Attorney Advisor (Appeals Staff)
Washington - DC, DC 20530-0001 - United States
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) is seeking experienced attorneys to work in the Office of Information Policy (OIP), located in Washington, DC. OIP manages the Department’s responsibilities related to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which includes coordinating and implementing policy development and compliance government-wide for the FOIA, processing FOIA requests for the senior leadership offices within the Department, adjudicating all administrative appeals from denials by any Department component under the FOIA, and assisting in the defense of certain FOIA matters in litigation. OIP attorneys may be assigned/reassigned to any one of several distinct but inter-related teams based on mission-critical office needs. Those teams include: the Administrative Appeals Staff, which adjudicates administrative appeals from Department components’ FOIA determinations; the Initial Request (IR) Staff, which processes FOIA requests on behalf of the Department’s leadership offices; the IR FOIA Litigation Staff; which handles FOIA requests subject to litigation; or the FOIA Compliance Staff, which supports the Office’s responsibilities to oversee and encourage government-wide compliance with the FOIA.
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.
OIP is hiring multiple Attorney-Advisors to be assigned to its Administrative Appeals Staff. Primary duties of this position include the adjudication of administrative appeals from Department components’ FOIA determinations. The incumbent will perform varied legal work involving the interpretation and application of laws, executive orders, regulations, precedents, and agency practices relating to the FOIA.
Specific responsibilities may include:
- Recommending proposed actions to be taken in the adjudication of administrative FOIA appeals by reviewing the administrative record and evaluating actions taken by Department of Justice components in processing initial FOIA requests;
- Conducting legal research and providing legal advice to a wide variety of federal agencies involving inquiries and assignments related to the application of FOIA and Privacy Act access laws;
- Developing a mastery of assigned area(s) of expertise and updating corresponding section(s) of the United States Department of Justice Guide to the Freedom of Information Act;
- Encouraging FOIA compliance by components of the Department of Justice;
- Providing instructional training and guidance to various federal Departments regarding compliance with the FOIA; and
- Providing written and oral legal advice to litigators, or infrequently serving as litigators in defending certain FOIA lawsuits.
Please note that this is a hybrid position with a requirement to report to the official worksite a minimum of twice per pay period.
Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction), and have at least 1-year post-J.D. work experience before your start date. (Please note that the time from selection of an applicant to the start date is typically about 3 months.). No exceptions can be made regarding the required one year of experience.
Preferred qualifications: It is preferred that applicants have knowledge of and a demonstrated interest in the Freedom of Information Act and have administrative law and/or civil litigation experience.
Applicants must be able to qualify for a Top-Secret security clearance.
Applicants are required to submit a cover letter (highlighting relevant experience and justifying interest in the position), resume, unofficial transcript, and a writing sample containing a brief or comparable analytic legal exposition that is your work.
Applicants are encouraged to email application in a PDF format to: Laurie A. Day at Laurie.Day@usdoj.gov.
No telephone calls please. Please reference OIP-ATTY-1123 in your cover letter and put your name in the subject of the email. Applications must be received no later than midnight January 5, 2024.
Otherwise, please send to:
ATTN: Laurie A. Day
Office of Information Policy
441 G Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20530
GS-12 ($94,199 - $122,459) See: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/salaries-wages/salary-tables/pdf/2023/DCB.pdf
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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, https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/working-in-government/non-citizens/). 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, www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/SF15.pdf 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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