The Office of the Pardon Attorney (PARDON) fulfills the duties of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in support of the President’s clemency power under Article II, § 2 of the Constitution. For over 130 years, the President has relied on the advice and assistance of Attorney General in exercising the clemency power. PARDON is the office designated to carry out this function under the direction of the Deputy Attorney General. PARDON receives petitions for executive clemency, initiates the necessary investigations, and prepares the recommendations for DOJ leadership and the President in the consideration of all forms of executive clemency, including commutation of sentence, pardon, reprieve, remission of fine, and commutation of the penalty of death. For more information about the office, please visit our Web page at https://www.justice.gov/pardon.
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.
PARDON is seeking an experienced attorney for the position of Attorney Advisor. The Attorney Advisor will become familiar with all aspects of executive clemency. Among other responsibilities, the Attorney Advisor will review and evaluate the merits of clemency petitions, confer with officials of the DOJ and external agencies regarding clemency applications, collect information and records related to the clemency investigation, write detailed written recommendations, and advise the Pardon Attorney, the Deputy Attorney General, and the White House on the appropriate disposition of each petition. Attorney Advisors will interact with pardon petitioners and their legal representatives and must demonstrate a high level of commitment to professionalism, courtesy, and public service.
Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any U.S. jurisdiction), have a minimum of five years of post-J.D. experience, and be a U.S. citizen.
The work of the Attorney Advisor requires significant attention to detail and the ability to thoroughly evaluate large case files, identify relevant issues, and recommend decisions. In addition, excellent research and writing skills, and exemplary judgment and discretion are required. A successful candidate will have the ability to manage a significant caseload and work both independently and collaboratively. The Office places a premium on the commitment and ability to prioritize assignments and efficiently produce high-quality work, including substantial written work product.
Applicants should also demonstrate compassion and the ability to undertake fair and balanced evaluations of applications submitted by federal clemency petitioners.
Practice experience in federal criminal law, including a thorough understanding of federal sentencing law and the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, is a strongly preferred qualification.
Capital case expertise, including a strong working understanding of law and policy around the federal death penalty, is also a strongly preferred qualification.
Applicants must submit a resume, writing sample, and cover letter. The cover letter should highlight relevant experience and address the mandatory and preferred qualifications from the qualifications section of this vacancy announcement.
Applications should be submitted by email to: Pardon.AttorneyVacancies@usdoj.gov. Please include “Attorney Advisor” in the subject line.
Applicants should familiarize themselves and comply with the relevant rules of professional conduct regarding any possible conflicts of interest in connection with their applications. In particular, please notify this Office if you currently represent clients or adjudicate matters in which this Office is involved and/or you have a family member who is representing clients or adjudicating matters in which this Office is involved so that we can evaluate any potential conflict of interest or disqualification issue that may need to be addressed under those circumstances.