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Hiring Organization
Professional Responsibility Advisory Office (PRAO)
Job ID
950 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The mission of the PRAO is to provide prompt, consistent advice to Department attorneys and Assistant United States Attorneys with respect to professional responsibility and choice-of-law issues.

The major functions of PRAO are to:

Provide advice to government attorneys and the leadership at the Department on issues relating to professional responsibility.

Provide coordination with the litigating components of the Department to defend Department attorneys and Assistant United States Attorneys in any disciplinary or other hearing where it is alleged that they failed to meet their professional responsibility obligations.

Serve as liaison with the state and federal bar associations in matters related to the implementation and interpretation of 28 U.S.C. 530B (the Ethical Standards for Attorneys for the Government Act) and any amendments and revisions to the various state rules of professional conduct.

Conduct training for Department attorneys and client agencies to provide them with the tools to make informed judgments about the circumstances that require their compliance with 28 U.S.C. 530B (the Ethical Standards for Attorneys for the Government Act) or that otherwise implicate professional responsibility concerns.

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 Director for the Professional Responsibility Advisory Office (PRAO) is the head of the PRAO and, as such, serves as a special reviewing officer and advisor reporting to the Deputy Attorney General, or his designee. The PRAO is responsible for advising Department of Justice attorneys, including Assistant United States Attorneys, on issues arising in the administration of the Department's professional responsibility program. The Director is responsible for managing, directing, and supervising all aspects of the Department's professional responsibility advisory program. In this regard, the Director manages a staff which provides advice and guidance on matters involving professional responsibility, coordinates representation of Department attorneys charged with misconduct by state or federal disciplinary authorities, assists with training of Department attorneys in professional ethics and reasonability, and services as a liaison with the federal, state and local bar associations on the implementation and interpretation of state ethics rules.

The position requires a thorough knowledge of the American Bar Association Model Rules for Professional Responsibility, the Department rules, regulations, guidelines and policies on professional responsibility and ethics and the ability to coordinate the practices and procedures of the Department's program.


The incumbent advises the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General, the Associate Attorney General and the Solicitor General and other senior officials on the application of the professional ethics and responsibility laws, regulations and policy. Provides briefings for these officials on the application of the professional ethics and responsibility laws, regulations and policy. Provides briefings for these officials, as appropriate, on issues arising in the administration of the Department's professional ethics and responsibility program.

The incumbent provides overall guidance and direction to a staff of attorneys, paralegals, and support personnel in the administration of the Department's professional responsibility program. Manages the Department's professional responsibility program. Plans work to be accomplished by subordinate managers and staff, sets broad goals and milestones, and approves short and long-range schedules for completion of work.

The incumbent develops, implements and manages a Department-wide system for compliance with professional responsibility requirements, and effects changes in the system when necessary.

The incumbent makes assignments and supervises staff members in providing advice, guidance, training, information, and coordination of representation to Department attorneys and to those attorneys and other personnel working at the direction of Department attorneys.

The incumbent prepares and supervises preparation of written memoranda, reports, interpretative guidance and other documents analyzing professional responsibility requirements and provides written advice to Department attorneys and to those working at their direction.

The incumbent oversees the maintenance of current information for Department-wide reference on all state, federal, and local codes of ethics, including those of the District of Columbia and United States territories.

The incumbent manages day-to-day activities of employees supervised by subordinate managers responsible for the following liaison with the state, local, national, and federal bar in matters relating to ethics and professional responsibility obligations.

The incumbent assists in coordinating representation of Department attorneys and those working at the direction of Department attorneys who rely on the advice provided by the Department in any disciplinary or other proceeding in which allegations are made of violation of ethical or professional responsibilities.

The incumbent makes recommendations to the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General on what further specific action should be undertaken with regard to the professional responsibility program, including policy, regulatory, and legislative changes.


Factor 1: Knowledge Required by the Position

The incumbent has proficient analytical skills and both practical and theoretical knowledge of the functions, processes and principles of sound management. He or she has a demonstrated knowledge of the Federal ethics laws and regulations, the American Bar Association Model Rules for Professional Responsibility, the Federal Rules of Evidence, and the Federal Rules of Criminal, Civil and Appellate Procedure. He or she has communications ability as evidenced by extensive experience and skill in oral and written expression in dealings with executive level officials and managers. The incumbent has experience in public speaking, including addressing large groups, preparing briefings or giving presentations on technical or complex issues. The incumbent demonstrates ability to writing complex material to render guidance, develop procedures, priorities or initiatives. He or she demonstrates the ability to organize and coordinate responsibilities and program operations.

Factor 2: Supervisory Controls

The incumbent receives very general supervision and guidance in most areas. He or she is expected to develop and modify objectives and boundaries of assignments subject to administrative controls on matters such as time, funds and available personnel. He or she consults with superiors on broad policies and to secure assistance in resolving sensitive or controversial issues with key officials of the Department. The incumbent is expected to confer with Executive Level and senior management officials, including those in the Offices of the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General and the Associate Attorney General on sensitive issues with minimal supervision.

Factor 3: Guidelines

Guidelines available to the Counsel include Federal and state ethics laws and regulations; Department manuals and directives; and program policy established by the Attorney General.

Factor 4: Complexity

Responsibilities and assignments are broad in scope and difficulty. Results, findings, opinions, or work assignments can have Department-wide ramifications or can be the basis for establishing precedent. He or she demonstrates knowledge, skill and experience with legal and technical terminology and program systems to assure that various program needs are in compliance with overall program goals and policies of the professional responsibility advisory program. The incumbent is aware of the demands of other operations within the Department and is able to foster a cooperative team effort.

Factor 5: Scope and Effect

The incumbent directs the professional responsibility advisory program. Duties and responsibilities impact the entire Department and may affect an ethics or professional responsibility program in another government agency through decisions, opinions and materials that may be provided to other agencies.

Factor 6: Personal Contacts

The incumbent confers with top management officials in developing Department-wide initiatives. He or she gains approval of the Office of the Attorney General. He or she negotiates with representatives and officials of various bar associations and organizations that regulate or govern attorney conduct. Representatives of the Department and communicates its position on professional responsibility at meetings throughout the Executive Branch.

Factor 7: Purpose of Contacts

The incumbent serves as an expert to senior Department officials in the analysis and interpretation of rules and regulations governing professional responsibility, including the Model Rules of Professional Responsibility and the Uniform Rules of Ethical Conduct. He or she keeps abreast of professional ethical developments in federal, state and local laws in order to brief senior Department officials. He or she serves as an expert for the Department in developing and implementing interagency compliance with the rules and regulations.

Factor 8: Physical Demands

Work is basically sedentary. Travel is required.

Factor 9: Work Environment

Work is performed in a typical office setting.


This position is classified as SES General and may be filled by a member of the SES on any of the following types of appointment: noncareer, career, limited term, or limited emergency.



• You must be a U.S. citizen to qualify for this position.
• You must submit to a drug test and receive a negative drug test result before you can be appointed into this position.
• You will need to successfully complete a background security investigation before you can be appointed into this position.
• Entrance on duty is contingent upon preliminary completion of a security clearance.
• Veterans' preference is not applicable to the Senior Executive Service.
• Only experience obtained by closing date of this announcement will be considered.

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, applicants must submit a written statement addressing the five (5) Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) listed below (See 'HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED').

Please limit the narrative statements for each Executive Core and Technical Qualification to no more than two pages. Copies of the Office of Personnel Management's "Guide to Senior Executive Service Qualifications" may be obtained via the Internet at

Please see Application Procedures for specific instructions. The narrative statements should demonstrate the necessary level of management skills, characteristics, qualities, specialized knowledge, and technical competence that would indicate successful performance in the SES. This evidence must include clear and concise examples that emphasize the applicant's level of responsibilities, scope and complexity of programs managed, program accomplishments, policy initiatives, and level of contacts.

MINIMUM LEGAL EXPERIENCE: Applicants must have a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any U.S. jurisdiction), and have a least five (5) years post-J.D. legal or other relevant experience.


You must be a graduate from 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.

The selectee will undergo a suitability review conducted by the Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management.


You will be evaluated to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications required; and on the extent to which your application shows that you possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities associated with this position as defined below. When describing your knowledge, skills, and abilities, please be sure to give examples and explain how often you used these skills, the complexity of the knowledge you possessed, the level of the people you interacted with, the sensitivity of the issues you handled, etc.


MTQ 1: Demonstrate experience counseling individuals, including high-level officials, on complex legal or professional ethical issues; MTQ 2: Demonstrated experience analyzing and evaluating complex legal issues and professional ethics issues; and MTQ 3: Demonstrated experience supervising and managing the activities of attorneys and support personnel staff.


ECQ1-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:

1. Creativity and Innovation: Develops new insights into situations; questions conventional approaches; encourages new ideas and innovations; designs and implements new or cutting edge programs/processes. 2. External Awareness: Understands and keeps up-to-date on local, national, and international policies and trends that affect the organization and shape stakeholders' views; is aware of the organization's impact on the external environment. 3. Flexibility: Is open to change and new information; rapidly adapts to new information, changing conditions, or unexpected obstacles. 4. Resilience: Deals effectively with pressure; remains optimistic and persistent, even under adversity. Recovers quickly from setbacks. 5. Strategic Thinking: Formulates objectives and priorities, and implements plans consistent with the long-term interests of the organization in a global environment. Capitalizes on opportunities and manages risks. 6.Vision: Takes a long-term view and builds a shared vision with others; acts as a catalyst for organizational change. Influences others to translate vision into action.

ECQ2-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:

1.Conflict Management: Encourages creative tension and differences of opinions. Anticipates and takes steps to prevent counter-productive confrontations. Manages and resolves conflicts and disagreements in a constructive manner. 2.Leveraging Diversity: Fosters an inclusive workplace where diversity and individual differences are valued and leveraged to achieve the vision and mission of the organization. 3. Developing Others (New) Develops the ability of others to perform and contribute to the organization by providing ongoing feedback and by providing opportunities to learn through formal and informal methods. 4. Team Building: Inspires and fosters team commitment, spirit, pride, and trust. Facilitates cooperation and motivates team members to accomplish group goals.

ECQ3-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:

1.Accountability: Holds self and others accountable for measurable high-quality, timely, and cost-effective results. Determines objectives, sets priorities, and delegates work. Accepts responsibility for mistakes. Complies with established control systems and rules. 2.Customer Service: Anticipates and meets the needs of both internal and external customers. Delivers high-quality products and services; is committed to continuous improvement. 3.Decisiveness: Makes well-informed, effective, and timely decisions, even when data are limited or solutions produce unpleasant consequences; perceives the impact and implications of decisions. 4.Entrepreneurship: Positions the organization for future success by identifying new opportunities; builds the organization by developing or improving products or services. Takes calculated risks to accomplish organizational objectives. 5.Problem Solving: Identifies and analyzes problems; weighs relevance and accuracy of information; generates and evaluates alternative solutions; makes recommendations. 6.Technical Credibility: Understands and appropriately applies principles, procedures, requirements, regulations, and policies related to specialized expertise.


ECQ 4-BUSINESS ACUMEN.This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.

Leadership Competencies:

1. Financial Management: Understands the organization's financial processes. Prepares, justifies, and administers the program budget. Oversees procurement and contracting to achieve desired results. Monitors expenditures and uses cost-benefit thinking to set priorities. 2. Human Capital Management: Builds and manages workforce based on organizational goals, budget considerations, and staffing needs. Ensures that employees are appropriately recruited, selected, appraised, and rewarded; takes action to address performance problems. Manages a multi-sector workforce and a variety of work situations. 3.Technology Management: Keeps up-to-date on technological developments. Makes effective use of technology to achieve results. Ensures access to and security of technology systems.

ECQ5-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:

1. Partnering: Develops networks and builds alliances; collaborates across boundaries to build strategic relationships and achieve common goals. 2. Political Savvy: Identifies the internal and external politics that impact the work of the organization. Perceives organizational and political reality and acts accordingly. 3.Influencing/Negotiating:Persuades others; builds consensus through give and take; gains cooperation from others to obtain information and accomplish goals.Fundamental Competencies. These competencies are the foundation for success in each of the Executive Core Qualifications.


1. Interpersonal Skills: Treats others with courtesy, sensitivity, and respect. Considers and responds appropriately to the needs and feelings of different people in different situations. 2.Oral Communication: Makes clear and convincing oral presentations. Listens effectively; clarifies information as needed. 3. Integrity/Honesty: Behaves in an honest, fair, and ethical manner. Shows consistency in words and actions. Models high standards of ethics. 4. Written Communication: Writes in a clear, concise, organized, and convincing manner for the intended audience. 5. Continual Learning: Assesses and recognizes own strengths and weaknesses; pursues self-development. 6. Public Service Motivation: Shows a commitment to serve the public. Ensures that actions meet public needs; aligns organizational objectives and practices with public interests.

The Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) of the selectee who is not a current or former career Senior Executive employee (Title V) must be approved by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) before appointment. In addition, individuals entering the Senior Executive Service for the first time are subject to a one-year probationary period. Applicants who have completed the Candidate Development Program (CDP) and have had their ECQs certified by OPM must provide a copy of their certificate as part of their application.

Application Process


Your application must be submitted by mail, fax, email(ses/ ), or hand-delivery; however; You must ensure that your application is received in JMD/HR at the address specified in the announcement no later than 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on the closing date of the vacancy announcement. Please note that sending your application other than by fax or email may result in a delay in your package being received in JMD/HR prior to the deadline; therefore, you would not receive consideration.

Please note that application materials mailed in franked government envelopes will not be considered for this position.


Applicants must submit the following: A resume, SF-50, and Performance Appraisal, narrative statement for the Mandatory Technical Qualifications, and narrative statement for the Executive Core Qualifications. You must send this information to the JMD/HR prior to the closing date of this announcement. Applicants who fail to submit all information and documents (i.e., resume, written statements addressing the Executive Core Qualifications and Mandatory Technical Qualifications, and other qualifications as applicable) WILL NOT receive consideration for this position.

If you are a current career member of the SES, or are eligible for reinstatement in to the SES, or have completed an SES Candidate Development Program and obtained Office of Personnel Management Qualifications Review Board certification, you can apply to be considered non competitively.

To be considered non competitively, you must submit your resume, written statements addressing the technical qualifications, and other qualifications, as applicable, however, you need not submit written statements addressing the Executive Core Qualifications.

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


• We must receive your application by 11:59 pm (EDT) on the closing date.
• You must meet all minimum qualifications to be considered eligible.
• You must receive written notification that your application was received.

INTERNET SITE: This vacancy announcement is also posted on the USAJobs website at


Linda Anderson
Phone: (202)532-4589
Fax: (202)514-0673
Agency Information:
JMD Human Resources
145 N Street NE Room 9W300
Washington, DC
Fax: (202)514-0673


Once your complete application is received, we will conduct an evaluation of your qualifications and determine your ranking. The most highly qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration and possible interview. You will be notified of the outcome.


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

Number of Positions
Occasional Travel.
Relocation Expenses

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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