Assistant United States Attorney (DTVC)

United States
About the Office: 

The United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania (USAO-PAW) is an energetic and collegial office of 131 employees and contractors which prosecutes federal offenses, defends the United States Government’s interests, and affirmatively pursues claims on behalf of the government, representing the United States in all criminal prosecutions, and civil and appellate litigation in the Western District of Pennsylvania.  The Western District of Pennsylvania consists of 25 counties in the western part of the state with offices in Pittsburgh, Erie, and Johnstown.  The USAO-PAW strives to provide an inclusive, rewarding work environment for employees of all backgrounds.  Additional information about the District can be found on our website at

The United States Attorneys’ Offices (USAO)/Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) is a great place to work.  The USAO/EOUSA ranked #152 out of 432 agency subcomponents in a study, "The Best Places to Work in the Federal Government, 2022 Ratings" published by the Partnership for Public Service.

Our office places a high value on diversity of experiences and perspectives and encourages applications from all qualified individuals from all ethnic and racial backgrounds, veterans, LGBT individuals, and persons with disabilities.

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 United States Attorney’s Office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is seeking applications from experienced attorneys to fill two Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) vacancies focused on confronting and curtailing domestic terrorism and violent crime.  The attorneys selected will handle a wide range of criminal cases, including firearms, explosives, weapons of mass destruction, threats of violence, drug trafficking, extortion and robberies, domestic violence, arson, and other violent offenses.

Combatting domestic terrorism involves investigation, disruption, and prosecution of violent criminal acts undertaken in furtherance of ideological goals.  These offenses include hate crimes and/or threats or conspiracies to engage in violent criminal activity and which are motivated by an intent to coerce, intimidate, or retaliate against a government or a targeted civilian population.

Efforts to prosecute violent crime cases are commonly a starting point for addressing domestic terrorism and domestic violent extremism; domestic terrorism prosecutions are often predicated on violent crime offenses since there is no specific federal domestic terrorism statute.  The selectees will be responsible for prosecuting both domestic terrorism-related and other violent crime offenses.

The selectees may also assist with the prosecution of a variety of other federal criminal offenses, including organized crime and drug trafficking, cybercrime, and crimes involving child exploitation. 

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

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

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


Required Qualifications:
Applicants must have a J.D. degree and at least three years of post-J.D. 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 handling court proceedings.

Applicants must be duly licensed and authorized to practice as an attorney under the laws of a State, Territory, or the District of Columbia. Bar membership documents must be submitted to show active status.

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 qualification requirements upon the closing date of this announcement.

Preferred Qualifications:
The ideal candidate will possess outstanding litigation skills. Experience litigating criminal cases in federal, or state court is desirable. Ideal qualifications include at least three to eight years of post-J.D. litigation experience, including experience handling a variety of complex criminal matters, first-chair federal trial experience, strong academics, outstanding organizational skills, superior legal writing and research ability, and a demonstrated commitment to professionalism, ethics, civility, and public service.

Applicant must demonstrate a quick analytical ability and the facility to articulate the critical issues accurately and precisely in a case. Applicants must demonstrate superior oral advocacy and writing skills, as well as strong research and interpersonal skills, and good judgment. Applicants must have a demonstrated capacity to function, with minimal guidance, in a highly demanding environment while balancing a high case load, which often requires night and weekend work. Excellent computer literacy skills are also necessary.

$63,734 to $155,155 plus locality.
Travel for cases or 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 posted in the vacancy announcement.  Once your complete application package is received, it will be reviewed to ensure you meet all requirements and qualifications.  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 be sent to applicants.

Documents should be addressed to our First Assistant United States Attorney, Troy Rivetti.

The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) September 22, 2023 on USAJobs to receive consideration. Applications will only be accepted through the USAJobs system at  Resumes will not be  accepted  by email, fax, or regular mail.

You must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

Required: your responses to the Occupational Questionnaire (online at USAJobs).

Required: Your resume showing relevant experience and dates of employment (include month/year), AND the Location and Month/Year of your J.D. Degree, AND the Jurisdiction Month/Year of your bar exam.

Required: Proof of active bar membership under the laws of a State, Territory, or the District of Columbia. This could be a copy of a bar card, certificate of good standing, or screenshot of the appropriate bar or disciplinary board website showing active status and dates.

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 must indicate your preference   in response to the appropriate question in your assessment questionnaire, and you must submit the appropriate complete supporting documentation (DD-214, Veterans Administration Letter, etc.) as outlined in the veterans’ preference section.  It is also recommended that you include veterans' preference information in your cover letter or resume.

Optional but encouraged:  Cover letter preferred.  Documents should be addressed to the First Assistant U.S. Attorney as outlined above.

1. To begin, click Apply Online to create a USAJOBS account or log in to your existing account.  You can find this announcement at

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 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.

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, September 22, 2023
Relocation Expenses: 
Relocation Expenses will not be paid.
Number of Positions: 
2 or more
Updated September 1, 2023

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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.