Office of Chief Counsel
Phoenix, AZ 85004
United States
About the Office: 

ATF is a unique law enforcement agency in the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) that protects our communities from acts of terrorism, violent criminals, criminal organizations, the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, the illegal use and storage of explosives, acts of arson, and the illegal diversion of alcohol and tobacco products. We partner with communities, industries, law enforcement, and public safety agencies to safeguard the public we serve through information sharing, training, research, and use of technology.

This position is located in the Office of the Chief Counsel (CC), West Region in Phoenix, AZ. This position functions as a legal advisor assigned to the Associate Chief Counsel (West Region) and handles a wide range of legal issues within the division. The office legal work involves responsibility for a wide range of legal issues and matters arising from the ATF Field Division.

Job Description: 

Prepares advisory opinions on a variety of questions presented by the Special Agent in Charge (SAC), Director of Industry Operations (DIO), and Associate Chief Counsel (West Region). This requires research and analysis of legal matters such as the seizure and forfeiture of property; offers in compromise; the issuance, suspension, denial, and revocation of licenses and permits; and violations of criminal provisions of Federal law relating to alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives. These assignments usually involve complicated facts and require the review and analysis of inspection reports or investigation reports and other documents submitted with the request for a legal opinion.

Handle cases involving possible litigation in connection with alcohol, tobacco, explosives and firearms matters. Reviews and analyzes investigation reports to determine whether or not the facts constitute violations of the law and regulations and to determine the procedure to be followed; and prepares a memorandum advising as to the action that should be taken on the case. When cases are related to permit or license matters that are adjudicated before administrative law judges or hearing officers, the attorney represents the Bureau at the hearing. Cases that are tried by the Department of Justice, such as criminal violation cases, the attorney may, upon request of the U.S. Attorney, assist at the trial and settlement thereof.

The attorney provides advice and recommendations to Bureau officials on a wide range of complex legal problems, including constitutional law issues, criminal law and procedure, administrative law and asset forfeiture.

The attorney also provides assistance to the United States Attorneys in connection with civil and criminal cases involving ATF. He/she also assists field division personnel by responding to inquiries from members of the explosives and firearms industries and attends conferences and seminars with industry groups.

This is an excepted service position.

$101,409 to $161,900
Occasional travel - Infrequent domestic travel may be required.
Application Process: 
Application Deadline: 
Friday, February 23, 2018
Relocation Expenses: 
May be provided
Number of Positions: 
Updated February 13, 2018

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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 color, race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, marital status, disability (physical or mental), age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as a parent, membership or non-membership in an employee organization, on the basis of personal favoritism, or any other non-merit 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.

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 his  or her retirement was due to a permanent service-connected disability or that he/she was transferred to the permanent disability retired list (the statement or retirement orders must indicate that the disability is 10% or more).


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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.