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Legal Careers


Hiring Organization
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
Hiring Office
Philadelphia, PA - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), is seeking an experienced attorney to work in the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Office of Chief Counsel (CC). This position is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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 a Division Counsel you will serve as the principal legal advisor to Division personnel in all aspects of DEA operations, covering criminal, civil and administrative law.  This includes providing advice concerning search and seizure, electronic surveillance, investigative methods and techniques, interrogation, evidence, discovery, personnel and employment issues, asset forfeiture, fiscal law, policy guidance and compliance, and international issues.  Typical assignments may include:

  1. Providing advice, opinions, and guidance to the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) and members of the Division leadership team on legal issues.
  2. Working with federal and state prosecutors, and federal, state and local law enforcement partners to further DEA’s mission.
  3. Providing support in civil and administrative litigation.
  4. Preparing pleadings, motions, briefs, affidavits and memorandum opinions.
  5. Assisting in drafting and reviewing proposals to amend federal laws and regulations and responses to requests from Congress.
  6. Training DEA personnel in complex issues of law and policy.

An applicant must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of a bar (any U.S. jurisdiction), and have at least ten (10) years post-J.D. legal experience.  Applicants must also possess excellent oral and written communication and advocacy skills, as well as high proficiency in legal research and analytical skills, and a demonstrated ability to learn and master new areas of the law, as well as to function with minimal guidance in a highly-demanding environment. 

An applicant also must meet eligibility requirements for a Top Secret security clearance.

Grade level considerations may be made based upon the following:

GS-15: In addition to the basic requirements and qualifying specialized experience, applicants must have ten years of experience as a practicing attorney.

Application Process
  • Applicants must submit a detailed resume, a cover letter, the below-described Drug Questionnaire, and a legal writing sample by email  to
  • Applicants must submit a SF-50 and annotate on their resume if they are a current or former Political Appointee (within the last 5 years).
  • All application materials must be in at least 12-point font. Writing samples should not exceed 10 pages. The applicant’s cover letter should highlight relevant experience and qualifications applicable to the position.

Current salary and years of legal experience will determine the appropriate salary level. The possible salary level is GS-15 ($143,314 – $176,300).

Number of Positions
Occasional Travel may 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, 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 February 22, 2022