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Legal Careers

Attorney

Hiring Organization
USAO Eastern District of Michigan
Hiring Office
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY’S OFFICE EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
Job ID
Vacancy # FY-2023-MIE-01-Civil
Location:
211 West Fort Street, Suite 2001
Detroit, MI 48226 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) has jurisdiction and responsibility in a broad range of areas, all of which involve representing the legal interests of the federal government in a court of law. The Eastern District of Michigan consists of 34 counties in the eastern half of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula and employs approximately 118 Assistant United States Attorneys. For attorney positions, the office has a Criminal Division, Civil Division, Appellate Division, and Branch Offices.

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

An appointment with the U.S. Attorney’s Office offers unique and challenging experiences for the highly motivated attorney. Serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) and assigned to the Civil Division, you will be part of a dedicated team helping to enforce federal civil laws that protect life, liberty, and property of citizens. The Civil Division consists of three units: Affirmative Litigation which investigates and prosecutes various forms of fraud, diversion of controlled substances, and other violations of federal law; Defensive Litigation which defends the interests of the United States from suits alleging statutory torts, constitutional torts, employment discrimination, and a myriad of other claims; and Civil Rights, which seeks to uphold the civil and constitutional rights of all persons, particularly some of the most vulnerable members of our society.

The United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan is seeking an experienced attorney to represent the Federal government’s interests in Chapter 7, 11, 9, 12, and 13 cases filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. This AUSA will represent the United States and all of its various agencies in all bankruptcy proceedings including contested matters such as objections to claims, confirmation hearings, and adversary proceedings (in both affirmative and defensive postures).

As part of this role, the selected candidate will have primary responsibility for handling all aspects of bankruptcy investigations and cases, including gathering evidence, taking testimony, researching the law, drafting pleadings, and appearing in court at hearings and trials. The attorney must have a very strong ability to analyze complex legal and factual issues, write clearly and persuasively, possess a strong work ethic, exhibit good organizational skills, exercise fair and sound judgment, pay careful attention to facts and details, work well both independently and on a team, be ready and willing to volunteer to help other attorneys, be able to negotiate fairly and effectively with opposing counsel, handle matters in court persuasively on behalf of the United States of America, and be devoted to justice, excellence, and representing the public. Experience within the bankruptcy context is strongly desired, as is an understanding of Federal tax law. 

The selected candidate may be assigned to any of the Civil Division units and, as a secondary role, may have the opportunity to work collaboratively with other AUSAs within the assigned unit to pursue the office’s mission in a variety of contexts.

Qualifications

Required Qualifications: Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction) and have at least two years of post-J.D. experience. United States citizenship is required.

Preferred Qualifications: Hiring for AUSA positions within the USAO is highly competitive. The USAO seeks a diverse complement of lawyers with a wide range of exceptional skills and experience, unified by keen intelligence and sincere commitment to public interest. Litigation experience, superior academic record, excellent writing skills, impeccable character, demonstrated interest in public service, courtroom presence, and the ability to work with and relate to a wide variety of people are all taken into account. Most attorneys hired have several years of experience, although highly qualified recent graduates with some experience in practice or as a judicial clerk are also considered.

Civil AUSAs must serve as effective and dedicated advocates for the government's interests, timely and efficiently pursue the just resolution of their assigned cases, and make sound and legally supportable decisions toward those ends. Attorneys must possess the foresight and organizational and legal skills needed to manage a large and diverse caseload that involves lengthy and difficult litigation. They must be able to identify the relevant legal and factual issues in their assigned cases, and to develop and implement effective strategies for all proceedings in those cases.  They must be able to work well with their colleagues, supervisors, support staff, and other participants in litigation such as court personnel, opposing counsel and parties, agency counsel, and witnesses. They must have strong legal research skills, be able to produce high quality written work even under short deadlines, and be persuasive oral advocates. Newly-hired civil AUSAs are expected to quickly develop subject matter expertise in all areas in which the Civil Division regularly practices, and to possess or rapidly acquire expert-level knowledge of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, and the Federal Rules of Evidence.

Other Benefits: The Department of Justice offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation; sick leave; holidays; telework; life insurance; health benefits; and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. This link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered to Federal employees: https://help.usajobs.gov/index.php/Pay_and_Benefits.

Application Process

Applications for this vacancy will be accepted through December 23, 2022. Applicants are evaluated by the Hiring Committee on the basis of such factors as academic performance, trial experience, research and writing ability, oral communication skills, and other legal and community service and experience.

Interested persons should provide the following information:

  1. A cover letter, which must include the vacancy number listed above and the date;
  2. A detailed resume;
  3. One writing sample that, preferably, does not exceed 15 pages. It should be sufficiently complex to highlight your analytical skills. The sample should be primarily your own writing and editing, and it should be as recent as possible.
  4. A completed questionnaire (See attached)

Please send these materials as a single attachment (PDF preferred) via email to USAMIE.HIRE@USDOJ.GOV. The preferred method for applying is by email, but you may apply through the mail by sending the materials to:

Julie A. Beck

First Assistant U.S. Attorney

Eastern District of Michigan

211 W. Fort Street, Suite 2001

Detroit, MI 48226

Please use only one method of application (email or traditional mail), and do not send multiple applications. Applications must be received or postmarked by December 23, 2022.

Special note to criminal defense attorneys: Due to actual or perceived conflicts of interest, any criminal defense attorney seeking to apply to the office must obtain written waivers of the actual or perceived conflict of interest from all criminal defendants (whether those individuals have been charged or not) whom the lawyer represents.

For additional information regarding application procedures for AUSA positions, please direct e-mail inquiries to: USAMIE.HIRE@USDOJ.GOV.

Security Requirements: Initial appointment is conditioned upon a satisfactory preemployment adjudication. This includes fingerprint, credit and tax checks, and drug testing. In addition, continued employment is subject to a favorable adjudication of a background investigation.

Selective Service: If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law. See www.sss.gov.

Internet Sites: The home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Michigan, may be accessed at: http://www.justice.gov/usao/mie/index.html

Announcements for other DOJ attorney vacancies may be viewed at: http://www.justice.gov/careers/legal/attvacancies.html    

Salary

The range of starting pay (including locality differential applicable to the USAO, Eastern District of Michigan’s Detroit duty station) is $72,858 to $176,200.

Number of Positions
Few, As needed, additional positions may be filled using this announcement.
Travel
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, 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 28, 2022