The Office of the Pardon Attorney (OPA), United States Department of Justice, is seeking additional Attorney Advisors to work in Washington, DC. The Office of the Pardon Attorney, in consultation with the Attorney General or her designee, assists the President in the exercise of executive clemency as authorized under Article II, Section 2, of the United States Constitution. OPA receives petitions for executive clemency, initiates the necessary investigations, and prepares the recommendations to the Deputy Attorney General and the President in connection with the consideration of all forms of executive clemency, including commutation (reduction) of sentence, pardon, remission of fine and reprieve. The two primary forms of clemency relief are commutations of sentence and pardons. A commutation of sentence reduces the period of a petitioner's incarceration and does not imply forgiveness of the underlying offense. A pardon is an expression of forgiveness for past crimes, and is generally granted based on a petitioner's demonstrated good conduct for a substantial period of time after conviction and service of the sentence.
In 2014, the Justice Department announced a new clemency initiative to encourage appropriate candidates to petition for executive clemency in order to have their sentences commuted by the President. The Initiative invites petitions for commutation of sentence from non-violent inmates who are serving a federal sentence, who by operation of law, likely would have received a substantially lower sentence if convicted of the same offense today, and who would not pose a threat to public safety if released. Thousands of inmates have already filed petitions for commutation of sentence, and more are likely to do so. Evaluating these petitions for recommendations to the President is a high priority for the Justice Department.
The Attorney Advisor will become familiar with all aspects of executive clemency, including both clemency initiative and non-clemency initiative commutation cases as well as pardons. Knowledge of and/or experience with federal or state criminal law (from either the prosecution or defense perspective, or both), sentencing policy and guidelines, re-entry, and related issues are all helpful for this position. Applicants must demonstrate exceptional legal, analytical, policy, and writing skills, objectivity, and a high level of discernment. In addition, applicants must possess the ability to manage and prioritize a sizable and growing workload and to meet deadlines under pressure. Applicants should also demonstrate compassion and the ability to make fair and balanced evaluations of written applications submitted by petitioners. Attorney Advisor responsibilities include the performance of challenging and varied legal assignments in the interpretation and proper application of executive orders, federal regulations, precedents, and agency practices related to executive clemency. Among other responsibilities, the Attorney Advisor will be assigned to review and evaluate petitions submitted by applicants for executive clemency, to confer with officials of the Department of Justice and external agencies regarding the performance of investigations related to clemency petitions, to secure information related to the clemency petition and investigation, and to advise the Pardon Attorney and Deputy Pardon Attorney on the results of the investigative process and appropriate disposition of petitions. Attorney advisors assigned to review pardon applications will be expected to interact with pardon applicants and their representation and to demonstrate a high level of commitment to professionalism and courtesy in these interactions.
This advertisement is open to ALL SOURCES.
Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be licensed to practice law and an active member of the bar of a state jurisdiction or the District of Columbia, and have a minimum of 3 years post-J.D. experience. Familiarity with or experience in criminal law, from either the prosecutorial or defender perspective or both, as well as a thorough understanding and experience with sentencing law, are a plus, but not required. Applicants must demonstrate exceptional legal, analytical, policy, and writing skills, as well as the ability to manage and prioritize a sizable and growing workload, to meet deadlines under pressure, and to respond promptly to members of the public, applicants, and applicants' counsels.
Applications received after the deadline or without following each of the below instructions will not be considered.
Applicants must submit a cover letter (highlighting relevant experience) and a resume. Please reference announcement OPA 16-003 in the subject line of your email as well as the subject line of your cover letter. Please also indicate in both your email and cover letter what GS grade you would like to be considered for and clearly indicate any veterans preference. Please be sure to indicate the scale, grade and salary for each federal position listed on your resume. Applications must be received by no later than 11:59PM EST on Wednesday, January 13, 2016.
Applicants are encouraged to email applications to Will.Taylor2@usdoj.gov or fax them to 202-616-6069 rather than postal mail. No telephone calls please.
U.S. Department of Justice
Office of the Pardon Attorney (Attn: Will Taylor, Executive Officer)
145 N Street N.E., Suite 5E.508
Washington, D.C. 20530
For more information about OPA, please visit our web page at: http://www.usdoj.gov/pardon . This and selected other legal position announcements may be found on the Internet at: http://www.justice.gov/oarm and http://dojnet.doj.gov/oarm/attvacancies.php