Attorney Advisor

Office of Chief Counsel
Washington, D.C., DC 20226
United States
About the Office: 

The Staff Attorney in the Office of Chief Counsel (CC), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Department of Justice (DOJ). The Staff Attorney assigned to the Associate Chief Counsel, Law and Policy Division and primarily provides legal advice to ATF officials in the area of general criminal law matters and matters involving disclosure and/or protection of information.

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: 

Developing legal analysis and providing advice on cases that legal opinions in the areas of law including general criminal law matters (e.g., search and seizure, Title III electronic surveillance, cybercrime and computer forensics, informant and undercover issues, diversion of alcohol and tobacco products), and all matters involving disclosure and/or protection of information (e.g., the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, disclosures of information in legal proceedings in which the United States is not a party (Touhy requests), mandatory disclosures in criminal proceedings (Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 16, the Jencks Act, Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b), the Brady/Giglio line of cases), improper disclosures of personally identifiable information, nondisclosure of confidential tax information).

The attorney will also coordinate and handle legal work in connection with the investigation of online crimes including expert legal advice on: Internet-based investigative activity to identify violators of criminal and regulatory statues under ATF's jurisdictional mandate on gun violence, firearms, explosives, arson, tobacco or alcohol; and internet-based undercover operations, search warrants, court orders and subpoenas.


Conditions of Employment

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen.
  • Suitable for Federal employment determined by background investigation.
  • Must be registered or exempt from the Selective Service. See
  • May be requested to serve a one year probationary period.
  • Must successfully complete a background security investigation.
  • A Financial Disclosure Form maybe required.

The time-in-grade requirement must be met by the closing date of this announcement.  The qualification requirements listed below must be met by the closing date of the announcement.

Must provide a writing sample (no more than 15 pages)

MOBILITY PLAN:  New employees hired pursuant to this vacancy announcement must sign a mobility agreement.  The purpose of ATF’s mobility policy is to enhance career development and progression, and achieve mission and business effectiveness.  To accomplish these objectives, the mobility plan will facilitate the movement of employees through special short-term assignments or permanent reassignments throughout the Bureau. Applicants who decline to sign a mobility agreement, as required, will be removed from the hiring process.



GS-13: All applicants must have three years as a practicing attorney; extensive understanding and knowledge of laws and regulations relating to area of general criminal law matters and matters involving disclosure and/or protection of information; and have the ability to apply this knowledge to conducting research and develop advisory documents. Must have superior communications, analytical and writing skills.

GS-14: In addition to the requirements of the GS-13, applicants must have five years as a practicing attorney; experience advising senior management officials in the area of general criminal internet investigations; and matters involving disclosure and/or protection of information. Attorney must also have experience working with issues related to the specialized experience that includes a high degree of difficulty and importance, including independently exercising responsibility for the provision of legal advice.

GS-15: In addition to the requirements of the GS-14, applicants must have six years as a practicing attorney and experience with the duties and responsibilities of the position. The attorney also serves as lead attorney on extremely complex legal issues where there is little or no precedent, such as matters involving digital/virtual currency and virtual evidence. This includes laws and policies on capturing and maintaining digital evidence. The specialized experience must include providing legal advice in connection to internet-based crimes and electronic evidence matters.


Applicants must possess a J.D. degree and be an active member in good standing of the bar of any state or territory, or the District of Columbia.

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.


Applicants will be rated on the extent and quality of their experience, education and training relative to the duties of the position. The applicant must specially address their qualifications and experience in their resumes to be considered qualified for each grade.

Specialized Experience is experience which is in or directly related to the line of work of this position and which has equipped the applicant with particular knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position:

  1. Demonstration of original thinking, mature judgment, and sound reasoning are continually required as new problems of law, policy and procedures are presented for solution.
  2. Demonstrated ability to provide legal advice on the laws enforced by ATF, including the Gun Control Act, the National Firearms Act, and the Federal laws related to arson and explosives.
  3. Demonstrated ability to provide legal guidance and advice on matters of general criminal law (e.g., laws governing search and seizure, electronic surveillance, custodial interrogations, undercover operations, use of force).
  4. Knowledge of methods and techniques used in internet-based crimes related investigative, law enforcement and physical security programs.
  5. Knowledge and demonstrated ability to provide legal and technical advice on criminal investigations, including providing technical advice on developmental plans, and investigative and protective services program targets; methods and techniques used to investigate internet-based crimes.
  6. Superior analytical, written and communication skills.
$99,172 to $166,500 per year
May be required
Application Process: 

This job is filled through a 3-step on-line application process.

STEP ONE - (Online Resume- USAJOBS) You must create a user account and at least one Federal resume at USAJOBS. Information you provide in USAJOBS is general information completed by all applicants. The information you provide and your Federal resume will become part of your application and will automatically be transferred to CareerConnector when you apply online. If you have an existing USAJOBS account, simply login and select the resume you wish to include with your application package for this announcement.

STEP TWO - (Vacancy Specific Questions USAJobs) In USAJobs, you will answer vacancy specific questions necessary to evaluate your qualifications for the job to which you are applying. When completed, the information you provided at USAJOBS and the answers to the USAJob questions will become your application package.

STEP THREE - (Supporting Documentation) You may upload supporting documentation in one of two ways: (l) Once you finish answering the questions in the job announcement, you will be prompted to upload your document(s) to your application package. You will be given the choice to either upload the document as part of the application process, or you can select a document that you've already loaded on USAJOBS, or simply fax supporting documentation, which will provide you the necessary cover sheets for each of your documents so that they will be correctly submitted to the appropriate vacancy announcement. The fax number will be available on the cover sheet. (2) You can upload a document to an existing application by logging into your USAJOBS account profile. Click on "My Applications" and search for the vacancy. Once you have located the vacancy, click on the vacancy and select "Apply Online". Move through your existing application to the Documents page and select "Upload" in order to add a document to your application. Be certain to review your complete application for confirmation that the document uploaded and click on "Finished" to be returned to USAJOBS. Your complete online application and any required supplemental documentation (e.g. SF-50, ICTAP/CTAP, DD-214, Revised October 2013 SF-15, VA letter, transcripts, Schedule A documentation, Award SF-50 within last 3 years, etc) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.

Application Deadline: 
Monday, April 22, 2019
Relocation Expenses: 
Relocation assistance may be provided
Number of Positions: 
Updated April 12, 2019

*         *         *

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).


*         *         *


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.