unique and challenging experiences for the highly motivated DOJ leader. The successful candidate will be hired as an AUSA and will immediately serve as a Supervisory AUSA under a temporary promotion as the Deputy Chief of the Major Crimes Section.

The selected candidate will be part of a management team for the Section, whose responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:
· Supervising and managing cases and matters handled by the Major Crimes Section;
· Supervising and counseling Major Crimes Section AUSAs, including advising and counseling AUSAs on strategic approaches to their investigations and prosecutions;
· Advising and counseling the U.S. Attorney, as well as executive leadership in the Office and the Superior Court Division, of significant developments and issues arising from the Major Crimes Section caseload;
· Working effectively with Major Crimes Section support staff;
· Performing case intake and case assignments to Major Crimes Section AUSAs;
· Appearing as counsel for the United States in appropriate matters before the District of Columbia Superior Court; and
· Coordinating with District of Columbia Superior Court judges and staff on committees and projects;
· Ensuring Major Crimes Section AUSAs properly investigate and prepare their matters for indictment and trial;
· Reviewing and approving search warrants and other legal process, prosecution memoranda, criminal complaints, indictments, plea agreements, and other pleadings;
· Developing and maintaining strong and cooperative working relationships with local and federal law enforcement agencies; and
· Ensuring compliance with all applicable Justice Manual requirements and developing and maintaining strong and cooperative working relationships with other Sections and Divisions within the Office.
Promotions to Supervisory AUSA positions are made on a temporary basis at the discretion of the United States Attorney. At the end of the temporary promotion, the Supervisory AUSA may be returned to a non-supervisory AUSA position within the USAO or extended.


Required Qualifications: The ideal candidate will have outstanding legal ability, high moral character, mature judgment, a keen desire for public service, and an exceptional aptitude for litigation.

Preferred Qualifications: Ideal qualifications also include 3 or more years overall litigation experience as well as experience as both a prosecutor and supervisor of prosecutors. In addition, because of the Major Crimes Section's unique role within the Office of handling both violent and economic crimes, a preferred candidate would have experience investigating and prosecuting both types of crimes. Applicants must demonstrate superior analytical ability; possess strong research, writing, and courtroom skills; exercise fair and sound judgment; follow all Department of Justice and United States Attorney's Office policies; exhibit the ability to work in a supportive and professional manner with other attorneys, support staff, and law enforcement agencies; be able to negotiate effectively with opposing counsel; handle matters in court persuasively and justly on behalf of the United States of America; and be devoted to excellence.

Applicants should familiarize themselves with D.C. Legal Ethics Opinions 210 and 367 and comply with D.C. Rule of Professional Conduct 1.7, regarding concurrent conflicts of interest, in connection with any matters in which the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia is involved. Please indicate in your cover letter whether you currently are representing clients in or adjudicating matters in which the U.S. Attorney's Office is involved and/or whether you have family members or intimate companions who are representing clients in or adjudicating matters in which the U.S. Attorney's Office is involved so that we can evaluate any potential conflicts of interest or disqualification issues that may need to be resolved under those circumstances.

Interested 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 have at least three years post J.D. criminal litigation experience. Applicants must be an active member of the bar in good standing.

Application Process

To apply for this position, you must complete the occupational questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section below.

The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on 02/12/2020 to receive consideration.

1. To begin, click Apply Online to create a USAJOBS account or log in to your existing account. Follow the prompts to select your USAJOBS resume and/or other supporting documents and complete the occupational questionnaire.

2. Click the Submit My Answers button to submit your application package. (It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation are submitted prior to the closing date.)

3. To verify your application is complete, log into your USAJOBS account,, select the Application Status link and then select the more information link for this position. The Details page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process.

To return to an incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USAJOBS account or your application will be incomplete.

You are encouraged to apply online. Applying online will allow you to review and track the status of your application. However, should you not be able to apply online, please contact District of Columbia at 202-252-7050 or email at, prior to the closing date of this announcement to request an alternate method of applying.


Assistant United States Attorneys' pay is administratively determined based, in part, on the number of years of professional attorney experience. The salary range is $152,874 - $170,700 (which includes the 30.48% locality).

Number of Positions
Occasional travel may be required for training.
Relocation Expenses
Relocation expenses will not be paid.

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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 January 31, 2020