Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA)

Wheeling, WV
1125 Chapline Street, Suite 3000
Wheeling, WV 26003
United States
About the Office: 

The United States Attorney's Office (USAO) for the Northern District of West Virginia (NDWV) prosecutes federal offenses, defends the United States Government’s interests and affirmatively pursues claims on behalf of the government. The USAO-NDWV currently has 56 employees and contractors, and includes offices located in Wheeling, Clarksburg, Elkins, and Martinsburg, West Virginia.  United States Attorney William J. Powell is seeking to hire an attorney for the position of Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) to work in the Civil Division in the Wheeling office. Additional information about the District can be found on our website at

To learn more about what the area and what the State of West Virginia have to offer, please visit (link is external) and (link is external)

The United States Attorney's Office is a part of the Department of Justice (DOJ).  With a diverse and talented workforce of over 100,000 men and women, DOJ ensures the protection of all Americans while preserving their constitutional freedoms. You can be part of a dedicated team helping to enforce Federal criminal and civil laws that protect life, liberty and the property of citizens. If you are looking for an exciting and challenging legal career, this is the position for you!  For more information on the Department of Justice and the United States Attorney's Office, please visit

The United States Attorney's Office/Executive Office for United States Attorneys is a great place to work. The Department of Justice ranked #11 out of 18 large agencies and EOUSA/USAO ranked #108 out of 339 agency subcomponents in a study, "The Best Places to Work in the Federal Government, 2017 Ratings" published by the Partnership for Public Service.

Job Description: 

The Office of the United States Attorney offers a unique and exciting experience for a highly motivated team player with the desire to engage in challenging and important litigation. AUSAs have an opportunity to work on their own caseload and handle their own trials and appeals. Working in the Civil Division, the AUSA will be part of a dedicated team representing the United States in a wide range of civil cases, including cases that are unique and complex, such as defense of medical malpractice, constitutional tort, and employment discrimination cases.  The Civil Division handles both affirmative and defensive civil litigation in both trial and appellate courts. Responsibilities will increase and assignments will become more complex as your training and experience progresses.

Applicants must demonstrate personal integrity, good judgment, analytical ability, and excellent organizational, interpersonal, and litigation skills. In addition, applicants must be willing to follow rules and directives, and work in a supportive and professional manner with other attorneys, support staff, and client agencies.

All initial attorney positions are filled on a provisional 14 month basis, pending adjudication of the background investigation.


Required Qualifications:

Applicants must have a J.D. degree and at least one year of post-J.D. legal experience.  In addition, applicants must possess superior oral and written communication skills as well as strong interpersonal skills, exhibit good judgment, and be able to function with minimal guidance in a highly demanding environment. The District seeks attorneys who have outstanding legal ability, high moral character, mature judgment, and demonstrated excellence in criminal trials.

Applicants must be duly licensed and authorized to practice as an attorney under the laws of a State, Territory, or the District of Columbia.  In addition, the local rules for the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia require all Assistant United States Attorneys to become members of the West Virginia State Bar within one year of appointment. 

Applicants will be required to go through a background investigation, including credit, tax, and drug tests.  Initial appointment is conditional based upon a satisfactory pre-employment adjudication, and continued employment past the 14 month provisional period is subject to a favorable adjudication of the background investigation.

You must be a United States Citizen or National.  

You must be registered for selective service, if applicable.

You must meet all the above qualifications as of the closing date of this announcement.

Preferred Qualifications:

The ideal candidate will possess outstanding litigation skills, legal writing and research skills, courtroom skills, and be committed to public service. 

Residency: 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.

Security: 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.

Position may require up to Confidential/Secret

Benefits: The Department of Justice offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation; sick leave; holidays; life insurance; health benefits; and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System.

AD 21 ($53,062 - $80,920) to AD 29 ($81,641 to $124,503) base pay annually. AUSA pay is administratively determined based on the years of professional attorney experience, performance, and availability of funds, plus 15.37% locality pay for 2018.
Travel to other offices within the district will also be required as needed; and occasional travel may be required for training.
Application Process: 

How You Will Be Evaluated/ What to Expect Next:

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.  Once your complete application package is received, it will be reviewed to ensure you meet all job requirements. An attorney interview panel will then review all qualified applicants and make recommendations for invitation to interview.   The Occupational Questionnaire will take you approximately 20 minutes to complete. 

We will notify you that your resume has been received. You will be notified if selected for an interview, and after making a tentative job offer, we will conduct a suitability/Security background investigation for the candidate selected.  We expect to make a final job offer within 120 days from the closing date of the announcement.  Once a final selection is made, notification will again be sent to all applicants.


 Veterans' Preference: 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 indicate their preference in response to the appropriate question in their assessment questionnaire (it is also recommended that information is included in their cover letter or resume) and they must submit supporting documentation (see the veterans preference information in department policies for more details.)


Application Process: 

To be considered for a position, applications must be submitted by 11:59pm (EST) on Sunday, July 15, 2018. Applications will only be accepted through the USAJobs system at Resumes will not be accepted by fax or regular mail. Your complete Application Package should include:

  • Your Resume (required) showing relevant experience and dates of employment (including month, date and year).  Please ensure your resume notes month/year of J.D. and bar membership information.
  • Your responses to the occupational questionnaire (required) (online).
  • Writing Sample (required) not to exceed 10 pages.
  • Cover Letter (optional).
  • Required (if a federal employee): A recent copy of your SF-50 (Notification of Personnel Action), showing title, series, grade and current salary; and a copy of your most recent performance appraisal.
  • Required (if applicable): To receive veterans preference consideration, you indicate that you have preference on your resume and be prepared to provide appropriate supporting documentation (DD-214, Veterans Administration Letter, etc).


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

This and other attorney announcements can be found at:

The point of contact for questions about this announcement is the HR office for the Northern District of West Virginia which can be reached at  Please include the vacancy # in the subject line of any inquiries.  

Application Deadline: 
Sunday, July 15, 2018
Relocation Expenses: 
Relocation expenses are not authorized and will not be paid.
Number of Positions: 
Updated July 10, 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 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 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.