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Legal Careers

Assistant United States Attorney - National Security Section

Hiring Organization
USAO District of Columbia
Hiring Office
United States Attorney's Office - District of Columbia
Job ID
20-DC- 10916796-AUSA
555 Fourth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

If you are looking for an exciting and challenging career, this is the position for you!  With a diverse and talented workforce of over 100,000 men and women, Justice leads the Nation in ensuring the protection of all Americans while preserving their constitutional freedoms.  You will be part of a dedicated team helping to enforce Federal criminal and civil laws that protect life, liberty and the property of citizens.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia is ideally situated among three Metro stations, one block from the Capital One Arena, a short walk to the Smithsonian museums on the Mall, and is surrounded by numerous restaurants and shops.  In addition, we offer creative work solutions in which we provide Alternate Work Schedules, (AWS), flexible work schedules, along with transit subsidy.

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 National Security Section of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia is seeking one or more experienced prosecutors to serve as a senior Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA), with the experience necessary to lead complex and challenging national security investigations and serve as first-chair in trials arising from those investigations.

The mission of the Section is to investigate and prosecute criminal activity that threatens our nation's security. The types of matters that the Section handles include: (1) international terrorism, (2) domestic terrorism, (3) espionage, (4) export control and sanctions violations, (5) malign foreign influence, (6) economic espionage, (7) unauthorized disclosure of classified national defense information and (8) cyber offenses targeted at the U.S. government and/or perpetrated by those connected to state actors or terrorist organizations. The Section's Threat Finance Unit works closely with law enforcement, the intelligence community, and various regulators to use all tools - including criminal prosecutions, criminal forfeiture, civil forfeiture, economic sanctions and trade sanctions - to seize, forfeit, and disrupt funds and assets supporting sanctioned regimes, terrorists, and other individuals and groups that pose a threat to our national security.

AUSAs in the National Security Section (NSS) works closely with virtually all federal law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Commerce, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Secret Service, the U.S. Capitol Police, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Diplomatic Security Service. We also coordinate our efforts with the Intelligence Community, the Department of Defense, the Department of State, various U.S. Embassies overseas, and our foreign counterparts in law enforcement and prosecution. NSS attorneys typically work on matters in coordination with attorneys from the Department of Justice's National Security Division and attorneys from the Department's Office of International Affairs.

AUSAs in the National Security Section are expected to:

  • Be familiar with and have experience prosecuting violations of national security offenses within the Section's area of responsibility
  • Possess experience handling classified information, working with the U.S. Intelligence Community, and litigation issues under the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA);
  • Be familiar with all forms of federal criminal process and be able to obtain search warrants and other forms of criminal legal process in an efficient manner;
  • Advise federal law enforcement agents in the planning and execution of long-term national security investigations, as well as more exigent matters;
  • Conduct federal grand jury investigations;
  • Work with witnesses and victims during investigations, grand jury testimony, and trial testimony;
  • Draft charging documents, such as criminal complaints and indictments and civil forfeiture complaints, in cases that arise out of both long-term investigations and more exigent situations;
  • Be able to work well within a prosecution team setting that includes other prosecutors, law enforcement agents, and support staff;
  • Coordinate with law enforcement partners, Department of Justice components, other Federal departments and agencies, the U.S. Intelligence Community, and foreign partners, as needed, throughout the investigation and prosecution of National Security cases and matters;
  • Produce polished written products, including internal memoranda and court-filed briefs, often under tight time pressure, that effectively and persuasively summarize and analyze relevant facts and law;
  • Effectively represent the United States in regular court appearances, including preliminary and detention hearings, motions hearings, trials, plea hearings, and sentencings;
  • Be familiar with and comply with the government's discovery obligations in criminal cases, as well as all ethical rules;
  • Engage in effective negotiations with defense counsel, including to resolve cases through a plea disposition; and
  • Regularly report to National Security Section and Criminal Division supervisors.

Required Qualifications:Applicants must possess a J.D. degree; be an active member of the bar (any U.S. jurisdiction); and have at least 3 years post-J.D. legal experience.

Applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of the announcement.

Applicants must be able to obtain and maintain a TS/SCI security clearance.

A four-year commitment is required.

Preferred Qualifications: The ideal candidate will have significant prior experience prosecuting national security cases, working with the U.S. Intelligence Community, and litigating issues under CIPA. A successful candidate is expected to have at least three years experience as a prosecutor; outstanding legal ability, high moral character, mature judgment, a keen desire for public service, and an exceptional aptitude for litigation.

Read more about the Assistant U.S. Attorney position in the Criminal Division, National Security Section, at

Selections are made of the most highly qualified attorneys who apply, without regard to race, sex, religion, creed, color, national origin, handicap, age, marital status, gender identify, sexual orientation, or political affiliation. Significant prior criminal and/or civil ligation experience is preferred.

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

Application Process

To apply for this position, you must complete the occupational questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section below.

The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on 09/24/2020 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.)

3. To verify your application is complete, log into your USAJOBS account,, select the Application Status link and then select the more information link for this position. The Details page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process.

To return to an incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USAJOBS account or your application will be incomplete.

You are encouraged to apply online. Applying online will allow you to review and track the status of your application. However, should you not be able to apply online, please contact District of Columbia at 202-252-7812 or email at, prior to the closing date of this announcement to request an alternate method of applying.


Assistant United States Attorney's pay is administratively determined based, in part, on the number of years of professional attorney experience. The range of basic pay is $77,392 to $170,700, which includes 30.48% locality pay.

Number of Positions
One or more
Domestic and international travel is required, sometimes on short notice.
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 September 18, 2020