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Legal Careers

Attorney Advisor, GS-905-13/14/15

Hiring Organization
National Security Division (NSD)
Hiring Office
Foreign Investment Review Section (FIRS)
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The mission of the National Security Division (NSD) is to coordinate the Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) efforts in carrying out its core mission of combating terrorism and protecting national security. NSD is responsible for supervising the enforcement of all federal criminal laws related to counterterrorism and counterespionage, except those specifically assigned to other divisions. NSD also serves as the Department of Justice’s liaison to the United States Intelligence Community (USIC) and represents the government and the USIC before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. NSD advises the Attorney General regarding all matters of national security policy.

The Foreign Investment Review Section (FIRS) is responsible for three primary portfolios of work on behalf of the DOJ. First, FIRS manages the Committee for the Assessment of Foreign Participation in the United States Telecommunications Services Sector (informally known as Team Telecom) on behalf of its Chair, the Attorney General. Team Telecom considers the law enforcement, national security, and public safety implications of applications for licenses from the Federal Communications Commission involving a threshold percentage of foreign ownership or control. Second, FIRS represents DOJ on the staff of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), an interagency body statutorily required to review certain transactions that could result in control of a U.S. business by a foreign person, as well as certain other transactions, in order to determine the effect of such investments on the national security of the United States. Third, FIRS monitors compliance with agreements or orders that mitigate concerns arising from prior CFIUS or Team Telecom cases or other related national security programs and, when necessary, undertakes enforcement actions when parties fail to meet their compliance obligations.

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

Attorneys in FIRS handle a wide range of complex and highly sensitive matters involving counterintelligence, technology, law, and policy. Specifically, FIRS attorneys provide advice and guidance to DOJ leadership, including the Assistant Attorney General for National Security, the Intelligence Community, and other Executive Branch agencies on national security concerns arising from foreign acquisitions of or investment in U.S. businesses as well as concerns arising from foreign participation in the domestic telecommunications infrastructure. Such guidance involves written recommendations and may also include the drafting and negotiation of national security agreements to mitigate national security risks arising from transactions and, in rare circumstances, the drafting of recommendations by CFIUS to the President of the United States. In addition to the review of matters before CFIUS, FIRS attorneys also review FCC license applications to determine whether a proposed communications provider that is under foreign ownership, control, and/or influence poses such a risk to law enforcement or national security that it must either be mitigated through imposition of mitigating measures or opposed altogether. When DOJ has adopted mitigating measures, such as national security agreements, between DOJ and foreign-owned businesses, FIRS attorneys are also responsible for supervising the subsequent compliance with these agreements and, when necessary, the enforcement of those compliance agreements. An attorney selected under this announcement may be required to work under the supervision of the Deputy Chief for Compliance and Enforcement, the Deputy Chief for Foreign Investment, or the Deputy Chief for Telecom at any point during the attorney’s tenure. FIRS’s work is often done in coordination with other DOJ components, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Office of Legal Counsel, and the Office of Legal Policy, as well as other departments and agencies, such as the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of the Treasury, Department of Commerce, Department of State, and the Executive Office of the President.


Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be duly licensed and authorized to practice as an attorney under the laws of a State, Territory, or the District of Columbia, and have up 1.5 or more years at the GS-13; 2.5 or more years at the GS-14; and 4 or more years at the GS-15 level. Applicants must also have superior academic credentials, writing and analytical skills. Applicants must also be able to qualify for the highest and most sensitive security clearances. While not a requirement, applicants with past experience in civil litigation are asked to highlight that experience in particular in their cover letters. 

Application Process

To apply for an Attorney Advisor position with FIRS, please submit a resume and a cover letter (highlighting your relevant experience), a writing sample (no longer than 15 pages and that exhibits your own written advocacy skills), and a copy of your most recent performance appraisal (if available), to:

Marilyn Shaifer


(GS-13) $103,690- $134,798 per annum; (GS-14) $122,530- $159,286 per annum; (GS-15) $144,128- $172,500 per annum

Number of Positions
1 or more
Periodic travel will 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 May 3, 2021