Skip to main content

Legal Careers

Assistant United States Attorney

Hiring Organization
USAO District of South Dakota
Hiring Office
Appellate Division
Job ID
325 South 1st Avenue
Suite 300
Rapid City or Sioux Falls, SD - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The South Dakota district's mission is to impartially enforce and uphold the laws of the U.S. We are committed to improving public safety, protecting the financial interests of the nation, and ensuring equal justice for all. 

The district's main office is located in Sioux Falls with two branch offices located in Pierre and Rapid City. This position can be located in Rapid City or Sioux Falls.

Sioux Falls
Sioux Falls is South Dakota’s largest city and ranks 121st in the most populous cities in the United States with a population estimate of 289,592 in the Metropolitan Statistical Area. Sioux Falls boasts a healthy economy, a community-centric spirit and a supportive business environment. Sioux Falls is a welcoming place for families with great public and private schools, over 80 expansive parks and nearly 30 miles of bike paths. With something for everyone, there are downtown lofts, exceptional local restaurants and theaters, local coffee roasters, numerous art installations, craft breweries, live music and concert venues.

Rapid City
Rapid City, known as the gateway to the famous faces of Mt. Rushmore, lies east of the Black Hills National Forest in western South Dakota. As the 2nd largest city in South Dakota, there are several national parks, monuments and memorials as well as a host of nearby hiking trails. Rapid City offers a rich cultural heritage experience as well as a contemporary vibe with a downtown that is walkable and pedestrian-friendly, offering history, art, dining and attractions for every taste and preference.

More information about the U.S. Attorney's Office, SD can be found at:


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 for the District of South Dakota is seeking an experienced attorney to fill one Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) position in the Appellate Division. This opening offers a unique and challenging experience for a highly motivated attorney. Working in the Appellate Division, The AUSA will represent the United States in cases on appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. They will handle all aspects of appeals from criminal cases prosecuted in the District, including writing appellate briefs and presenting oral arguments on a variety of complex and novel issues involving the Constitution, statutory construction, evidentiary disputes, and procedural matters. Appellate AUSAs also review briefs for their fellow AUSAs and participate in moot courts. In addition to defending criminal convictions from appellate challenge, Appellate AUSAs bring affirmative appeals to the Eighth Circuit from adverse district court decisions.

Aside from their work in the Eighth Circuit, Appellate AUSAs keep abreast of changes and developments in the law, providing valuable guidance to the U.S. Attorney and fellow AUSAs on significant legal issues. Additionally, the Appellate Division responds to post-conviction challenges in the district court, such as motions to vacate or correct criminal judgments and sentences. Finally, Appellate AUSAs consult with the Solicitor General's Office and the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice regarding potential government appeals, petitions for rehearing en banc, and U.S. Supreme Court litigation stemming from criminal cases in the District.

Responsibilities will increase and assignments will become more complex as training and experience progress.


Required qualifications:  Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any U.S. jurisdiction) and have at least one year of post-JD legal or other relevant experience. Be a U.S. citizen or National.  In addition, applicant must also be a member, or be eligible to become a member, of the federal district court bar.  If the successful candidate is not a member of the South Dakota Bar, he or she must become a member of the South Dakota Bar within twelve months of hire.

Preferred Qualifications:  Applicants must demonstrate superior analytical ability; strong research, writing and courtroom skills; exercise fair and sound judgment; follow all Department of Justice and United States Attorney’s Office policies; superior analytical and communications skills; handle matters in court persuasively and justly on behalf of the United States of America; and be devoted to excellence.

The ideal candidate should have the ability to work in a supportive and professional team environment with client law enforcement agencies, support staff and other attorneys, and a demonstrated commitment to public service.

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

Application Process

Please provide a complete Application Package by June 3, 2024, which includes:

  • Online application found via the above link.
  • 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 - Cover letter.
  • Required - Writing sample (not to exceed 20 pages).
  • 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.

The Point of Contact for this vacancy announcement is Kailene Frey who can be reached at 605-330-4400 or

Application Deadline:  Applications must be received by June 3, 2024.


Assistant United States Attorney pay is administratively determined based, in part, on the number of years of professional experience. 

The range of starting pay including locality pay is $72,553 to $189,771.

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

Number of Positions
Employment will require occasional travel to court at designated sites within and outside the district. Travel is also required for training at the Department of Justice’s National Advocacy Center, Columbia, SC.
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 May 21, 2024