Office of Legal Counsel
950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20011
United States
About the Office: 

By delegation from the Attorney General, the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) provides legal advice to the President and all executive branch agencies. The Office drafts legal opinions of the Attorney General and provides its own written opinions and other advice in response to requests from the Counsel to the President, the various agencies of the Executive Branch, and other components of the Department of Justice. Such requests typically deal with legal issues of particular complexity and importance or those about which two or more agencies disagree. The Office is also responsible for reviewing and commenting on the constitutionality of pending legislation.

All executive orders and substantive proclamations proposed to be issued by the President are reviewed by OLC for form and legality, as are various other matters that require the President’s formal approval.

The Office reviews all proposed orders of the Attorney General and regulations requiring the Attorney General’s approval. It also performs a variety of special assignments referred by the Attorney General or the Deputy Attorney General.

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

The Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice, is seeking highly qualified attorneys to serve as Attorney-Advisers in Washington, D.C. The Office’s principal function is to assist the Attorney General in fulfilling the role of legal adviser to the President and Executive Branch agencies.  For more information, please visit OLC’s internet website,


OLC’s responsibilities include the following:


  • Advising the Attorney General, the White House Counsel, all executive departments and agencies, and the various components of the Department of Justice on constitutional and statutory matters;


  • Resolving legal disputes within the Executive Branch through the issuance of authoritative legal opinions;


  • Reviewing for constitutionality proposed legislation; and


  • Reviewing for form and legality all executive orders and substantive proclamations and memoranda proposed to be issued by the President as well as all Attorney General Orders and regulations.

 Applicants must have a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction), and have at least one year of post-J.D. legal experience. OLC is highly selective in its hiring because OLC attorneys handle some of the most difficult and important legal issues confronting the Executive Branch. The ideal candidate would have exceptional academic credentials, a judicial clerkship or comparable experience, a strong background in constitutional law, outstanding legal research and writing skills, and the ability to obtain a Top Secret security clearance.



GS-905-13 to 15; $99,172 - $166,500 (Salary as listed includes locality pay.)
Minimal travel required.
Application Process: 

Applicants must submit (via mail, email or fax): 1) a resume; 2) a cover letter addressing the qualifications listed above; 3) a writing sample; 4) law school transcript; and 5) a copy of your most recent performance rating (if applicable).  Please submit via the mailing address, email, or fax number noted below.


Dyone Mitchell

Office of Legal Counsel

U.S. Department of Justice

950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Room 5218

Washington, D.C. 20530

FAX:  202-514-0563

No telephone calls please.





Application Deadline: 
Monday, September 16, 2019
Relocation Expenses: 
Number of Positions: 
up to 3 vacancies
Updated August 9, 2019

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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, protected genetic information, pregnancy, status as a parent, or any other nonmerit-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 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.