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Legal Careers


Hiring Organization
USAO District of Montana
Hiring Office
Criminal Division
Job ID
Billings, MT - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Montana is considered a medium-sized district and has offices located in Billings, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, and Missoula. The Criminal Division prosecutes a wide range of federal cases  involving child exploitation/child pornography, human trafficking, organized crime, terrorism, complex securities and fraud cases, international narcotics, health care fraud, and public corruption. The District also prosecutes in federal  court those violent crime cases which occur on Native American Reservations. These cases include white collar, assault, burglary, drugs, sexual assault, and homicide. AUSAs assigned to the reservations act as a liaison between the  reservation(s) and the United States Attorney. The Civil Division prosecutes and defends every conceivable variety of affirmative and defensive cases filed in the District of Montana, at both the trial and appellate levels, involving matters
such as health care, civil rights, environmental, false claims, immigration matters, all varieties of tort and discriminatory claims against the sovereign, the internet, telecommunications, energy policies, and First Amendment  issues.  AUSAs are assigned to a unit within either the criminal or civil divisions in one of the 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

The District prosecutes a full range of federal criminal cases. The casework for this position would entail the investigation and prosecution of matters ranging from child exploitation/child pornography, drug crimes, violent crimes,  including firearms offenses, organized crime, criminal immigration matters, economic crimes, and general crimes. The casework will have an emphasis on violent crime and domestic terrorism offenses.  The qualified applicant would be expected to: (a) assist federal law enforcement agents in structuring and implementing criminal investigative plans and strategies; (b) actively participate in grand jury proceedings, including the presentation of witnesses before the  grand jury; (c) litigate cases of moderate to high complexity from start to finish with limited supervision; and (d) write and argue his or her own appeals in addition to assisting in the drafting, editing, and arguing of other appeals as  assigned.

Responsibilities will increase and assignments will become more complex as your training and experience progress.


Applicants must possess a J.D. Degree, be an active member of the bar (any U.S. jurisdiction), and have at least one year of post-J.D. or other relevant experience. United States citizenship is required.

Preferred Qualifications:
Hiring for AUSA positions is highly competitive. The ideal candidate will have:

  • Superior oral and writing skills as well as strong research and interpersonal skills, and good judgment;
  • Excellent communication and courtroom skills;
  • The ability to work in a supportive and professional manner with other attorneys, support staff, and clientagencies;
  • A demonstrated capacity to function, with minimal guidance, in a highly demanding environment;
  • Excellent computer literacy skills, including experience with automated electronic court filing.
Application Process

You must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

  • Required - Your resume showing relevant experience and dates of employment (include month/year). date J.D.was awarded (include month/year), and date of Bar Admission (include month/year).
  • Highly Recommended - A cover letter expressing your interest in the position as well as your interest inrelocating to Montana, if not currently a resident.
  • Highly Recommended - A writing sample.
  • Required, if applicable - To get Veterans' Preference, you must submit the appropriate supporting documentation. It is also recommended that you include veterans' preference information in your cover letter or resume.

Candidates should submit their application package to:

Applicants without access to e-mail may mail their application materials to the following address:

United States Attorney's Office
Attn: Michelle Gomez
901 Front Street, Suite 1100
Helena, MT 59626

Please indicate which vacancy announcement you are applying to.  Applicants are responsible for ensuring their application materials are received in the USAO, District of Montana, before the deadline.  

No phone calls please.  


AUSA pay is administratively determined based, in part, on the number of years of professional attorney experience. The range of annual pay is $69,107 to $162,148, which includes 16.50% locality pay.

Number of Positions
Some travel will be required. AUSA's can expect to travel 1-5 nights per month.
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 May 16, 2023