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Legal Careers

Attorney Advisor (General)

Hiring Organization
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
Arlington, VA 22209 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office


The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), U.S. Department of Justice, is seeking attorneys to work in
the following offices within the Office of Chief Counsel (CC):

.  Administrative and General Law Section (CCA)

 . Diversion and Regulatory Litigation Section (CCD)

.  Civil Litigation Section (CCL)

.  Domestic Criminal Law Section (CCM)

.  Diversion and Regulatory Policy Section (CCR)

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 Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management, U.S. Department of Justice, is seeking attorneys to work in the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Office of Chief Counsel (CC). These offices is located in Arlington, Virginia, and provides legal advice and support to DEA management and field offices worldwide.


Administrative and General Law Section (CCA) - The attorney(s) will provide legal advice, assist in policy development, and train agency personnel in the areas of civilian personnel law, procurement and fiscal law, information law (including Freedom of Information Act, the E- Government Act, and DOJ's Touhy regulations), environmental law, and related legal and administrative matters. They will review proposed government contracting and personnel actions, including disciplinary and security clearance, for legal sufficiency. They will represent the agency in bid protest and contract claim litigation before the General Accounting Office and the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals. They will provide litigation support to Assistant United States Attorneys and other DOJ trial counsel in contract litigation, Freedom of Information Act litigation, and other related matters. Experience with large-scale document review and production is preferred, particularly involving the use of programs such as Relativity for identification of documents and redaction.


Diversion and Regulatory Litigation Section (CCD) - Represents DEA in actions regarding the revocation or denial of DEA registrations to handle controlled substances or listed chemicals. The section attorneys coordinate closely with Federal and state law enforcement officials and regulatory agencies (including U.S. Attorneys’ Offices), as DEA administrative actions often occur in parallel with civil and criminal investigations and actions, including criminal indictments and civil penalty actions.  Section attorneys coordinate with DEA investigative personnel during the pendency of investigations; provide legal training concerning Diversion issues to agency investigative personnel, and respond to requests for assistance from DEA Division Counsel.


Civil Litigation Section (CCL) -  Responsible for providing litigation support to Main Justice and/or US Attorney’s Offices in federal litigation pertaining to Bivens, Title VII, the Federal Tort Claims Act, and other civil matters involving DEA and its employees.  Incumbent will also be responsible for representing DEA before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), and for providing legal counsel to DEA management in a variety of personnel/employment law and other civil matters.  Litigation includes written discovery, depositions, oral arguments, legal briefs, memoranda, and putting on witnesses at a trial or hearing.


Domestic Criminal Law Section (CCM):  - Reviews proposals to utilize sensitive investigative techniques; assists in the development of policies and procedures governing the conduct of criminal investigations conducted by DEA and provides training in criminal law and criminal procedure issues to DEA and other law enforcement personnel; assists DEA agents and supervisors with legal issues that arise in particular cases by articulating and advocating DEA's position to Federal and state prosecutors and to main Justice attorneys, publishes monographs and texts for use by the federal law enforcement community; and provides advice and assistance to United States Attorneys and other elements of the executive branch on criminal issues relating to drug enforcement.


Diversion and Regulatory Policy Section (CCR) - Serves as a legal advisor to the agency on all issues related to the diversion of controlled substances and listed chemicals into illegitimate channels.  Responsibilities will include all regulatory issues arising under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), including drug and chemical control, drug scheduling actions, quotas, and other CSA regulatory requirements, often with a focus on combating the current opioid epidemic. Reviews and provides legal advice on relevant legislative proposals, agency correspondence with the regulated industry, agency guidance documents, and related agency policies. Reviews all rules and regulations affecting the legitimate handling of controlled substances and listed chemicals, and evaluates them for compliance with the requirements of federal statutes including the CSA and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).



All applicants must be an active member of a bar in good standing (any jurisdiction) and possess: 1) a J.D. degree; 2) excellent academic credentials; 3) strong oral and written advocacy skills; 4) superior legal research and analytical skills; and 5) a demonstrated ability to function with minimal guidance in a highly demanding environment. A minimum of five (5) years of legal experience is required.

Application Process
  • Applicants must submit a detailed resume, a cover letter, the below-described Drug Questionnaire, and a legal writing sample by email to
  • A copy of the drug questionnaire can be located at Employment Requirements ( The link to the questionnaire is located under "Employment Requirements." Click on the blue highlighted "DEA Drug Questionnaire" link.
  • 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. 


Additional Information:

Current or former Political Appointees (if applicable) - please note on your resume and attach a SF-50. OPM must authorize employment offers made to current or former political appointees. If you are currently, or have been within the last 5 years, a political Schedule A, Schedule C or Non-Career SES employee in the Executive Branch, you must disclose this information.



Current salary and years of legal experience will determine the appropriate salary level. The possible salary levels are GS-13 ($106,823 - $138,868), GS-14 ($126,233 - $164,102), and GS-15 ($148,484- $176,300

Number of Positions
25% or less
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 August 9, 2022