The National Security Division (NSD) provides legal and policy advice on national security matters, litigates counterterrorism, counterespionage, and foreign intelligence surveillance matters, represents the Government before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and other federal trial and appellate courts, and conducts oversight over the activities of various United States Intelligence Community (USIC) agencies. NSD’s overarching mission is to prevent and combat terrorism and protect the national security, which continues to be the Department’s top priority.
The Office of Intelligence (OI) of the NSD is seeking experienced attorneys for its Oversight Section. Attorneys in the Oversight Section oversee foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security activities of the USIC, including activities pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), to ensure compliance with governing authorities and executive branch policies.
To accomplish this mandate, Oversight Section attorneys coordinate with representatives of USIC agencies to conduct reviews of the USIC’s national security activities, including the collection, retention, and dissemination of foreign intelligence information. A significant part of the Oversight Section’s work involves analyzing large volumes of information to assess the USIC’s compliance with procedures governing the United States’ foreign intelligence programs. Oversight Section attorneys must possess mature interpersonal skills, as well as the ability to exercise sound judgment and keen focus for extended periods of time. Additionally, Oversight Section attorneys must possess strong analytic skills so that identified issues are fully investigated and resolved.
Oversight Section attorneys must be comfortable delivering training to large groups. Oversight Section attorneys are expected to travel, resulting in the attorney being out of town for up to several (non-consecutive) weeks per year, in order to conduct oversight reviews at USIC agencies and to conduct training during such reviews. Oversight Section attorneys are also engaged in developing policies relating to oversight and compliance matters. In addition to its oversight responsibilities, the Oversight Section also fulfills various reporting obligations, including statutorily required reporting to congressional oversight committees.
To fulfill those obligations, Oversight Section attorneys are responsible for tracking and synthesizing significant amounts of information and for drafting comprehensive reports for Congress. Oversight Section attorneys work closely with other components of the DOJ and with USIC agencies, often in collaboration with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, to provide guidance on the interpretation and application of governing authorities. The Oversight Section also works closely with OI’s Operations and Litigation Sections.
Applicants must be able to qualify for the highest and most sensitive security clearances.
Applicants must possess a J.D. degree with at least one and half years of post-J.D. experience and be an active member of a bar (any jurisdiction).
Candidates must be able to demonstrate aptitude and interest in designing, developing, analyzing, managing, and implementing compliance programs and performing oversight to ensure compliance, improvement through remedial measures, management controls, and/or long-range planning of program activities.
Applicants must have superior academic credentials, possess excellent analytical and writing skills, and have the dedication and capacity to work both independently and collaboratively in a very demanding environment.
Applicants must be able to develop and maintain close and collaborative working relationships with colleagues within the Department and the USIC.
Applicants must possess the capability to both successfully organize and lead projects, including collaborating effectively with attorneys and other personnel at external audits and reviews, and to work well as a member of teams led by other attorneys.
Applicants must possess the ability to effectively manage multiple work assignments and competing priorities concurrently.
Applicants must be able to occasionally travel out-of-town.
Although past experience in national security/intelligence collection or in oversight/compliance areas is not required, please explain clearly in your cover letter your experience and skills that bear on the work of the Oversight Section and explain clearly why you desire to perform oversight and compliance work related to national security and intelligence collection.
Candidates selected for an attorney position with NSD are expected to make a three-year commitment.
Please submit the following documents:
- A cover letter highlighting your relevant skills and experience, describing your interest in oversight and compliance, and explaining how your professional experiences relate to the qualifications listed above
- A copy of your resume
- A writing sample (we encourage you to submit a legal memorandum or brief)
- A current performance appraisal (if a current performance appraisal is available)
- Applicants with three or fewer years of post J.D. experience must submit a copy of their law school transcript (unofficial is acceptable)
Please submit your completed application package to:
The following email address (preferred): firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line
“Oversight Vacancy.” Or, via U.S. Mail to:
U.S. Department of Justice
National Security Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20530
ATTN: Tammy Green/Oversight Vacancy
No telephone calls please.
Applicants should familiarize themselves and comply with the relevant rules of professional conduct regarding any possible conflicts of interest in connection with their applications. In particular, please notify this Office if you currently represent clients or adjudicate matters in which this Office is involved and/or you have a family member who is representing clients or adjudicating matters in which this Office is involved so that we can evaluate any potential conflict of interest or disqualification issue that may need to be addressed under those circumstances.