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Legal Careers

Attorney Advisor

Hiring Organization
National Security Division (NSD)
Hiring Office
Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

While this vacancy announcement expires on September 29, 2015, the announcement may be closed at any time if a selection is made. This assignment is for a period of 12 months, with the possibility of extension, contingent on the availability of funding. Appointment to this position will be effected by detail appointment. Applicants should receive the approval of their supervisor before applying. This is a reimbursable detail funded by NSD/OVT.

The National Security Division (NSD) leads the Department's efforts to prevent and combat terrorism and to protect the national security. NSD provides legal and policy advice on national security matters, litigates counterterrorism, counterespionage, and foreign intelligence surveillance matters, represents the Government before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and other federal trial and appellate courts, and conducts oversight over FBI national security investigations and foreign intelligence collection.

The Attorney General of the United States established the congressionally mandated Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism (OVT) in 2005. OVT's primary responsibilities to U.S. citizen overseas terrorism victims are:

· To work to ensure that where Americans are injured or killed in terrorist attacks overseas, investigation and prosecution remain a high priority within the Department of Justice;

· To monitor the investigation and prosecution of terrorist attacks against Americans abroad in both foreign and United States criminal justice systems;

· To work to ensure that the rights of victims and their families are honored and respected throughout the criminal justice process wherever it takes place.

OVT works with other Justice Department agencies and the FBI to support the rights of victims of overseas terrorism in U.S. investigations and prosecutions. In addition, OVT provides victims with specialized assistance in their pursuit of justice when such matters are investigated and prosecuted by foreign law enforcement entities.

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

The Attorney Advisor for OVT is responsible for developing and implementing programs to achieve OVT's goals of (1) ensuring that the investigation and prosecution of terrorist attacks that result in deaths and/or injuries of American citizens overseas remains a high priority within the Department of Justice; and (2) ensuring that the rights of victims and their families are honored and respected. The Attorney Advisor is responsible for the design and administration of legal programs to coordinate the U.S. government response to a terrorist attack abroad injuring or killing Americans. The Attorney Advisor is also responsible for coordinating interagency working groups to enhance the flow of information and the development of procedures to ensure an efficient and coordinated U.S. government response to American victims of international terrorism. The Attorney Advisor will also serve as a liaison to other government offices in the Justice Department, State Department, and other governmental agencies involved in the investigation and prosecution of international terrorism. The Attorney Advisor is responsible for monitoring the investigation and prosecution of terrorist attacks against Americans abroad and working with other Justice Department components and the FBI to ensure that the rights of victims of such attacks are honored and respected. The Attorney Advisor will design procedures and programs to ensure that victims receive the rights and services to which they are entitled under federal law, DOJ guidelines, and foreign law.


Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be duly licensed and authorized to practice as an attorney under the laws of a State, Territory, or the District of Columbia, and have at least 4-5 years of post J.D. professional experience to be qualified at the GS-15 level. Applicants must also have superior academic credentials, writing and analytic skills, and excellent interpersonal skills. Current Top Secret security clearance preferred, and ability to obtain Top Secret security clearance required. Applicants must be U.S. citizens. OVT seeks candidates with international experience, criminal trial experience in victim cases, and computer and internet skills. Applicants must be current Federal employees.

Application Process

Please submit a cover letter highlighting your relevant skills and experience, a copy of your resume, and a current performance appraisal to:

U.S. Department of Justice
National Security Division
600 E St., NW 10th Fl
Room 10102
Washington, D.C. 20530
ATTN: Andria Kerney

Or by email to:

No telephone calls please.


This is a one-year reimbursable detail. Under a detail assignment, there is no change to the selectee's base pay.

Number of Positions
Travel to overseas locations may be required.
Relocation Expenses
Extended travel expenses (TDY) or Temporary Change of Station (TCS) expenses may be reimbursed if needed. (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 April 7, 2016