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Legal Careers

Chief, Appellate Section

Hiring Organization
Criminal Division (CRM)
Hiring Office
Appellate Section
Job ID
22-CRM-SES-01
Location:
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Appellate Section plays a crucial role in defending the integrity and constitutionality of DOJ's investigations and prosecutions. Appellate Section attorneys write briefs and argue cases in the courts of appeals; prepare draft briefs and certiorari petitions for the Solicitor General (SG); make recommendations to the SG regarding whether further review is warranted when adverse decisions have been rendered; advise other DOJ components and USAOs; and brief and argue motions in district courts in cases of national importance.

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 incumbent serves as the Chief of the Appellate Section and manages complex appellate legal matters in many of the Attorney General's mission-critical areas such as public corruption, financial crimes, terrorism and violent crime, child exploitation, and sentencing reform. The Chief also:

  • Supervises and coordinates the handling of legal issues of substantial precedential importance assigned to the Appellate Section, which is charged with carrying out one of the heaviest caseloads in the Department. Serves, along with the Deputy Chiefs, as the Department's expert on appellate cases. Oversees the preparation of briefs and petitions in government cases in the United States courts of appeals and in the Supreme Court. Prepares attorneys for oral arguments.
  • Assigns and reviews, for policy and substance, recommendations to the Solicitor General prepared in the Appellate Section as to the advisability of taking appeals to the courts of appeals and the Supreme Court from adverse decisions of the lower courts. Reviews briefs prepared by Section attorneys for filing in the federal appellate courts. Advises and consults with federal prosecutors and Department leadership on the status of the Division's cases in the Supreme Court and the courts of appeals, and on ongoing and emerging priorities.
  • Advises and consults regularly with United States Attorneys on questions arising in their daily work of preparing indictments, preparing and trying cases, and handling appeals, which calls for quick solutions by means of ready knowledge of the relevant legal precedents.
  • Prepares legal memoranda and correspondence on a wide spectrum of Division matters, including domestic terrorism, public corruption, financial fraud, violent crime, drug offenses, child exploitation, investigative techniques, jurisdictional questions, and grand jury issues vital to protecting the interests of the United States. Also provides advice and analysis to the Assistant Attorney General on proposed amendments to the federal rules and the criminal code.
  • Drafts Supreme Court briefs, briefs and argues cases in the courts of appeals, and drafts appeal recommendations to the Solicitor General.
  • Assumes responsibility for a broad range of management, financial, and administrative functions that are critical in the planning, policy direction, operation, and problem solving of the Section. Mobilizes the Section's prosecutorial resources to provide significant litigative support on quick-response issues. Reviews programs to identify need for improvements in quality, timeliness, or productivity. Monitors and evaluates plans and measures attainment of outcomes. Provides solutions to organizational problems.
  • Acquires and leverages needed fiscal and human resources to achieve results oriented outcomes. Develops budget enhancements which include both performance measures and outcomes that reflect the Section's, Division's, and Department's strategic goals and objectives.
  • Provides strong advocacy for and commitment to the Division's priorities concerning workforce diversity and equal employment opportunity. Affirms merit promotion principles in all aspects of personnel recruitment, selection, development, and performance management.
Qualifications

Interested applicants must possess a J.D., or equivalent, degree, be duly licensed and authorized to practice as an attorney under the laws of any State or territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia. Applicants must be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction) in good standing and have at least 5 years post-J.D. experience. Applicants must have extensive appellate experience in the federal courts of appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States. Applicants must also have a high level of management/supervisory experience.

Applicants must submit a resume and a separate narrative statement/response that addresses each of the Mandatory Professional/Technical Qualification factors related to this position as well as the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) related to all positions in the Senior Executive Service.

OPM's Guide to Senior Executive Service Qualifications can assist you in writing an effective SES application. In particular, please note the Challenge-Context-Action-Result Model that is recommended and very helpful when drafting ECQ narrative responses. The Guide is available on OPM's Website at: http://www.opm.gov/ses/references/guidetoSESQuals_2012.pdf .

Professional/Technical Qualification Requirements

  1. Experience in handling criminal appellate cases in the United States Supreme Court and the federal circuit courts.
  2. Experience in supervising appellate attorneys and reviewing the work product of attorneys.
  3. Ability to establish and maintain harmonious relationships with the United States Attorneys, the Office of the Solicitor General, and other Department offices and law enforcement agencies.

Executive/Managerial Requirements:

ECQ 1 - LEADING CHANGE. This core qualification encompasses the ability to develop and implement an organizational vision, which integrates key national and program goals, priorities, values, and other factors. Inherent to it is the ability to balance change and continuity--to continually strive to improve customer service and program performance within the basic Government framework, to create a work environment that encourages creative thinking, and to maintain focus, intensity and persistence, even under adversity.

  • Leadership Competencies: Creativity and Innovation, Continual Learning, External Awareness, Flexibility, Resilience, Service Motivation, Strategic Thinking, Vision

ECQ 2 - LEADING PEOPLE. This core qualification involves the ability to design and implement strategies, which maximize employee potential and foster high ethical standards in meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals.

  • Leadership Competencies: Conflict Management, Cultural Awareness, Integrity/Honesty, Team Building

ECQ 3 - RESULTS DRIVEN. This core qualification stresses accountability and continuous improvement. It includes the ability to make timely and effective decisions and produce results through strategic planning and the implementation and evaluation of programs and policies.

  • Leadership Competencies: Accountability, Customer Service, Decisiveness, Entrepreneurship, Problem Solving, Technical Credibility

ECQ 4 - BUSINESS ACUMEN. This core qualification involves the ability to acquire and administer human, financial, material, and information resources in a manner which instills public trust and accomplishes the organization's mission, and to use new technology to enhance decision making.

  • Leadership Competencies: Financial Management, Technology Management, Human Resources Management

ECQ 5 - BUILDING COALITIONS. This core qualification involves the ability to explain, advocate and express facts and ideas in a convincing manner, and negotiate with individuals and groups internally and externally. It also involves the ability to develop an expansive professional network with other organizations, and to identify the internal and external politics that impact the work of the organization.

  • Leadership Competencies: Influencing/Negotiating, Interpersonal Skills, Oral Communication, Partnering, Political Savvy, Written Communication
Application Process

To receive consideration, applicants must submit:

  1. A resume
  2. A separate statement addressing each of the Mandatory Professional/Technical Qualification Requirements.
  3. A separate statement addressing each ECQ that describes your managerial experience. While individuals who are current or former career SES members (approved by OPM and have completed an initial probationary period) need not submit an Executive Core Qualifications statement, they are required to provide an SF-50 or SES certificate to demonstrate their current or prior service. Otherwise, the absence of ECQs will be identified as a failure to comply with the requirements of the vacancy. Applicants must meet qualification requirements by the closing date of the announcement.
  4. If you are a current or recent Federal employee, you must submit a copy of your latest Notification of
    Personnel Action (SF-50) and a performance appraisal issued within the past 12 months, or if none
    exists, please include a statement to that effect.

Submit applications via e-mail to SES.CRMJOBS@USDOJ.GOV.

For additional information, please call:

CONTACT: Jennifer Chapman
CONTACT PHONE: 202-616-0363
E-MAIL: SES.CRMJOBS@USDOJ.GOV

All applications MUST BE RECEIVED BY 11:59 PM EST on the February 2, 2022.

OTHER INFORMATION:
The managerial qualifications of a selectee who is not a current or former career Senior Executive Service (SES) employee must be approved by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) before appointment. In addition, individuals entering the SES career service for the first time are subject to a one-year probationary period.

If the selectee is not a current employee  of the U.S. Department of Justice, they will be required to submit to a urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment.

Salary

$135,468.00 to $203,700.00 per year. SES pay is determined within the pay range, commensurate with a variety of factors, contingent on Department pay-setting rules.

Number of Positions
1
Travel
Occasional travel may be required.
Relocation Expenses
Relocation expenses may be 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 January 12, 2022