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Legal Careers

Attorney - Civil Division

Hiring Organization
USAO Western District of Virginia
Hiring Office
Job ID
SUITE #906
Roanoke, VA 24011 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The mission of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia (“USAO-WDVA”) is to enforce our Nation’s laws to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans, to provide federal leadership in preventing and reducing crime, and to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior.  We strive to build a stronger office through in-depth recruitment efforts and maintain our high standards by promoting professional development.

The Western District of Virginia is geographically expansive, covering over 23,000 square miles, and has 52 counties with a total population of over two million people. Currently, over thirty (30) Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs) are assigned to one of three offices within the District: Abingdon, Charlottesville, or Roanoke, and handle a wide variety of complex cases.

Additional information may be found at

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 United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia is soliciting applications to be an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) within the Civil Division in the Roanoke, Virginia office.  The successful candidate will join three other civil AUSAs who handle a wide variety of affirmative and defensive litigation on behalf of the United States of America.  

An appointment as a Civil AUSA offers a unique and challenging experience for a highly motivated attorney: the opportunity to handle their own caseload in which they represent the United States as either Plaintiff or Defendant depending on the circumstances.  On the affirmative side, the AUSA will lead investigations and prosecutions of a wide variety of federal civil offenses, including but not limited to violations of the False Claims Act and civil rights enforcement statutes.  On the defensive side, the AUSAs will lead a wide variety of challenging litigation that includes, among other things, representing government agencies and employees under the Federal Tort Claims Act (including primarily medical malpractice, automobile accident, premises liability, and other torts), Title VII, the ADEA, the Rehabilitation Act (employment discrimination), the Administrative Procedures Act (agency actions and decisions), and other statutes.  The AUSA will also represent federal employees sued in their individual capacities under Bivens or other federal statutes, and will represent the Bureau of Prisons and its employees in a wide variety of prisoner-related litigation. 

An AUSA engaged in this challenging work spends substantial time on legal research and writing dispositive motions, findings of fact and conclusions of law, motions in limine, jury instructions, bench memoranda, etc.; in discovery (interviewing witnesses, taking and defending depositions, working with expert witnesses, propounding and responding to written discovery requests), and representing the United States in mediations and settlement conferences. Although many cases are resolved through dispositive motion or settlement, the AUSA will also represent the United States at hearings and trials in federal court.   

Responsibilities will increase and assignments will become more complex as your training and experience progress.

All initial attorney appointments in the Department of Justice are made on a time-limited (temporary) basis pending favorable adjudication of a background investigation. 

As needed, additional positions may be filled using this announcement. 

The vaccination requirement for Federal employees pursuant to E.O. 14043 is currently not being implemented and enforced.


Required Qualifications: Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any U.S. jurisdiction), have at least one year of post-J.D. legal or other relevant experience, demonstrate superior oral and written communication skills, possess strong interpersonal skills, exhibit good judgment, and demonstrate the capacity to function with minimal guidance in a highly demanding environment. In addition, all applicants must be United States citizens.

Preferred Qualifications: A federal clerkship and/or experience litigating in federal court is preferred.  Only applicants with strong academic records, superior legal research and writing skills, and sound judgment will be considered. 

Please note: the Department of Justice generally prohibits its attorneys from engaging in the compensated outside practice of law, with the exception of law professors. Attorneys in this category are employed to  teach law and are not otherwise engaged in the compensated outside practice of law.

Residency Requirements: Assistant United States Attorneys generally must reside in the district to which he or she is appointed or within 25 miles thereof. See 28 U.S.C. 545 for district-specific information.

Application Process

Applicants must provide the following with their application materials: cover letter, resume, writing sample, reference list, proof of good standing with the bar (any U.S. jurisdiction), and copy of law-school transcripts. Please do not mail or submit any application materials to our physical address – only applications using the USAJOBS platform will be considered.

Please ensure you reference Announcement 23-WDVA-AUSA-02 in your cover letter and resume submission.

Interested applicants should apply using the USAJOBS announcement found at the following link:


The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on January 13, 2023 to receive consideration.

No telephone calls please.


Assistant United States Attorney's pay is administratively determined based, in part, on the number of years of professional attorney experience. The range of pay is $66,214 to $173,189 which includes a 16.20% locality adjustment.

Number of Positions
Currently, applications are being considered for one position to be filled in the Roanoke office. As needed, additional vacancies may be filled using this announcement.
Travel, both inside and outside the District, may be required depending on the needs of a particular case.
Relocation Expenses
Relocation expenses will not be paid.

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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 December 12, 2022