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Legal Careers

Chief, Special Litigation Section

Hiring Organization
Civil Rights Division (CRT)
Hiring Office
Special Litigation Section
Job ID
15-SES-CRD-009
Location:
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The U.S. Department of Justice is the principal federal agency charged with enforcing federally protected civil and constitutional rights. The Civil Rights Division (CRT or Division) is primarily responsible for enforcing federal statutes and executive orders that prohibit, among other things, unlawful discrimination in education, employment, housing, police services, public accommodations and facilities, voting, and federally funded and conducted programs. The laws that the Division enforces also prohibit conduct by law enforcement agencies, as well as conditions of public residential institutions, such as health care and correctional facilities, that violate the constitution.

The Division is seeking a Section Chief to lead the Special Litigation Section in its work to protect civil rights in the following areas: 1) the rights of people who interact with state or local police or sheriffs' departments; 2) the rights of people in state or local institutions, including: jails, prisons, juvenile detention facilities, and health care facilities for persons with disabilities; 3) the rights of individuals with disabilities to receive services in their communities, rather than in institutions; 4) the rights of youth involved in the juvenile justice system; 5) the rights of people to have safe access to reproductive health care clinics; and 6) the rights of people to practice their religion while confined to state and local institutions. The Section can also act on behalf of people at risk of harm in these areas.

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

As Section Chief, responsibilities include:

  • Managing the development of the Section’s enforcement strategy and implementation plan.Identifying and executing Section priorities and ensuring that the Section effectuates Division and Department priorities related to its work.
  • Providing overall management of the Section, and providing oversight of and direction to subordinate managers and staff assigned to Section enforcement matters, including:

Initiating, directing, and reviewing Investigations arising from complaints regarding violations of the applicable federal statutes (42 U.S.C. §§ 1997, 14141, 12132, 3789d, 2000b, 2000cc, 18 U.S.C. § 248(c), and Title VI, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.)

Preparation, review, and editing of legal memoranda, complaints, other pleadings, discovery requests and responses, motions, briefs, proposed consent decrees and other legal documents.

Pretrial discovery and motions practice to ensure the development of testimonial and documentary evidence for trial.

Reviewing and evaluating the work of experts, consultants and court-imposed monitors.

Resolving cases through settlement agreements, consent decrees or litigation.

Recommending intervention in significant cases brought by private litigants.

Personally handling the most sensitive and difficult cases.

  • Building cooperative, constructive, and strategic relationships with the United States Attorneys’ Offices, other DOJ components, other partner agencies, and other Sections within the Civil Rights Division, and other relevant stakeholders and organizations.
  • Consulting with and providing sound advice and counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division and the Deputy Assistant Attorney General.
  • Representing the Division at meetings and conferences to educate other government agencies, industry, and/or the public about the work of the Section. Conducting outreach to State and local law enforcement and public officials, community organizations, and advocacy organizations.
Qualifications

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is required by law to review the executive qualifications of each new career appointee to the Senior Executive Service (SES) prior to appointment. To be considered for this position, you must submit a written statement addressing the five (5) Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) listed below at section (3). Failure to address both the mandatory technical/professional qualifications and the ECQs as set forth below will adversely affect your chances for selection. Current members of the career SES, former career SES members with reinstatement eligibility, and OPM/QRB certified candidates need not address the ECQs.

You must submit a separate narrative statement that addresses each of the Technical Qualifications (TQs) and Mandatory Technical Qualifications (MTQs) related to this position; limit your responses to no more than one page for each TQ/MTQ. Unless you are a current Senior Executive Service (SES) career appointee, a former SES member having reinstatement eligibility, or an OPM-certified graduate of an approved SES Candidate Development Program, you must also submit a separate narrative statement (10-page limit) addressing each of the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) related to all positions in the SES. You must address how you have demonstrated progressively responsible leadership experience that is indicative of senior executive level managerial capability and directly related to the skills and abilities outlined in this job announcement. Qualified candidates typically gain experience of this nature at or above the GS-15 grade level in the Federal service or its equivalent with state or local government, the private sector, or nongovernmental organizations. For examples and guidance on writing effective ECQ narrative statements, you are strongly encouraged to review the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Guide to Senior Executive Service Qualifications. You must use the Challenge- Context- Action- Result (CCAR) model when describing your accomplishments.

(1) Technical Qualifications:

  •  Demonstrated experience communicating effectively on complex legal and technical issues both orally and in writing.
  •  Demonstrated experience supervising, developing, or resolving issues through effective oral and written communication.
  •  Demonstrated ability consulting and providing advice on complex legal and technical issues.
  •  Demonstrated experience developing or litigating cases and negotiating settlements.
  •  Knowledge of or experience with statutes enforced by the section or similar federal or state statutes addressing the civil rights of: 1) individuals who interact with state or local law enforcement; 2) individuals in state or local institutions, including: jails, prisons, juvenile detention facilities, and health care facilities for persons with disabilities; 3) individuals with disabilities to receive services in their communities rather than institutions; 4) youth involved in the juvenile justice system; 5) people to have safe access to reproductive health care clinics; and, 6) people to practice their religion while confined to state and local institutions. Examples of such statutes include: 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1997, 14141, 12132, 3789d, 2000b, 2000cc and 18 U.S.C. § 248(c).

(2) Mandatory Technical Qualifications:

  •  Demonstrated experience managing a complex organization with a diverse workforce (e.g. lawyers, non-lawyer professionals, and support staff) and balancing the pursuit of that organization's mission with the effective and efficient management of organizational issues, personnel and resources.
  •  Demonstrated experience establishing and implementing an organizational vision, developing a strategic plan and implementing strategic change.
  •  Demonstrated experience developing and advancing policy initiatives, and building coalitions and identifying opportunities for collaboration, both within the organization and outside the organization, to effectuate the mission of a large complex organization.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and demonstrated experience working effectively and constructively with a broad array of individuals and entities, including advocating successfully with diverse stakeholders, external partners and individuals or groups having differing and often conflicting interests, on matters related to the successful execution of a large-scale organization's mission, programs and projects.

(3) Executive Core Qualifications:

Leading Change: This core qualification involves the ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment. Leadership Competencies for ECQ-1: creativity and innovation, external awareness, flexibility, resilience, strategic thinking, vision.

Leading People: This core qualification involves the ability to lead people toward meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts. Leadership Competencies for ECQ-2: conflict management, leveraging diversity, developing others, team building.

Results Driven: This core qualification involves the ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks. Leadership Competencies for ECQ-3: accountability, customer service, decisiveness, entrepreneurship, problem solving, technical credibility.

Business Acumen: This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically. Leadership Competencies for ECQ-4: financial management, human capital management, technology management.

Building Coalitions: This core qualification involves the ability to build coalitions internally and with other federal agencies, state and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals. Leadership Competencies for ECQ-5: partnering, political savvy, influencing/negotiating.
The following fundamental competencies underlie the five ECQs, which should be incorporated into your responses to the ECQs and not as separate statements:

Interpersonal Skills: Treats others with courtesy, sensitivity, and respect. Considers and responds appropriately to the needs and feelings of different people in different situations.

Oral Communication: Makes clear and convincing oral presentations. Listens effectively; clarifies information as needed.

Integrity/Honesty: Behaves in an honest, fair, and ethical manner. Shows consistency in words and actions. Models high standards of ethics.

Written Communication: Writes in a clear, concise, organized, and convincing manner for the intended audience.

Continual Learning: Assesses and recognizes own strengths and weaknesses; pursues self-development.

Public Service Motivation: Shows a commitment to serve the public. Ensures that actions meet public needs; aligns organizational objectives and practices with public interests.

Specialized Education and Licensing:

You must be a graduate of a law school accredited by the American Bar Association and be a member in good standing of a state, territory of the United States, District of Columbia, or Commonwealth of Puerto Rico bar.

Application Process

You must submit your application so that it will be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time Zone on the closing date of the announcement.

Please refer to this link: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/412542500 and review the "How To Apply" section and vacancy announcement in its entirety to ensure proper application procedures are followed.

Questions about this position may be directed to Harry Vickers at 202-514-3934 or Harry.Vickers@usdoj.gov

Salary

$121,956.00 to $183,300.00 / Per Year

Number of Positions
1
Travel
The position requires occasional travel.
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 April 7, 2016