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Legal Careers

Attorney Advisor (FOIA/Privacy Act)

Hiring Organization
Civil Division (CIV)
Hiring Office
FOIA/Privacy Act Unit
Job ID
Washington, DC - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Privacy Act Unit is seeking an Attorney Advisor to work closely with the Chief, FOIA and Privacy Act to implement legally and procedurally strategic approaches to the Civil Division's FOIA, Privacy Act (PA) and privacy programs. You will work closely with the public and staff to respond to the growing number of informaton requests, and with other Civil Division and Departmental offices to develop and implement FOIA, PA, and privacy compliance strategies.

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Privacy Unit is an innovative team charged with implementing legally and procedurally strategic approaches to the FOIA, the PA, and privacy compliance. The Unit receives, reviews, and processes all FOIA and PA information requests received by the Division, prepares ad-hoc, quarterly, and annual reports; supports litigation when the Division is sued under the FOIA or PA; serves as a liaison with other divisions and agencies on FOIA and PA matters. The Unit also supports the work of the supervisor, including creating or reviewing privacy compliance products, such as Initial Privacy Assessments, Privacy Impact Assessments, and System of Records Notices.

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 an Attorney Advisor, GS-0905-14/15, your typical work assignments may include the following:

  • Ensuring that FOIA and PA requests are handled in accordance with the applicable statutory requirements and policy guidance.
  • Maintaining a high-level of knowledge regarding the current status of case law, regulations, and guidelines regarding FOIA, PA, and privacy compliance regulations.
  • Processing FOIA and PA requests and attending to Division obligations that may exist when FOIA and PA litigation arises.
  • Collecting information from various components and organizations to prepare detailed reports and correspondence in a timely manner. Reviewing records for the application of FOIA and PA exemptions and exceptions.
  • Providing advice and interpretation of the FOIA and PA to be used for responses to inquiries from the public.
  • Providing FOIA, PA, and privacy compliance legal and policy guidance to the supervisor and other Division officials on legal implications of FOIA and associated legislation, regulation, and policy relating to the disclosure of information to members of the public, Congress, and other agencies.
  • Advising, coordinating, and training Unit staff and the Division on the legal, technical, and policy requirements related to FOIA, PA, and privacy compliance.
  • Creating and reviewing privacy compliance products, such as Initial Privacy Assessments, Privacy Impact Assessments, and System of Records Notices.

Applicants must be a graduate from a full course of study in a School of Law accredited by the American Bar Association and be a member in good standing of the bar of a state, territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction), and:

  • have at least three years of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-14 level;
  • have at least four years of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-15 level.

You must also be a U.S. citizen.

Applicants must demonstrate knowledge of, and experience in, the legal, technical, and policy aspects of FOIA, Privacy Act, and privacy compliance. Applicants should have excellent writing, negotiation, and interpersonal skills and exhibit good judgment.

Application Process

To apply for this position, you must submit a cover letter, resume, and writing sample (not more than 10 pages in length). If you are claiming veterans preference, you must also submit your DD-214, and/or other documentation that you may have.

Applicants are encouraged to submit their materials by email to: Type in the subject line: Attorney Advisor Position.

No telephone calls, please.


$132,368.00 - $183,500.00

Number of Positions
You may be expected to travel for this position.
Relocation Expenses
Relocation Expenses will not be paid.

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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 August 17, 2023