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Legal Careers

Attorney Advisor(s), GS-13/14/15

Hiring Organization
National Security Division (NSD)
Hiring Office
Office of Intelligence- Oversight Section
Location:
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

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.

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 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.

Qualifications

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.

Application Process

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): intelligenceoversightvacancy@usdoj.gov 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.

Salary

GS-13-$106,823 - $138,868; GS-14-$126,233 - $164,102; GS-15- $148,484 - $176,300

Number of Positions
Multiple
Travel
Some travel is 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, https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/working-in-government/non-citizens/). 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, www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/SF15.pdf 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 26, 2022