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Legal Careers

Attorney Advisor

Hiring Organization
Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)
Hiring Office
Board of Immigration Appeals
Job ID
Falls Church, VA - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

This position is located in the Board of Immigration Appeals in Falls Church, VA. The BIA's primary mission is that of producing authoritative administrative case law in the form of BIA decisions, interpreting the immigration laws and laying down guidelines for the exercise of the Attorney General's delegated administrative discretion. In addition, the BIA has appellate jurisdiction over essentially all decisions of Immigration Judges and certain decisions of DHS officers.

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

Duties include but are not limited to the following:

  • Identifying all factual, procedural and substantive issues, relevant constitutional, statutory, judicial and regulatory law, and drafts properly supported legal decision;
  • Analyzing records of administrative hearings to evaluate Questions of Fact and/or Questions of Law for adherence to procedural requirements;
  • Rendering guidance and interpretation with respect to questions pertaining to regulations, practices or other matters falling within the purview of the Board;
  • Preparing proposed order reflecting analysis of issues and recommendation for disposition; and
  • Drafting proposed Board decisions in the most difficult and sensitive cases arising before the Board, involving extremely complex legal questions and factual issues.

In order to qualify for the Attorney Advisor position, you must meet the following minimum qualifications:

  • Education: Applicants must possess an LL.B. or a J.D. degree. (Provide the month and year in which you obtained your degree and the name of the College or University from which it was conferred/awarded.)


  • Licensure: Applicants must be an active member of the bar, duly licensed and authorized to practice law as an attorney under the laws of any state, territory of the U.S., or the District of Columbia. (Provide the month and year in which you obtained your first license and the State from which it was issued.)


Required Experience:

For GS-13: Applicants must have two (2) full years (24 months) of post J.D. or LL.B professional legal experience.

Qualifying professional legal experience includes: Drafting proposed Board decisions in difficult cases, often within short deadlines, where complex legal questions or factual issues are involved. Analyzing records of administrative hearings to evaluate questions of fact and/or questions of law for adherence to procedural requirements, and applicable laws and regulations, identifies all factual, procedural and substantive issues, relevant constitutional, statutory, judicial and regulatory law, and drafts properly supported Board decisions. Conducting legal research to determine if evidence was adequate to sustain findings of fact and if proper discretion was exercised pertaining to removal, deportation, exclusion, visa petitions, fines, bonds, and applications for advance permission to re-enter the United States.

For GS-14: Applicants must have three (3) full years (36 months) of post J.D. or LL.B professional legal experience.

Qualifying professional legal experience includes: Rendering guidance and interpretation with respect to questions pertaining to immigration regulations, practices, or other related matters. Reviewing extensive records of administrative proceedings to analyze and evaluate whether: the hearing was fair and procedural requirements were observed; applicable statutes, regulations and precedents were properly interpreted and applied; the evidence was adequate to sustain administrative findings of fact; and administrative discretion was properly exercised. Cases may involve the initial administratively determinative interpretation and application of new and amended statutory provisions. Drafting proposed Board decisions in the most difficult and sensitive cases involving extremely complex legal questions and factual issues. Resolving cases involving the interpretation and application of legislation, regulations, decisions, opinions, and other legal documents (which may include treaties and international law), and requires solutions involving a high order of original and creative legal endeavor. Managing the simultaneous effective and efficient resolution of a large caseload that ordinarily involves a broad range of cases and issues. Analyzing administrative records, including the transcription of testimony and pleadings, evaluates facts, and determines questions of law. Drafting decisions that are directly submitted to immigration adjudicators who exercise final authority in such matters.

(Your resume must CLEARLY demonstrate this experience)

Preferred Experience:

The ideal candidate will have experience with the following:

  • Immigration law, and/or appellate practice

NOTE: Qualifying experience is calculated only after receipt of J.D. or LL.B.

IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. If your resume does not support your assessment questionnaire answers, we will not allow credit for your response(s). Ensure that your resume contains your full name, address, phone number, email address, and employment information. Each position listed on your Resume must include: From/To dates of employment (MM/YYYY-MM/YYYY or MM/YYYY to Present); agency/employer name, position title, grade level(s) held, if applicable; hours, if less than full time; and duties performed. In addition, any experience on less than a full time basis must specify the percentage and length of time spent in performance of such duties.

Writing Sample: In addition to the above-stated qualifications, applicants must submit a writing sample that demonstrates their ability to author legal documents to be considered for this position. This document cannot exceed 10 (ten pages).

Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement.

Application Process

You must submit a complete application package by 11:59 PM (EST) on the closing date of the announcement.

* To begin, click Apply Online to create a USAJOBS account or log in to your existing account. Follow the prompts to select your USAJOBS resume and/or other supporting documents and complete the occupational questionnaire, which can be previewed here:
* Click the Submit My Answers button to submit your application package.
* It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation is submitted prior to the closing date.
* To verify your application is complete, log into your USAJOBS account, select the Application Status link and then select the more information link for this position. The Details page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process.
* To return to an incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USAJOBS account or your application will be incomplete.

You will be notified of your application status during the hiring process, as applicable. You may check your application status by accessing the USAJOBS website and clicking "Application Status". The process may take up to 6 weeks.

The four points of notification are:

  • Application Received or Application Incomplete
  • Minimum Qualification Requirement Met/Not Met
  • Eligible (Application Referred) or Ineligible (Application Not referred)
  • Selected or Not Selected

If your name is referred to the hiring official, you may be contacted directly by that office for a possible interview.


$103,690 to $159,286

Number of Positions
Not required
Relocation Expenses
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 June 17, 2021