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Legal Careers

Attorney Advisor (Reimbursable Detail Opportunity)

Hiring Organization
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
Hiring Office
Office of Chief Counsel
Washington, DC - United States
About the Office

The primary mission of ATF is to prevent violent crime by enforcing and administering the Gun Control Act, the Federal firearms and explosives laws, and alcohol and tobacco trafficking laws.

The Office of Chief Counsel consists of approximately 100 attorneys who provide legal advice and services in support of ATF programs and operations.  A number of attorneys are located in ATF Headquarters in Washington D.C., where they provide legal advice and strategic guidance to Bureau leadership.  Headquarters attorneys are divided into four practice groups: Litigation; Management; General Law and Information; and Firearms and Explosives Law.  ATF attorneys are also based in field offices, where they work directly with special agents and industry operations investigators on active cases. 

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


ATF's Office of Chief Counsel is seeking a current Department of Justice attorney to serve as a detailed attorney on a reimbursable basis.  The detailed attorney will serve for a four-month period, with the possibility of an extension up to one year.

The detail offers an opportunity to support the ATF Office of Chief Counsel, Litigation Division by serving as the agency representative and handling all phases of employment litigation before the Merit System Protection Board (MSPB) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), as well as assisting DOJ attorneys in personnel-related litigation in the Federal courts.  The attorney will be responsible for conducting extensive research and analysis, applying the pertinent laws, regulations, judicial decisions, administrative opinions, and Department and Bureau rulings, to defend against actions brought against the Bureau pursuant to federal personnel law.  This includes handling all phases of litigation before the EEOC and MSPB, providing thorough and comprehensive litigation reports, motions, memoranda and briefs to the Department of Justice, attending hearings, settlement conferences, mediations, and other forms of alternative dispute resolution and gathering, organizing and providing responses to discovery requests and seeking discovery.  The attorney will also conduct briefings on case status, give legal advice and guidance as to litigation risk to ATF officials and confer with other Department and Government attorneys to defend lawsuits.  And on occasion, the attorney will be asked to assist with other civil litigation matters and administrative claims.


Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction), have five years as a practicing attorney, and be a current DOJ employee.  Applicants must also have extensive understanding and knowledge of laws and regulations relating to federal employee relations and employment law; experience serving as a legal advisor and representative on a wide variety of matters related to federal personnel law, and appearing before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Merit System Protection Board; and superior analytical and writing skills.

Application Process

All interested attorneys meeting these qualifications should submit a resume and writing sample (no longer than 10 pages) via email to

This announcement will remain open until the detailed position is filled.


Reimbursable detail - Selectee will maintain current rate of pay

Number of Positions
Occasional travel may be required
Relocation Expenses
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 November 2, 2022