The Office of Foreign Litigation (OFL) is responsible for handling litigation in foreign courts in which the United States is a party or has an interest. OFL cases, which can be affirmative or defensive, civil or criminal in nature, are litigated in the courts of first instance, appellate courts, and supreme courts of foreign countries. Cases handled by the office include employment, property, contract or tort litigation; criminal actions against U.S. officials acting within the scope of their duties, and other lawsuits challenging U.S. activities abroad. OFL also conducts affirmative litigation, including litigation aimed at fighting cross-border fraud that targets American citizens, and affirmative criminal suits when the United States is a victim of a criminal act abroad. OFL has litigated in the courts of over 100 countries. In addition to its Washington, DC office, OFL has a field office in the U.S. Embassy in London, which is responsible for the handling of litigation in European countries. This announcement is limited to a position in the Washington, DC office only.
Because OFL attorneys are not licensed to practice law in foreign jurisdictions, they do not appear in foreign courts. Instead, OFL handles litigation through the retention of foreign counsel who represents the interests of the United States foreign proceedings. OFL attorneys closely supervise and instruct the foreign counsel with regard to litigation positions taken on behalf of the United States. The litigation handled by the office may involve issues of foreign law, as well as public and private international law, and covers the broad range of federal programs under which the United States operates abroad.
OFL is seeking one experienced attorney to work in the Washington, DC office. The incumbent will not litigate in court, but will work closely with foreign attorneys, providing them with detailed instructions and advice relating to the handing of assigned cases. An important aspect of the position is to maintain close overall supervision of assigned cases and to develop appropriate litigation strategies that are consistent with the policies of the United States, the Department of Justice, the client agencies, the local law of the forum, doctrines of public international law, and the overall foreign policy and programmatic interests of the United States. In addition, the incumbent will provide legal advice to other DOJ components, federal agencies, and U.S. embassies on a wide variety of issues involving current or potential foreign litigation, international law, and the impact of foreign and international law programs or activities undertaken abroad. Because foreign litigation impacts the foreign policy of the United States as well as other U.S.government policies and activities, the incumbent will closely coordinate with the Legal Advisor's Office of the Department of State, and attorneys with other agencies, regarding pending or potential foreign litigation. The incumbent may also participate in OFL's responsibilities as the Office of International Judicial Assistance (OIJA), the U.S. Central Authority for various treaties on international judicial assistance in civil and commercial matters.
Applicants must be a graduate from a full course of study in a School of Law accredited by the American Bar Association and be a member in good standing of the bar of a state, territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction), have at least two years of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-13 level; have at least three years of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-14 level; and four years of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-15 level. You must also be a U.S. citizen.
Applicants should have an exceptional academic background, experience in international law or foreign comparative law, and significant experience in complex litigation on behalf of the United States are desirable. Applicants should have a strong interest in litigation, as well as excellent interpersonal and negotiation skills. Excellent writing skills and good judgment are critical; foreign language skills are desirable. The incumbent must be comfortable in communicating with people, some of whom may have limited oral or written English skills or come from foreign cultures, and must be willing to adjust work schedules, as required, to accommodate international time zones and imminent deadlines. The successful applicant must be able to work independently.
You must submit your application so that it will be RECEIVED by the closing date of the announcement, Eastern Standard Time. No telephone calls please.
Applications must be Emailed to ForLit.Vacancies@usdoj.gov
Please use Announcement '#TA-OFL-2015-01' as your SUBJECT LINE.
Writing Sample (consisting of a legal brief authored by the applicant, no more than 20 pages)
Current performance appraisal
List of references
Veteran Preference document (if applicable)