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Legal Careers


Hiring Organization
Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties (OPCL)
WASHINGTON, DC 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties (OPCL), United States Department of Justice, is seeking an dynamic, collaborative attorney with excellent oral and written communication skills and experience in privacy and civil liberties law and policy to handle a wide range of privacy and civil liberties issues.

OPCL’s principal mission is to support the duties of the Department’s Chief Privacy and Civil Liberties Officer (CPCLO), who is the principal advisor to the Attorney General and component leadership on privacy and civil liberties matters affecting the Department’s missions and operations, and plays a central policy-making role in the Department’s development and evaluation of legislative, regulatory, and other policy proposals affecting privacy, both domestically and internationally. The CPCLO and OPCL are responsible for ensuring DOJ’s compliance with privacy and civil liberties-related laws and policies, including in the law enforcement and national security contexts. OPCL develops and provides privacy training; oversees DOJ’s responses to data breaches; ensures the Department has adequate procedures to receive, investigate, respond to, and redress complaints from individuals who allege the Department has violated their privacy or civil liberties; prepares reporting to Congress and other oversight bodies; advises DOJ leadership and components concerning international data protection and privacy laws and policies, and represents the Department on related issues in international discussions.

OPCL also provides administrative support to the Data Protection Review Court (DPRC), the second level of a two-level redress mechanism that will independently review, in classified proceedings, determinations made by the Civil Liberties Protection Officer of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in response to certain complaints alleging violations of law in U.S. signals intelligence activities.

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 primary purpose of the position is to provide legal advice and guidance to Department leadership and components on privacy and civil liberties matters, provide policy advice concerning proposed legislative, regulatory, or policy proposals that impact privacy and civil liberties, and ensure the Department’s compliance with privacy and civil liberties laws, regulations, and policies, and appropriately mitigate related risks.

The OPCL Attorney-Advisor (General) oversees, advises, and supports privacy teams in Department components to ensure the Department’s compliance with applicable law and policy, including developing and, when appropriate, publishing privacy notices; drafting information sharing agreements or arrangements; assessing privacy risks and implementing administrative, physical, and technical controls to mitigate such risks; drafting and revising privacy compliance documentation, such as Privacy Act system of records notices and rulemakings related to exemptions, initial privacy assessments, and privacy impact assessments; and responding to breaches of personally identifiable information (PII). The Attorney Advisor provides counsel and assistance through the analysis of, and familiarity with, relevant case law, and the review and evaluation of proposed legislation, regulations, guidelines, or policies that may have significant effects on privacy and civil liberties. The Attorney Advisor also supports other OPCL attorneys in development and implementation of Department-wide privacy-related programs, policies, or plans, and actively participates in intra-agency, inter-agency, and external committees and working groups, e.g., working groups addressing privacy and civil liberties risks with artificial intelligence, body-worn cameras, facial recognition, or other technologies, DOJ Reproductive Rights Task Force, U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council and Global Privacy Assembly working groups, and National Security Council Interagency Policy Committees.


Applicants must possess a J.D. degree from an accredited law school, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction) in good standing, and have at least three (3) years of relevant post-J.D. experience. Applicants must have demonstrated experience in handling privacy issues and working in a demanding, fast-paced environment.

Clearance: The applicant must be able to obtain and maintain a Top Secret/SCI security clearance and is required to file a confidential financial disclosure form (OGE Form 450).

The successful application should also possess:

  • Exceptional writing and oral communication skills;
  • Strong speaking and presentation skills;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, and the demonstrated ability to lead a team and also collaborate with others to achieve a common goal;
  • Creative problem-solving skills to resolve unusually complicated legal matters, often with little legal authority, with the goal of supporting a client’s mission while complying with law and minimizing privacy-related risks;
  • Working knowledge of privacy laws, regulations, and policies that apply to the U.S. Government, or knowledge of U.S. federal and state privacy laws that apply to the private sector along with knowledge of key international privacy legal frameworks, e.g., EU General Data Protection Regulation;
  • Demonstrated ability to adapt, quickly shift priorities, and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Familiarity with law enforcement and national security law and policy;
  • Relevant certification in a privacy-related field, for example, the International Association of Privacy Professionals Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) certification.


It is policy of the Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties to request a 3-year commitment for all attorneys.

Telework: This position may be eligible for telework in accordance with OPCL policy.

Application Process

To apply, please email with the subject line “OPCL Attorney Advisor Opportunity.” Applicants must submit the following:

  • Cover letter addressing the qualifications listed above;
  • Resume showing relevant experience, including the dates the experience was obtained (month and year);
  • Unofficial law school transcript (note: if you are selected for this position, an official transcript will be required prior to your first day);
  • Three professional references;
  • Two writing samples of varying length: one demonstrating general writing skills (e.g., correspondence, published material, memorandum, talking points, policies, procedures, blog, or material written for the web); and one sample of formal legal analysis, demonstrating ability to analyze and expound on complicated, nuanced legal issues (e.g., a legal brief or formal opinion, formal memorandum, or other similar sample);
  • Copy of most recent performance appraisal or rating;
  • Note: Transcript, writing samples, and performance appraisals may be redacted, as appropriate to protect sensitive information.

This is a GS-13 position, with an annual salary range of $112,015 - $145,617.

Number of Positions
More than one candidate may be selected for this position.
Minimal travel 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 April 6, 2023