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Legal Careers

Attorney Advisor (General) Assistant General Counsel

Hiring Organization
Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP)
Hiring Office
National Institute of Corrections, Washington DC
901 D Street, 3rd Floor
Washington, DC 20534 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

This job announcement is for employment with the National Institute of Corrections (NIC), an independent federal agency of the U.S. Department of Justice that is administratively positioned within the Bureau of Prisons. NIC serves the nation's jails, prisons, and community supervision agencies by providing them with training, information services, and targeted technical assistance. NIC staff work directly with federal, state, local, and tribal corrections agencies and community partners to ensure the safe and humane administration of the nation's correctional systems and the advancement of correctional policy and practice.

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

This position is located at the National Institute of Corrections. The incumbent serves as the Attorney Advisor to the Director, National Institute of Corrections. In this position, the incumbent is responsible for the recommendation, development and coordination of training and summary deliverables on legal issues for attorneys, paralegals, and staff employed in the corrections field nationwide. This includes the application to state bar associations for sponsorship approval and record keeping for continuing legal education programs offered by the National Institute of Corrections for attorneys working in state, federal, tribal, and local corrections systems. In addition, the incumbent is responsible for developing and hosting a national network of general counsels in pretrial, sentenced, and community settings to identify and develop solutions for common system problems.

The incumbent serves as a member of the National Institute of Corrections executive staff and provides legal information with respect to questions, policies, statutes, judicial decisions, employee claims, and other matters relating to systems across the country, such that leadership of those systems can understand national trends in correctional litigation. The position involves frequent contact with leaders of the Department of Justice, other federal agencies, the private bar, outside training specialists, and representatives from all corrections systems and professional correctional organizations.


Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any U.S. jurisdiction), have a minimum of three and a half years of post-J.D. experience, and be a U.S. citizen.

The work of the Attorney Advisor requires significant attention to detail and the ability to thoroughly evaluate large case files, identify relevant issues, and recommend decisions. In addition, excellent research and writing skills, and exemplary judgment and discretion are required. A successful candidate will have the ability to manage a significant caseload and work both independently and collaboratively. The Office places a premium on the commitment and ability to prioritize assignments and efficiently produce high-quality work, including substantial written work product.

Application Process

Applicants must submit a cover letter highlighting relevant experience, resume, and a writing sample post marked by August 22, 2023, to:
U.S. Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Prisons
National Institute of Corrections
901 D Street, NW
3rd Floor
Washington, DC 20534
Attention: Dr. Alix M. McLearen, Director (NIC)
It is preferred that you submit your application packet via e-mail to, no later than August 22, 2023. Please include "Attorney Advisor" in the subject line.
No telephone calls please.


The salary range, including locality pay adjustments, is GS-15 ($155,700 - $183,500)

Number of Positions
Some travel may be required for training purposes, 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 17, 2023