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Attorney Advisor

450 5th Street, N.W.
Suite 10200
Washington, DC 20530
United States
About the Office: 

The Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management (OARM) at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is a mission-driven office that sets policy and advises DOJ officials at the highest levels on issues affecting attorney and law student personnel. With over 11,000 attorneys employed at DOJ and roughly 3,000 law student interns hired each year, OARM serves as the primary resource both within and outside the Department on policy related to law student and attorney employment, including appointments, suitability  determinations, recruitment, outreach and inclusion, and separation.

OARM is a small, collegial, and customer-focused team that is looking for an Attorney Advisor with the ability to manage a heavy caseload and competing priorities. 

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.  We welcome candidates who appreciate a cooperative, friendly work environment to apply.

This position is located in Washington, D.C. and the office is conveniently located near three metro stations: Judiciary Square, Gallery Place, and Navy Archives.

Job Description: 

The Attorney Advisor will work under the guidance and direction of the Deputy Director for Operations and will work closely with other attorneys and human resources coordinators.  The Attorney Advisor will review requests for initial attorney and law student appointments, and attorney background investigations conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in order to make determinations regarding suitability for employment with DOJ.  The incumbent will also develop and implement DOJ policy regarding attorney personnel matters, and research and write decisions in attorney discipline matters.

The Attorney Advisor will review sensitive information and make recommendations that often carry significant impact. This requires a high level of integrity, professionalism and discretion.

The Attorney Advisor will:

  • Provide advice and guidance to Department officials within the components, U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, and at the highest levels of the Department on attorney and law student suitability and policy affecting attorney and law student personnel; 
  • Answer questions related to the background investigation and suitability review process from both internal and external Department constituents;
  • Prepare memoranda on personnel-related legal issues;
  • Review existing policies for compliance with statutes and regulations, make recommendations to management, and draft new policy;
  • Represent the office at meetings and make presentations; and
  • Be an idea generator and perform other duties as assigned.

We welcome candidates who possess the skills to execute a wide range of projects and who can develop creative approaches to issues.  An ideal candidate will have a proven record of excellent judgment, the willingness to solve problems and be collaborative, and demonstrate maturity, discretion, diplomacy, and adaptability in approaching their work.  Strong communication and writing skills are also critical to the position.  A good fit for the role will be someone who relishes opportunities to take initiative and develop new ways to solve problems.


Applicants must have a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any U.S. jurisdiction), and have at least 1 year post-J.D. legal or other relevant experience.  The ideal candidate will have 2-5 years of experience.        

The successful candidate must be a team player and have excellent judgment, attention to detail, strong interpersonal skills, discretion, and solid organizational skills.  The incumbent must also have the ability to make well-reasoned decisions in short time frames consistent with Department policy and precedent, be an excellent communicator both orally and in writing, provide exceptional customer service, and be capable of handling multiple matters at one time.  The nature of the work requires the ability to take initiative, collaborate, and work independently as needed when managing the workload.  Experience with decisional writing and knowledge of federal employment law is a plus.

Salary will be commensurate with the selected candidate’s qualifications and experience, ranging from GS-12 through GS-14 with promotion potential to a GS-15.
Application Process: 

Applicants must submit a resume and cover letter that discusses their interest in the position, and addresses the characteristics and qualifications they believe would make them a good match for the position. Application materials should be submitted via email to Eleanor Carpenter, Deputy Director, at OARMposition@usdoj.govApplications for this position must be received by April 6, 2018. 

Questions about the position should be directed to Rena Cervoni, Deputy Director, at Rena.J.Cervoni@usdoj.gov.

Application Deadline: 
Friday, April 6, 2018
Relocation Expenses: 
Relocation expenses will not be authorized.
Number of Positions: 
Updated March 19, 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 targeted/severe disabilities are encouraged to register for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Shared List of People with Disabilities (the Bender Disability Employment Registry) by submitting their resume to resume@benderconsult.com and referencing "Federal Career Opportunities" in the subject line.  Additional information about the Bender Registry is available at www.benderconsult.com.  Individuals with disabilities may also contact one of the Department’s Disability Points of Contact (DPOC).  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 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.