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Legal Careers

Assistant United States Attorney

Hiring Organization
USAO District of Maine
Hiring Office
U.S. Attorney's Office - Portland, Maine
Job ID
100 Middle Street
6th Floor, East Tower
Portland, ME 04101 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Maine has a position available for an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) in our Criminal Division. The District of Maine encompasses the entire state of Maine, which has a population of over 1.3 million. The AUSA vacancy is in our headquarters office, located in Portland, Maine’s largest city. Portland is a vibrant, livable small city located on gorgeous Casco Bay. The city has world-class dining, numerous cultural institutions, and easy access to outdoor adventures. For additional information regarding our office, please visit Our office places a high value on diversity of experiences and perspectives and encourages applications from individuals with cultural competence. We encourage individuals from all ethnic and racial backgrounds, veterans, LGBTQ individuals, and persons with disabilities to apply.

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 U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maine, with offices in Bangor and Portland, prosecutes all criminal and civil cases brought by the federal government and defends the United States in civil cases in Maine. Criminal AUSAs in the District of Maine improve the quality of life for all Maine residents by prosecuting violent crimes, narcotics trafficking, child exploitation, fraud and other white-collar offenses, firearms offenses, civil rights offenses, human trafficking, terrorism, political corruption and an array of other federal criminal laws. The position of an AUSA provides one with the responsibility and the authority to improve the lives of Americans who live in Maine and across the United States. Working as a federal prosecutor sworn to pursue justice in the name of the United States is deeply satisfying. Many lawyers look back on their days as an AUSA as among the most rewarding of their professional careers.

The office has one opening for an experienced trial attorney to serve as an AUSA in the Criminal Division in our Portland office. The selected AUSA will work with law enforcement agents and others to investigate federal criminal offenses, research and brief legal issues, and represent the United States before grand juries and in hearings and trials. Responsibilities will increase and assignments will become more complex as training and experience progress. All initial attorney positions to the Department of Justice are made on a 14-month (temporary) basis. 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.


Required Qualifications: Applicants must possess a J.D. degree and be an active member in good standing of the bar (any jurisdiction). Applicants must have a minimum of three years of post-J.D. experience and demonstrated excellence in trial advocacy and legal writing. United States citizenship is required.

Preferred qualifications: Hiring for AUSA positions is highly competitive. Our ideal candidate will have:

  • At least five years of legal experience;
  • At least three years of experience prosecuting or litigating cases in federal courts, or litigating complex state court cases that involve voluminous discovery and/or substantial motion practice;
  • Significant experience, skills, and/or interest in prosecuting federal crimes;
  • Strong academic credentials and superior legal research and writing skills;
  • Courtroom experience and excellent courtroom skills;
  • Incisive analytical ability and an aptitude for accurately and precisely articulating the critical issues in a case;
  • A demonstrated commitment to professionalism, ethics, civility and public service;
  • Outstanding organizational, time management and interpersonal skills;
  • The ability to work in a supportive and professional manner with other attorneys, support staff and client agencies;
  • Excellent computer literacy skills and the ability to handle all aspects of electronic discovery and litigation; and
  • A strong desire to practice in Maine.
Application Process

This position is open until filled, however, applications received by Friday, June 23, 2023 will receive first consideration.  Application packages should contain a cover letter and resume only in one continuous Adobe PDF document. Please include the Vacancy Announcement Number 23-ME-004-AUSA within your cover letter to indicate which vacancy you are applying for. Please send application complete packages via email to:


The range of basic pay is $77,737 to $183,400 per year, which includes 31.05% locality pay.

Number of Positions
Occasional travel, both within and outside the District of Maine, will be required. Travel requirements typically entail no more than 1-5 days 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 May 30, 2023