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Legal Careers

Attorney Advisor

Hiring Organization
Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties (OPCL)
WASHINGTON, DC 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties (OPCL), United States Department of Justice, is seeking one or more attorneys on detail to handle a wide range of privacy and civil liberties issues.  The principal mission of OPCL is to support the duties and responsibilities of the Department’s Chief Privacy and Civil Liberties Officer (CPCLO), who is a member of the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, is the principal advisor to the Attorney General on privacy and civil liberties matters affecting the Department’s missions and operations, and plays a central policy-making role in the Department’s development and evaluation of legislative, regulatory, and other policy proposals affecting privacy. OPCL also provides legal and policy advice and guidance to Departmental components. A few examples of OPCL’s specific responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring the Department’s privacy compliance, including compliance with the Privacy Act of 1974, the privacy provisions of both the E-Government Act of 2002 and the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014, as well as Administration policy directives issued in furtherance of those Acts;
  • Developing Department-wide privacy training;
  • Assisting the CPCLO in developing Departmental privacy policy;
  • Preparing privacy-related reporting to the President, Congress, and other oversight bodies; and
  • Reviewing the information handling practices of the Department to ensure that such practices are consistent with the protection of privacy and civil liberties.

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

OPCL is seeking an energetic, collaborative attorney with excellent oral and written communication skills and experience in privacy law and compliance. This is a unique opportunity to work with Department clients, dive deeper into privacy risk and compliance matters in a variety of contexts, and also help address big picture U.S. and international privacy and civil liberties policy matters.

Specifically, OPCL attorney advisor responsibilities include:

  • Conducting initial and comprehensive privacy impact assessments, and reviewing and analyzing federal privacy compliance documents, including Privacy Impact Assessments, Systems of Records Notices, and Privacy Act exemption regulations;
  • Analyzing and researching Privacy Act case law;
  • Reviewing and analyzing proposed legislation related to privacy and civil liberties;
  • Providing agency guidance regarding compliance with federal privacy laws and minimizing privacy risks;
  • Participating in inter- and intra-agency working groups addressing privacy issues; and
  • Developing and implementing effective, Department-wide privacy training.

OPCL would prefer a 12-month detail, but a shorter detail may be feasible depending on the experience level of the applicant.


Applicants must be current federal employees, possess a J.D. degree from an accredited law school, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction) in good standing, and have at least two years of relevant post-J.D. experience. Applicants must have demonstrated experience in handling privacy issues and working in a demanding environment.

Application Process

To apply, please email with the subject line “Detail Opportunity.”


This is a detail and selectee will remain at their current salary.

Number of Positions
Relocation Expenses
Relocation expenses are not 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 October 30, 2020