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Legal Careers

Assistant United States Attorney

Hiring Organization
USAO District of South Carolina
Hiring Office
District of South Carolina
Job ID
1441 Main Street, Suite 500
Columbia, SC 29201 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of South Carolina is seeking applications from motivated attorneys who want to join the office's Civil Division; this position will be located in either the Columbia, Charleston or Greenville Office.

This is an open continuous announcement for possible additional Civil Division vacancies, with multiple cut-off dates. The first cutoff is September 4, 2023, and thereafter as needed.

If you are looking for an exciting and challenging career, this is the position for you! With a diverse and talented workforce of over 100,000 people, the mission of the Department of Justice is to uphold the rule of law, keep our country safe, and protect civil rights. You will be part of a dedicated team helping to enforce Federal criminal and civil laws that protect life, liberty and the property of citizens.

Our office is large enough to enjoy a wide variety of case assignments and small enough to be collegial and collaborative. For more information about the District of South Carolina, visit

Initial appointment is conditioned upon a satisfactory preemployment 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.

For more information on the Department of Justice and the United States Attorney's Offices, visit

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

All initial attorney positions to the Department of Justice are made on a 14-month (temporary) basis.

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

Civil AUSAs in our office enjoy a genuine camaraderie in an encouraging, supportive work environment. We currently have 16 litigating attorneys working on two teams, Civil Defense where the United States is a defendant, and Affirmative Civil Enforcement where the United States is a plaintiff.

The positions' primary responsibilities will be the Civil Defense team, including handling medical malpractice and other personal injury torts, employment discrimination, and representing federal employees sued in their individual capacities under Bivens. We contribute to the mission of justice by providing candid and professional assessments of litigation risk and defending against civil litigation to achieve just results.

The positions may also include work on the Affirmative Civil Enforcement team, handling affirmative litigation involving health care fraud and other violations of the False Claims Act, enforcement of environmental laws, and violations of the Controlled Substances Act.

AUSAs handle all phases of litigation, including taking and defending depositions, managing discovery, conducting legal research and analysis, selecting and working with experts, writing briefs and other documents, attending court hearings, arguing motions, representing the United States in mediations and settlement negotiations, and conducting trials. AUSAs communicate regularly with attorneys for other federal agencies, Department of Justice attorneys, opposing counsel, and others.

We invest in the professional development of our AUSAs, including easy access to the National Advocacy Center in Columbia. We encourage and support involvement in local and federal community programs, whether it be bar associations, our two local law schools, or high school mock trial.

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

We place a high value on diversity of experience and cultural perspective and encourage applications from all interested eligible candidates, including attorneys from all ethnic and racial backgrounds, LGBTQ+ individuals, veterans, and individuals with disabilities.


Required qualifications:
Applicants must possess a J.D. Degree, be an active member in good standing of the bar of any U.S. jurisdiction*, and have at least one year post-J.D. legal experience.
*Rule 83.I.04(B)(1) of the Local Civil Rules for the District of South Carolina was amended in 2022 to authorize Department of Justice attorneys to represent the interests of the U.S. in federal court in South Carolina without being a member of the South Carolina Bar. Therefore, applicants may be admitted to the bar of any U.S. jurisdiction.

Preferred qualifications:
We prefer at least two years of civil litigation experience, including taking and defending depositions, managing discovery, selecting and working with experts, and participating in mediations, as well as demonstrated research and writing skills.

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

Application Process

Link to USAJobs Announcement:

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 and dates of employment (include day/month/year).
  • Required - A cover letter to the attention of U.S. Attorney Adair Boroughs describing why you want to become a civil AUSA in this district.
  • Required - An excerpt or sample of your writing that is no more than five (5) pages and that demonstrates your ability to write clearly and persuasively.
  • 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.


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 (ET) on September 4, 2023 (first cutoff date) 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 Victoria Werner at (803) 929-3107or email at, prior to the closing date of this announcement to request an alternate method of applying.


The range of basic pay is $69,107 to $162,148 which includes 16.50% locality pay.

Number of Positions
Travel: You may be expected to travel for this position.
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 August 15, 2023