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Legal Careers

Attorney Advisor

Hiring Organization
Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD)
Hiring Office
Law and Policy Section
Job ID
950 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice is seeking an experienced attorney for its Law and Policy Section ("LPS" or "Section") in Washington, DC.

The Law and Policy Section advises and assists the Assistant Attorney General on legal and policy questions, particularly those that affect multiple sections in the Division. It handles the Division's response to legislative proposals and Congressional requests, amicus participation in cases of importance to the United States, the Division's involvement in international legal policy and trade matters, as well as other special litigation and projects on behalf of Division leadership. Other LPS attorney duties include serving as the Division's ethics officer and counselor, liaison with state and local governments, and FOIA office.

For more information about the Environment & Natural Resources Division, visit the Justice Department's web site at:

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 Law and Policy Section's work encompasses the full range of environmental, natural resources, public lands, and Indian-related laws handled by the Division, as well as issues of constitutional, administrative, and ethics law. The Section's work often involves complex, novel, and cross-cutting issues which require close coordination with the Division's other sections and interaction with other DOJ components and leadership, including on issues related to the implementation of Administration priorities and initiatives.

We expect that the attorney chosen for this position would maintain a portfolio with a broad mix of work that could include appellate and district court litigation, legislative and proposed rulemaking analysis, and special projects that involve the analysis of legal and policy issues relating to litigation. The attorney would also be the Division lead for ethics and professional responsibility, which would require a portion of their time in addition to other assignments.


The Section's docket is demanding and requires top caliber work products. Successful applicants will have a demonstrated record of analysis of complex legal problems, initiative and creativity, and a commitment to the highest ethical and professional standards. Applicants must also demonstrate outstanding legal research, analytical, and writing abilities, good judgment, and be able to balance a diverse and constantly evolving workload. Ability to work and communicate effectively with a diverse group of individuals, both orally and in writing, is essential. Substantial litigation experience (trial and appellate court) and judicial clerkship experience is highly desired. Expertise in professional responsibility, government ethics, or one or more of the Division's substantive areas of responsibility (environmental, natural resources, public lands, and Indian law) is preferred.

Applicants must possess a J.D. degree; be duly licensed and authorized to practice as an attorney under the laws of a State, territory, or the District of Columbia; have at least 4 years of post-J.D. legal experience; and be a U.S. citizen or national.

    Specific grade level requirements:

    • GS-14: At least 4 years of post-J.D. experience
    • GS-15: At least 5 years of post-J.D. experience

    YOUR RESUME MUST provide specific details as to how your experience meets the specialized experience as described in the vacancy announcement if you are using experience to meet all or part of the qualification requirements. Please ensure that your resume includes the month and year that you began and ended each position held or that position will not be credited toward meeting the specialized experience requirement. Part-time employment will be prorated in crediting experience. Failure to provide details will result in an ineligible rating.

    Only experience and education obtained by the closing date of this announcement will be considered.

    Application Process

    You must apply online through USAJOBS. Follow the prompts to login or register, answer a few questions, and submit all required documents by 11:59 PM (EST) by the closing date to receive consideration.

    Applicants must submit a current resume, cover letter with brief statement of interest (optional), writing sample, law school transcripts, and DD-214, if applicable.

    To verify the status of your application, log into your USAJOBS account ( All of your applications will appear on the Welcome screen. The Application Status will appear along with the date your application was last updated. For information on what each Application Status means, visit:

    If you are unable to apply online, please contact Carla Patrizi at .

    How You Will Be Evaluated:

    You will be evaluated based on your qualifications for the position as evidenced by the experience you report relative to this position. An in-person (in Washington, D.C.) or video interview may be required for this position prior to final selection. Finalists for the position may be asked to provide a timed writing sample related to the application of FOIA exemptions.


    Years of experience will determine the appropriate salary level. The possible annual salary ranges are:

    • GS-14 ($132,368- $172,075)
    • GS-15 ($155,700 - $183,500)
    Number of Positions
    Periodic travel is required
    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 November 16, 2023