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Legal Careers

Counsel for Domestic Terrorism Matters

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

The mission of the National Security Division (NSD) is to coordinate the Department's efforts in carrying out its core mission of combating terrorism and protecting national security. NSD is responsible for supervising the enforcement of all federal criminal laws related to counterterrorism and counterespionage, except those specifically assigned to other divisions. NSD also serves as the Department of Justice's liaison to the United States Intelligence Community (USIC) and represents the government and the USIC before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. NSD advises the Attorney General regarding all matters of national security policy.

CTS is responsible for assisting in the design, implementation, and support of law enforcement efforts and strategies relating to combating international and domestic terrorism. Through investigation and prosecution, CTS seeks to assist in preventing and disrupting acts of terrorism which may occur anywhere in the world, and which impact U.S. persons and/or significant United States interests. Through participation in terrorism training exercises with the interagency community and other emergency preparedness-related activities, CTS seeks to enhance the ability to combat, prepare for and respond to terrorist threats.

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

CTS is seeking experienced attorneys to work in all areas of the counterterrorism mission, including the application of investigative techniques to the task of identifying and disrupting terrorist plots before they occur. CTS Trial Attorneys work closely with agents from the FBI, the CTS Regional Antiterrorism Coordinators, and the Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council Coordinators and terrorism prosecutors in U.S. Attorneys' Offices throughout the country to supportinvestigations, review intelligence, and assist in the resulting criminal litigation. CTS Trial Attorneys also develop policies, plans, operations and initiatives to promote the enforcement of terrorism statutes. In addition to its case-related work, CTS Trial Attorneys are occasionally engaged in identifying terrorist trends and patterns, foreign and domestic training, public speaking, and topical writing in this enforcement area. CTS Attorneys are also involved with the design of, and participation in, terrorism training exercises with the interagency community, and other emergency preparedness-related activities, as part of CTS's efforts to prepare for and respond to terrorist threats.

As Counsel for domestic terrorism matters you will among other things:

· serve as the main point of contact within CTS for USAOs to make notification of DT matters pursuant to the USAM;
· provide advice and counsel to CTS management and other NSD leadership as needed with respect to those matters;
· provide members of the Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee (DTEC) with information on DT matters reported by the USAOs (at   regular DTEC meetings);
· ensure coordination with and passage of relevant information to other DT coordinators in other components;
· attend NS/ATAC conferences and present information and training about DT matters, as requested by the CTS Chief; and
· assist CTS and NSD leadership with DT-related inquiries from OPA, OLA and other components.


Interested applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be duly licensed and authorized to practice as an attorney under the laws of any State, territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia, and have at least 3 years post J.D. experience. Applicants must also have significant criminal trial experience. Applicants must be an active member of the bar in good standing (in any jurisdiction).

Applicants must also be able to qualify for the highest and most sensitive security clearances.

Application Process

While this vacancy announcement expires on September 8, 2015, the announcement may be closed at any time if a selection is made. This assignment is for a period of 12 months, with the possibility of extension, contingent on the availability of funding. Appointment to this position will be effected by detail appointment. Applicants should receive the approval of their supervisor before applying. This is a reimbursable detail funded by NSD/CTS.

To apply for the Counsel detail position with CTS, please submit a resume and a cover letter (highlighting your relevant experience), a writing sample (no longer than 15 pages which exhibits your own written advocacy skills), and a copy of your most recent performance appraisal (if available), to:

Michael J. Mullaney
Counterterrorism Section
National Security Division
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Room 2647
Washington, DC 20530

Supervisor approval will ultimately be needed before a candidate is selected.


This is a one-year reimbursable detail. Under a detail assignment, there is no change to the selectee's base pay.

Number of Positions
Periodic travel will be required.
Relocation Expenses
Extended travel expenses (TDY) or Temporary Change of Station (TCS) expenses may be reimbursed if needed. (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, 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 April 7, 2016