Assistant United States Attorney

United States Attorney's Office
110 East Court Ave
Des Moines, IA 50309
United States
About the Office: 

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa employs 25 Assistant United States Attorneys.  The District’s headquarters office is located in Des Moines.  The District has staffed branch offices in Davenport and Council Bluffs, which serve the District’s eastern and western divisions. 

Job Description: 

Assistant United States Attorneys in the Southern District of Iowa handle a wide variety of complex cases involving representation of the United States in all phases of pretrial, trial and appellate matters concerning civil litigation.  Primary responsibilities of this position will be handling all phases of affirmative matters involving health care and program fraud. Other duties as assigned will include defensive matters involving the Federal Tort Claims Act, employment discrimination statutes, commercial litigation, and other affirmative matters involving debt collection and real estate foreclosures, as well as representing federal agencies on appeals of administrative determinations.  This vacancy is for one position in the Civil Division in the Des Moines office. 


Required qualifications: Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction), and have at least one year post-J.D. legal or other relevant experience. At least three years of post-J.D. litigation experience is preferred.

Preferred qualifications: Applicants must demonstrate a quick analytical ability and the ability to accurately and precisely articulate the critical issues in a case. Applicants must demonstrate superior oral and writing skills as well as strong research and interpersonal skills, and good judgment. Applicants must possess excellent communication and courtroom skills and exhibit the ability to work in a supportive and professional manner with other attorneys, support staff, law enforcement, and client agencies. Applicants must have a demonstrated capacity to function, with minimal guidance, in a highly demanding environment.

Initial appointment is conditioned upon a satisfactory pre-employment adjudication.  This includes fingerprint, credit and tax checks, and drug testingIn addition, continued employment is subject to a favorable adjudication of a background investigation.

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

United States citizenship is required.

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 this position is $60,218 to $160,122, which includes locality pay.
Occasional travel, both within and outside the District, may be required, including for training at the Department of Justice’s National Advocacy Center.
Application Process: 

Applicants should send a resume and Attorney Questionnaire  Please send entire application package in one pdf file.  If you are currently an attorney with a federal agency, please include a copy of your most recent SF 50, Notification of Personnel Action.  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.  

No telephone calls pleaseApplications must be received by 4:00 p.m. CST on the closing date of February 6, 2018.

Security RequirementsInitial appointment is conditioned upon a satisfactory preemployment adjudication.  This includes fingerprint and credit checks, and drug testing.  In addition, continued employment is subject to a favorable adjudication of a background investigation.  All initial attorney appointments to the Department of Justice are made on a 14 month (temporary) basis pending favorable adjudication of a background investigation.

Internet Sites: More information about the Southern District of Iowa may be found at:  This and other attorney vacancy announcements can be found at:


Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Relocation Expenses: 
Relocation expenses will not be paid
Number of Positions: 
This vacancy is for one position in the Des Moines, Iowa, headquarters office, within the Civil Division.
Updated January 23, 2018

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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 color, race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, marital status, disability (physical or mental), age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as a parent, membership or non-membership in an employee organization, on the basis of personal favoritism, or any other non-merit 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.

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 targeted/severe disabilities are encouraged to register for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Shared List of People with Disabilities (the Bender Disability Employment Registry) by submitting their resume to and referencing "Federal Career Opportunities" in the subject line.  Additional information about the Bender Registry is available at  Individuals with disabilities may also contact one of the Department’s Disability Points of Contact (DPOC).  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 who have lived outside the United States for two or more of the past five years will likely have difficulty being approved for appointments by the Department Security Staff. The two-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.

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 his  or her retirement was due to a permanent service-connected disability or that he/she was transferred to the permanent disability retired list (the statement or retirement orders must indicate that the disability is 10% or more).


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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.