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Legal Careers

Attorney Advisor

Hiring Organization
Criminal Division (CRM)
Hiring Office
OFFICE OF POLICY AND LEGISLATION
Job ID
23-CRM-OPL-027
Location:
Washington, DC - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Office of Policy and Legislation (OPL) is a team of attorneys and policy analysts that works with components throughout the Criminal Division and the entire Department of Justice to develop, review, and evaluate national crime, sentencing, and corrections policy and legislation. 

OPL is located within the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice, one of seven litigating divisions in the Department. The Division investigates and prosecutes complex criminal matters. In addition to its litigation work, the Division formulates and implements criminal enforcement policy and provides advice and assistance on matters of criminal law, procedure and sentencing. As part of the Division's policy work, OPL analyzes a broad array of policy and program issues, coordinates the development of the Division’s legislative agenda and its review of pending legislation and other legislative matters, and supports and coordinates the Division’s sentencing guidelines and Federal rules programs. OPL analyzes issues relating to domestic and international crime and criminal justice; provides research, data analysis, and program development support to senior managers in the Division and Department; develops legislative, sentencing guidelines, and rules proposals; and prepares comments on proposed legislation, sentencing guidelines, and rules affecting the Federal criminal justice system.

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 OPL Attorney Advisor, the incumbent: 

  • Prepares comments on pending legislation and other legislative matters affecting the federal criminal justice system;
  • Develops legislative proposals, legal memoranda, and congressional testimony;
  • Conducts policy research and analysis;
  • Represents the Division on internal and external policy working groups; and
  • Supports the Department’s representation before the U.S. Sentencing Commission, the Judicial Conference's Advisory Committees on Criminal Rules, the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section, and other policy making entities. 
Qualifications

Required Qualifications: Interested applicants must possess a J.D., or equivalent, degree, be duly licensed and authorized to practice as an attorney under the laws of any State, territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia, and be an active member of the bar in good standing.

Grade Specific Qualifications:

  • To qualify at the GS-13 grade level, applicants must have at least one and a half (1.5) years post J.D. legal experience, one of which was specialized experience at, or equivalent to, the GS-12 grade level. Examples of specialized experience include: performing legal analysis and formulating recommendations to senior managers; composing pleadings, briefs, and other court documents involving legal issues in civil or criminal litigation; and conducting civil or criminal litigation; or developing policy or issue briefs and reports, drafting congressional or other hearing testimony, and preparing advocacy and strategy documents for specific policy issues.
  • To qualify at the GS-14 grade level, applicants must have at least two and a half (2.5) years post J.D. legal experience, one of which was specialized experience at, or equivalent to, the GS-13 grade level. Examples of specialized experience include: performing legal analysis and formulating recommendations to senior managers; composing pleadings, briefs, and other court documents involving legal issues in civil or criminal litigation; and conducting civil or criminal litigation; or developing policy or issue briefs and reports, drafting congressional or other hearing testimony, and preparing advocacy and strategy documents for specific policy issues.
  • To qualify at the GS-15 grade level, applicants must have at least four (4) years post J.D. legal experience, one of which was specialized experience at, or equivalent to, the GS-14 grade level. Examples of specialized experience include: independently performing legal analysis; composing pleadings, briefs and other court documents involving unique and/or difficult legal issues in civil or criminal litigation; conducting highly complex civil or criminal litigation; or developing policy or issue briefs and reports, drafting congressional or other hearing testimony, and preparing advocacy and strategy documents for specific policy issues; and leading paralegals and support staff.

Preferred Qualifications:
Federal criminal trial experience and policy experience preferred. Federal judicial clerkship desirable. Excellent academic credentials, strong legal writing skills, sound judgment, excellent interpersonal and public speaking skills.

Application Process

The Application Package must be received by 11:59 PM, Eastern Time, on the closing date of this announcement.

Please submit your application through USAJOBS. The list of required documents can be found in the USAJobs announcement.

  1. If you do not already have an account, please create a USAjobs account before applying. You will be able to upload your resume and supporting documents and complete your profile prior to applying.
  2. Once you have an account, apply to the USAjobs vacancy
Salary

$112,015 - $183,500 per annum, which includes locality pay. See OPM’s Web page at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/salaries-wages/sala…

Number of Positions
1
Travel
Occasional travel will be required.
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, https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/working-in-government/non-citizens/). 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, www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/SF15.pdf 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 3, 2023