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Legal Careers

Assistant United States Attorney (Criminal)

Hiring Organization
USAO Western District of Tennessee
Job ID
167 N. Main Street, Suite 800
Memphis, TN 38103 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The United States Attorneys' Offices prosecute federal criminal offenses and represent the interests of the United States in civil and criminal cases. The United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Tennessee serves 22 counties in West Tennessee spanning 11,331 square miles. The office employs over 70 individuals with 35 attorneys assigned to the Memphis office, four attorneys assigned to the Jackson Branch office, and 37 support staff. Our office is large enough to enjoy a wide variety of case assignments and small enough to be collegial and collaborative. We place a high value on diversity of experience and cultural perspective. We encourage applications from trial attorneys from all ethnic groups, all genders, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. Our headquarters office is located in Memphis, with a staffed branch office in Jackson, TN. This position is located at the main office in Memphis, TN.

Our Criminal Division investigates and prosecutes federal cases arising from a wide array of criminal activity.

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 Western District of Tennessee has an opening for Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) to be filled in the Criminal Division.

Working in the Criminal Division, the AUSA will be part of a dedicated team helping to enforce Federal criminal laws and prepare appeals. This attorney will prosecute a wide variety of federal criminal cases, including fraud, immigration, public corruption, money laundering, violent crimes, white collar, firearms, gang prosecutions and environmental crimes.

Type of Position:

This is a permanent position. However, all initial attorney appointments to the Department of Justice are made on a 14 month (temporary) basis pending favorable adjudication of a background investigation.


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 post-J.D. legal or other relevant experience.

United States citizenship is required.

Preferred Qualifications: Ideally, applicants will have one to three years of experience litigating cases in federal court or similar relevant experience, with responsibility for all aspects of discovery, pretrial hearings, trials, and appeals. The ideal applicant will also have some appellate writing and oral advocacy experience, and a demonstrated ability to work well with others, from support personnel to supervisors. Applicants must be flexible and willing to learn new areas of the law, forthright and diplomatic in dealing with client agencies and the court, and dedicated to public service by way of a commitment to representing the United States.

Applicants must demonstrate superior written and oral communication skills. They must be able to define and articulate critical issues in a wide variety of cases and areas of law. Applicants must be able to manage a caseload composed of very different kinds of cases with correspondingly different demands and deadlines. Applicants must be self-starters, willing and able to conduct their own legal research and writing, be substantially self-sufficient in managing cases and deadlines, preparing day-to-day correspondence and filings, and using computer programs and systems (CM/ECF, word processing, Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, etc.).

Application Process

To apply for this position, you must create a USAJOBS account or log in to your existing account. Complete the occupational questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the announcement. The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on August 21, 2015 to receive consideration.

1. To begin, click Apply Online to create a USAJOBS account or log in to your existing account. Follow the prompts to select your USAJOBS resume and/or other supporting documents and complete the occupational questionnaire.

2. Click the Submit My Answers button to submit your application package. (It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation are submitted prior to the closing date.) Required documents and information:

• Cover letter that highlights interest in the position and addresses in detail how the applicant meets the qualifications;
• Resume;
• Summary of litigation experience, including the number and types of cases handled and tried;
• Writing sample; and
• References.

No telephone calls please. To receive consideration for this vacancy, applications/resumes must be submitted by 8-21-2015.


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 $45,477 to $134,177 plus 14.16% locality pay.

Number of Positions
One or more positions may be filled from this announcement.
Occasional travel may be required.
Relocation Expenses
Relocation expenses will 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, 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.

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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 April 7, 2016