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Legal Careers

Assistant United States Attorney (Criminal)

Hiring Organization
USAO District of the Virgin Islands
Hiring Office
Saint Thomas HQ
Location:
Ron de Lugo Federal Building & United States Courthouse
5500 Veterans Drive, Suite 260
St. Thomas, VI 00802-6424 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The United States Attorney's Office (USAO) for the District of the Virgin Islands is a unit of the Department of Justice, with its headquarters office on the island of St. Thomas and a smaller satellite office on St. Croix. The USAO is led by the United States Attorney, who serves as the chief federal law enforcement official in the District of the Virgin Islands.  Like other USAOs, we prosecute federal crimes and represent the interests of the United States in civil cases.  By Department standards, we are considered a small office, but we prosecute serious and significant cases. The District of the Virgin Islands encompasses the entire territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands, including the primary islands of St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas.

The Virgin Islands is truly an island paradise, with a celebrated Caribbean culture, pristine beaches, crystal clear blue waters, brilliant sunshine, moderate climate and constant breezes.  Residents enjoy countless leisure opportunities such as swimming, fishing, sailing, snorkeling, scuba diving, paddleboarding, surfing, kiteboarding, hiking and a wide range of dining and nightlife options.  Other tropical island destinations such as the British Virgin Islands are easily accessible, and Puerto Rico is a short 15-minute flight for additional sightseeing and shopping options.

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 experienced attorneys for one or more positions as an Assistant United States Attorney ("AUSA") in the Criminal Division in the headquarter office in the Ron DeLugo Federal Building on the waterfront of downtown St. Thomas. This position offers a rare opportunity to combine an exciting and challenging career as a federal prosecutor with life in a tropical paradise. Attorneys with well-developed litigation skills, proficiency in legal research and writing and experience with criminal practice and procedure will be selected to fill multiple AUSA vacancies in the Criminal Division of the St. Thomas Division.  Successful candidates will be responsible for handling the investigation and prosecution of federal crimes.

The Department of Justice works to keep our country safe, uphold the rule of law and protect civil rights.  Because we value honesty, integrity, respect, diversity and excellence, the Department offers immensely rewarding work opportunities and environments for its talented and committed workforce of over 100,000 men and women.  You can be part of a dedicated team working to enforce federal criminal and civil laws that protect life, liberty, and property, and serve the citizens of the U.S. Virgin Islands through the vigorous and impartial enforcement of the laws of the United States.

Additional Compensation and Benefits

The salary listed above for this position is supplemented by a Non-Foreign Cost of Living Allowance (COLA).  Current COLA rate for the U.S. Virgin Islands is 12.45 %.  The COLA is not subject to federal or territorial taxation.   In addition to accrual of annual leave and sick leave benefits, United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) employees hired from outside the Territory may be eligible to accrue five days of home leave each year after two years of continuous service in the district.

Duties and Responsibilities

Each AUSA position will have some degree of concentration but will also have significant opportunities to handle a variety of criminal prosecutions.  We seek one AUSA who will focus primarily on public corruption, civil rights and fraud offenses; one AUSA who will focus on child exploitation and human trafficking crimes; and multiple AUSAs who will focus on drugs, firearms and violent crime offenses.  Our District criminal practice is unique because the USAO may also charge Virgin Islands Territorial crimes such as murder, rape and firearm offenses when they are related to other charged federal offenses.  While we do offer some degree of specialization in our criminal practice, the successful candidate may also handle a range of criminal cases as needed to address the District's priorities.  In addition to developing investigations and cases, AUSAs will also have an opportunity to handle appeals on occasion. 

A successful prosecutor must possess a restrained, professional temperament and sound judgment, and must have the legal acumen, skills and flexibility to work on a range of cases with support from colleagues and co-counsel, after receiving appropriate training. Above all, a successful candidate must have a commitment to seek and do justice, to vigorously use the authority of the United States Attorney's Office to protect the public while simultaneously respecting and protecting the rights of defendants.

Qualifications

Conditions of Employment

• You must be a United States Citizen or National.

•  Background Investigation, including credit and tax checks and drug testing are required. An initial appointment is conditioned upon a satisfactory preemployment screening that includes drug testing and fingerprint, credit and tax checks, and.  Continued employment is subject to a favorable adjudication of a background investigation. Upon successful adjudication of the background investigation, AUSAs enter a two-year probationary period during which their performance and fitness for federal service are assessed.

• You must be registered for Selective Service, if applicable.

  • A J.D. Degree is required. 
  • Active membership in any state or territorial bar association is required.
  • Applicants must meet all qualification requirements as of the closing date of this announcement.

Education

Applicants must possess a J.D. Degree.

Preferred Qualifications

The preferred candidate will have at least 5-years of prior experience in Federal and/or state prosecutions and the capacity to function independently in a highly demanding environment. Candidates must demonstrate an analytical ability and aptitude for accurately articulating the critical issues in a case. Candidates must also demonstrate superior oral and writing skills, as well as strong research and interpersonal skills. Candidates must possess excellent communication and courtroom skills and exhibit the ability to work in a supportive and professional manner with other attorneys, support staff and investigative agencies. Candidates must also possess excellent computer literacy skills, to include experience with automated legal research, writing and electronic court filing. Expertise in grand jury practice is also required, as is experience with investigative and prosecution techniques.

Application Process

Required Documents

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). (cover letter optional).
  • Required- You must provide a writing sample.
  • 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 District of Virgin Islands who can be reached at 340-715-9436 or Anthony.Fontaine@usdoj.gov

Salary

$76,440.00 (AD-25) to $173,189.00 (AD-29) per year (Base Pay plus 16.2% Locality Pay)

Number of Positions
1
Travel
You may be expected to travel for this position.
Relocation Expenses
Relocation Incentive may or may 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, https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/working-in-government/non-citizens/). 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, www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/SF15.pdf 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 November 7, 2022