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Legal Careers

Attorney - Advisor

Hiring Organization
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
Hiring Office
Office of Chief Counsel
Job ID
99 New York Avenue NE
Washington, DC 22026 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Office of Chief Counsel, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Department of Justice, is seeking two experienced, hard-working attorneys to serve as Senior Attorneys.  These attorneys serve as agency representatives handling all phases of employment litigation before the Merit System Protection Board (MSPB) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as well as assisting DOJ attorneys in MSPB and EEOC litigation reaching the Federal district and appellate courts. 

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

As an Attorney - Advisor (Litigation), GS-905-15, your typical work assignments may include:

The attorney serves as the agency representative handling all phases of employment litigation before the Merit System Protection Board (MSPB) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as well as assisting DOJ attorneys in MSPB and EEOC litigation reaching the Federal district and appellate courts. The position requires significant experience serving as a legal advisor and representative on a wide variety of matters related to federal personnel law, and appearing before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Merit System Protection Board.

The attorney will be responsible for conducting research and analysis, applying the pertinent laws, regulations, judicial decisions, administrative opinions, and Department and Bureau rulings, to defend against actions brought against the Bureau pursuant to federal personnel law.  This includes handling all phases of litigation before the EEOC and MSPB, providing thorough and comprehensive litigation reports, motions, memoranda and briefs to the Department of Justice, attending hearings, settlement conferences, mediations, and other forms of alternative dispute resolution and gathering, organizing and providing responses to discovery requests and seeking discovery. 

The attorney must exercise sound judgement, have strong communication skills, and be willing to work collaboratively with senior leaders and managers to accomplish the mission.  The attorney will review court and other tribunal decisions to make appropriate appeal recommendations.

The attorney will also conduct briefings on case status, give legal advice and guidance as to litigation risk to ATF officials and confer with other Department and Government attorneys to defend lawsuits. 

The attorney, on occasion, may be asked to assist with other civil litigation matters and administrative claims on behalf of the Bureau.


GS-15: Applicants must have six years as a practicing attorney and experience with the duties and responsibilities of the position. 

In addition to meeting to the qualifications above, you must the specialized experience below:

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.

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

Preferred Qualifications:  In addition to meeting to the above qualifications, the ideal candidate will have:

  1. Knowledge of laws and regulations relating to federal employee relations and employment law.
  2. Experience serving as a legal advisor and representative on a wide variety of matters related to federal personnel law, and appearing before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Merit System Protection Board.
  3. Superior analytical, writing and communication skills.

Please do not cut and paste the position description, specialized experience, or occupational assessment questionnaire from this announcement into your resume, as this will not be considered a demonstration of your qualifications for this position.

Application Process

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 this position.

Paid or unpaid experience will be considered.

Your resume and supporting documentation will be used to determine whether you meet the job qualifications listed on this announcement. If you are basically qualified for this job, your resume and supporting documentation will be compared to your responses on the online assessment questionnaire. If you rate yourself higher than is supported by your application materials, your responses may be adjusted and/or you may be excluded from consideration for this job. If you are found to be among the top candidates, you will be referred to the selecting official for employment consideration.

Required Documents:

  • Resume showing relevant experience (cover letter optional).
  • Legal Writing Sample (no more than 15 pages)
  • Law school transcript (Note:  If you’re selected for this position, official transcript(s) will be required prior to your first day.)

It is your responsibility to ensure all documents are received on time and the materials are legible. If applying on-line poses a hardship to any applicant, please contact us at the telephone number listed on this announcement. Applicants MUST CONTACT US PRIOR TO THE CLOSING DATE to speak to someone who can provide assistance for on-line submission. Requests for extensions will not be granted. Paper applications submitted without prior approval from the agency point of contact may be handled as incomplete. IMPORTANT INFORMATION: If your contact information changes after the closing date of this vacancy announcement, update your profile information in MYUSAJOBS as well as contact the Human Resources Specialist listed on this vacancy announcement to ensure you can be contacted throughout the selection process.

Prior to selection, the candidate may be required to provide an original copy of any supporting/ validating documentation as well as other documentation to verify eligibility. The candidate may also be required to provide official college and law school transcripts. All required materials must be uploaded using the supporting documentation instructions described in the announcement.

Failure to provide the required documentation by the closing date of this announcement will result in elimination of further consideration for this position.


$155,700 - $183,500 per year

Number of Positions
Occasional travel - Infrequent domestic travel may be 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 February 10, 2023