The United States Department of Justice is seeking experienced attorneys for a six-month extendable non-reimbursable detail to the Initial Request Staff (IR Staff) Litigation Team. OIP manages the Department's responsibilities related to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which includes processing FOIA requests for the Department's senior leadership offices that are subject to litigation in federal district courts.
The IR Staff Litigation Team is comprised of a staff of attorneys who serve as front-line OIP component counsel in FOIA litigation, responsible for a diverse, fast-paced, and multi-faceted docket of cases. As an attorney detailed to the IR Staff Litigation Team, the incumbent will serve as a lead attorney for FOIA requests made to the Department’s senior leadership offices that become subject to litigation. IR Staff Litigation Team attorneys are responsible for all aspects of OIP’s handling of FOIA requests in litigation, and work collaboratively with litigation counsel in the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Department’s Civil Division, Federal Programs Branch in defending the handling of those FOIA requests. Work assigned to the incumbent will be reviewed by senior reviewing attorneys and the IR Staff Senior Counsel. Specific responsibilities may include those listed below:
- Conducting searches and processing documents in response to the FOIA’s disclosure provisions, and preparing responses made to FOIA plaintiffs;
- Consulting with equity holders in the senior leadership offices, other Department components, and others in the Executive Branch regarding FOIA requests and documents subject to litigation;
- Drafting declarations and Vaughn indices for eventual filing in court;
- Reviewing and commenting on pleadings, motions, briefs and other court filings related to cases being handled by the IR Staff Litigation Team;
- Devising legal strategies and approaches in response to issues raised in litigation, including emerging issues under the FOIA;
- Negotiating with FOIA plaintiffs, through litigation counsel of record, on FOIA request scope, search, scheduling, and other matters;
- Collaborating with litigation counsel in the formulation of litigation strategies and legal arguments in defense of FOIA lawsuits;
- Occasionally attending court hearings, as appropriate.
Preferred Qualifications: Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction), and be a current federal government employee. Applicants must have solid academic credentials as well as excellent writing, research, attention to detail and interpersonal skills.
ONLY CURRENT FEDERAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES CAN BE CONSIDERED FOR THIS DETAIL.
All interested current government employees meeting these qualifications should submit a resume via email to Vanessa.R.Brinkmann@usdoj.gov.
Deadline: Open until filled.
Location: Washington DC, but remote details will be considered.