Skip to main content

Legal Careers

Assistant United States Attorney

Hiring Organization
USAO Eastern District of Virginia
Hiring Office
Job ID
2100 Jamieson Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22314 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia has four offices which are located in Alexandria, Richmond, Norfolk, and Newport News.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys are assigned to each of these offices to prosecute criminal and civil cases.  The District consists of more than 19,000 square miles and has a population of 6,200,000, and includes numerous federal agencies (including the Defense Department and the CIA), military installations, and major airports.  The Office has over 90 criminal AUSAs who handle a wide variety of complex cases, including child exploitation crimes, drug trafficking and money-laundering crimes, terrorism-related offenses, firearms and other violent crime offenses, cybercrimes, environmental crimes, and a variety of fraud and white-collar offenses.

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

An appointment with the U.S. Attorney's Office offers unique and challenging experiences for the highly motivated attorney.  The Office is seeking an attorney interested in working in our Criminal Division’s Appellate Section.  The district is headquartered in Alexandria and has branch offices in Richmond, Norfolk and Newport News.  This position can be filled in any of our offices (Alexandria, Richmond, Norfolk or Newport News).  Please be sure to state your preference in your cover letter. 

The candidate selected for this vacancy will be primarily responsible for handling, overseeing, and providing advice to others on a wide range of post-conviction litigation both in the district court and on appeal.  The candidate will also handle some criminal direct appeals.  Appellate AUSAs draft briefs, present oral arguments, participate in some district court litigation, provide advice to other prosecutors, and participate in moot courts to prepare AUSAs for oral arguments.  Briefs will involve a wide variety of constitutional, statutory, and other claims. 


 Required qualifications: Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any U.S. jurisdiction), have at least one year of post-J.D. legal experience, and possess superior oral and written communication skills, as well as strong interpersonal skills.  Applicants must also exhibit good judgment, function with minimal guidance in a highly demanding environment, and have strong writing abilities and an interest in post-conviction litigation and appeals. 

Preferred qualifications: At least three years of post JD-experience that includes significant legal writing and oral advocacy, legal practice in federal court (or a federal court clerkship), or practice in criminal matters.  Demonstrated ability and willingness to be self-reliant and motivated in reviewing and distilling voluminous records involving complex fact patterns, understanding and articulating complex legal doctrines; routinely preparing high-quality briefs on strict time deadlines; making persuasive oral arguments; and assisting other attorneys in all divisions.  Substantive experience with federal post-conviction litigation is desirable. 

United States citizenship is required.

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.

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.


Application Process

Applications must be submitted online through the following link:


Assistant United States Attorneys pay is administratively determined based, in part, on the number of years of professional attorney experience. The range of basic pay for these positions will be $55,204 to $144,392, plus locality pay.

Number of Positions
One, but addional positions may be filled if vacancies occur.
Travel within and outside the District may be required, but should be minimal.
Relocation Expenses
Relocation expenses will not be authorized.

*         *         *

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.

*         *         *

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 August 31, 2020