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Legal Careers

Attorney Advisor

Hiring Organization
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
Hiring Office
Enforcement Programs and Services Directorate (EPS), Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA)
99 New York Ave NE
Washington, DC 20226 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The position is located in the Office Enforcement Programs and Services, Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA) in Washington, DC, and is one of four divisions of the Enforcement Programs and Services Directorate (EPS), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Department of Justice (DOJ). This position reports directly to the Division Chief, ORA.

The overall mission of Regulatory Affairs is to manage the development and issuance of the firearms, explosives, alcohol, and tobacco regulations and rulings, to protect the public without imposing an undue regulatory burden. In addition, ORA implements changes or additions to existing regulations. ORA serves as ATF's official point of contact on all matters relating to either the creation of, and/or changes to, ATF's regulations and rulings; coordinates and tracks regulations projects through multi-directorate and inter-agency reviews; and is the official liaison to DOJ and the U.S. Office of Management and Budget on all rulemaking projects.

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 position serves as a senior attorney in the Office of Regulatory Affairs, responsible for determining the rulemaking priorities for ATF, in consultation with appropriate personnel from the Office of Field Operations, Office of Chief Counsel, and other directorates whose operations require the issuance of regulations. The attorney is responsible for developing and drafting rulemaking documents and ensures they comply with the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, all applicable executive orders, and all other requirements of law. 
The attorney also consults subject matter experts within ATF, and with attorneys from the Office of Chief Counsel, to ensure that rulemaking projects are within the scope of the statutes being implemented and to minimize litigation risk.
In addition, the attorney coordinates personnel and resources within the Field Operations Directorate and the Office of Chief Counsel with respect to significant legal and policy issues, such as the collection, review and production of records related to major law enforcement operations or programs (e.g., in response to congressional inquiries, Freedom of Information Act demands, discovery in litigation involving ATF, requests for testimony in third-party litigation, and internal inspections), and implementing new programs and procedures in response to changes in the law or policy (e.g., new legislation, regulations or Department policy, significant opinions of the Supreme Court or United States Court of Appeals, corrective actions following an internal review). 


Specialized experience required for this position is legal experience in excess of six (6) years commensurate with the duties and responsibilities of the position.

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.

Specialized experience for this position includes:

  1. Demonstrated ability to integrate legal and policy considerations into advisory opinions are required.
  2. Expert knowledge and understanding of the operation of ATF and DOJ.
  3. Demonstrated ability to draft regulations and rulings and make recommendations concerning validity of existing regulations and rulings, impact of legislation, and the issuance of new regulations and rulings.
  4. Superior analytical, written and communication skills.
  5. Demonstrated ability making oral presentations before senior management, peers, and industry groups.

Applicants must possess a J.D. degree from an ABA accredited law school. 

Applicants must be an active member of the bar in good standing (any state or territory, or the District of Columbia).

All applicants must meet all qualification requirements described in this announcement by the closing date.

Application Process

The how to apply instructions can be found in VA #16-EXC-216-EMH on USAJOBS.OPM.GOV
All applications and resume must be submitted on-line through USAJOBS under vacancy announcement number 15-EXC-216-EMH.
All application must be received by March 25, 2016 midnight on the closing date of this announcement.
If you have questions or are unable to submit your application through USAJOBS, please contact  Ella Hathaway, Human Resources Specialist, at (202) 648-8835.
Internet sites: (use this internet site to access the on-line application in USAJOBS).  This and other attorney vacancy announcements with the Department of Justice can be found at


$128,082.00 to $160,300.00

Number of Positions
Occasional travel may be required

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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 March 11, 2016