Assistant United States Attorney - Civil Division

San Diego Office - Civil Division
United States Attorney's Office
880 Front Street, Room 6293
San Diego, CA 92101
United States
About the Office: 

San Diego is the eighth largest city in the United States and is commonly referred to as America's Finest City! San Diego has year-round perfect weather with 70 miles of coastline and amazing beaches. Some local major attractions include: Balboa Park, the World Famous San Diego Zoo, LEGOLAND, Belmont Park and Seaport Village. San Diego has beautiful golf courses, hiking trails, the Del Mar Race Track, and Comic-Con. San Diego is also home to nationally recognized colleges and universities, including University of California at San Diego, San Diego State University and University of San Diego.

The SDCA is home to the largest concentration of Navy and Marine Corps installations in the world.  As a result, San Diego has a vibrant defense industry community.  In addition, San Diego is an international leader in life sciences, bio-tech, and healthcare. 

The entire southern boundary of the district borders the Republic of Mexico. Contained within the district are International ports of entry at San Ysidro, Otay Mesa, Tecate, Calexico (two ports, East and West) and Andrade. The entire west boundary of the district lies on the Pacific Ocean, with a major port in San Diego.

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 is seeking one or more qualified candidates to join the office as Assistant U.S. Attorneys. Civil Division Assistant U.S. Attorneys represent the United States, federal agencies, and federal employees in a wide variety of civil cases. Defensive practice areas include personal injury and wrongful death, employment discrimination, constitutional torts, medical malpractice, and immigration. Affirmative practice areas include the investigation and prosecution of civil actions under statutes such as the False Claims Act, Controlled Substances Act, and Americans with Disabilities Act. Our Civil Division represents the United States, its agencies, officers, and employees in civil actions in the Southern District of California and at the Ninth Circuit. Responsibilities will increase and assignments will become more complex as your training and experience progress. Prior experience in medical malpractice and immigration are preferred. As needed, additional positions may be filled using this announcement.

Effective oral and written communications as well as presentations to a wide variety of internal and external organizational groups are required.

Must be able to meet strategic goals of the Department of Justice as well as departmental guidelines and ethical standards.

Enclosed is a link to the Southern District of California's web page for more information about the office:

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


Required Qualifications: Applicants must possess a J.D. Degree, and must currently be an active member of a state bar (any U.S. jurisdiction) in order to be considered. Proof of active bar membership is required. Two (2) years of post-JD or legal or other relevant experience is required. Qualifying legal experience may include work as an attorney, a judicial law clerk in either federal or state court and/or litigation experience in either the public or private sector.

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

Preferred Qualifications:

The U.S. Attorney's Office seeks highly qualified applicants with substantial civil litigation experience.  Applicants must have superior oral and written advocay skills, excellent analytical skills, strong research and interpersonal skills, and good judgment.  Three or more years of experience handling depositions and other civil discovery (including discovery of electronically stored information) are preferred.  Experience working with expert witnesses is also a plus.  Applicants also must exhibit the ability to work in a supportive and professional manner with other attorneys, support staff, and client agencies.  Applicants must also demonstrate excellent computer literacy skills including experience with internet research, emial and word processing.

Appointment is subject to FBI background investigation, including credit, arrest, tax, reference and drug inquiries. In addition, continued employment is subject to a favorable adjudication of a background investigation.

United States citizenship is required.

Residency requirements:  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 information.  The residency requirement must be met once appointed as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of California.

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

$74,572 - $176,200
This position requires occational travel.
Application Process: 

Applications are received through the USAJobs website:

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). The occupational questionnaire takes about 20 minutes to complete.
  • Required - Your cover letter and resume showing relevant experience and dates of employment (include day/month/year).
  • Required-You will have to provide and upload one legal writing sample.  You can upload this document using the "Other" document category.
  • Required, if applicable - A recent copy of an 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 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.  Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST on 10/21/2022.The Point of Contact for this vacancy announcement is Nitza Williamson who can be reached at 619-546-9273 or

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

Once your complete application package is received, it will be reviewed to ensure you meet all the job requirements.  An attorney interview panel will then review all qualifed applicants and make recommendations for invitation to interview.  You will be notified if selected for an interview. 

Applicants should familiarize themselves and comply with the relevant rules of professional conduct regarding any possible conflicts of interest in connection with their applications. In particular, please notify this Office if you currently represent clients or adjudicate matters in which this Office is involved and/or you have a family member who is representing clients or adjudicating matters in which this Office is involved so that we can evaluate any potential conflict of interest or disqualification issue that may need to be addressed under those circumstances.

Application Deadline: 
Friday, October 21, 2022
Relocation Expenses: 
Relocation expenses will not be authorized.
Number of Positions: 
One or more positions may be filled using this job announcement.
Updated October 11, 2022

*         *         *

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.