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Legal Careers


Hiring Organization
Civil Division (CIV)
Hiring Office
Aviation, Space & Admiralty Litigation Section of the Torts Branch
Job ID
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Civil Division is the largest litigating division in the Department of Justice. Each year, the Civil Division’s 1,100 lawyers represent some 200 client agencies in approximately 50,000 different matters.

T-ASA is responsible for managing aviation, space, and admiralty cases and claims.  T-ASA also handles a variety of actions that fall under admiralty jurisdiction, including maritime tort, maritime contract, and vessel pollution cases including environmental actions and administrative procedure actions arising from vessel oil spills. T-ASA’s clients include the Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, all military services, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Maritime Administration, the Transportation Security Administration, NASA, NSA, and the Departments of State, Interior, Transportation, and Commerce.  Since its establishment, T-ASA has litigated all commercial airline accident cases involving the United States.  T-ASA is also responsible for litigation arising from space launch or space vehicle incidents.  In addition to its primary office in Washington, D.C., T-ASA’s West Coast and Pacific Rim Field Office operates out of San Francisco, California.

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 is responsible for overseeing litigation involving suits defending the United States in wrongful death, serious personal injury, and extensive property damage actions arising from aircraft accidents. Federal activities giving rise to these lawsuits can include air traffic control, military aviation operations, weather dissemination, charting of obstacles, operation of navigational aids, and certification of aircraft, airports, and air personnel. The incumbent is responsible for overseeing any affirmative aviation tort cases necessary to protect the interests of the United States. The incumbent is responsible for overseeing affirmative and defensive litigation falling under the admiralty jurisdiction of the U.S. Courts, including maritime tort, maritime contract, and actions arising out of vessel pollution incidents such as vessel oil spills. These cases may arise under the Federal Tort Claims Act, the Suits in Admiralty Act, the Public Vessels Act, the Limitation of Liability Act, the Rivers and Harbors Act, the Death on the High Seas Act, the Oil Pollution Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, the Contract Disputes Act, and other statutes. The incumbent is responsible for overseeing affirmative and defensive tort litigation arising from space vehicle, space launch, and other space-related incidents falling within the jurisdiction of the U.S. Courts.

Additional duties include:

  • Advises and distributes work among personnel. Reviews and approves pleadings, briefs, and other papers filed with the courts, personally handling or overseeing those matters that are particularly significant legally or financially. Confers with and directs the attorneys concerning all aspects of their work.
  • Advises and consults with staff on new program orientations or directives and ensures that adequate resources will be available for implementation within T-ASA.
  • Analyzes and reviews proposed and pending legislation which may affect the work of T-ASA.
  • Provides advice and serves as a consultant to the Deputy Assistant Attorney General, the Assistant Attorney General and other officials within the DOJ and throughout the Executive Branch. Maintains close contact with client agencies.
  • Makes decisions involving the management of personnel, budget resources, and operational issues of concern to T-ASA, and ensures that personnel management activities (including the selection, development, assessment, and promotion of employees) are performed in accordance with the provisions of Merit Promotion and Equal Opportunity.
  • Provides oversight to a field office in San Francisco that handles admiralty matters spanning the West Coast and Pacific Rim.



Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a United States Citizen or National.
  • Veterans' preference is not applicable to the Senior Executive Service.
  • Selective Service registration is required for males born on, or after, December 31, 1959. Those not registered should have an approved exemption on file.
  • You will be required to complete a pre-employment security investigation and background check for the security level designated for this position.
  • You may be required to undergo a drug screening and obtain favorable results prior to being appointed.
  • You will be required to obtain and maintain a final Sensitive Compartmented Information Clearance. Failure to obtain and maintain the required level of clearance may result in withdrawal of the job offer or removal.
  • You may be subject to a one-year probationary period effective from the date in which you are appointed.
  • This position requires you to submit a Public Financial Disclosure Report (OGE 278) upon entry, and annually thereafter in accordance with DOJ and Federal ethics guidelines.
  • You must meet all minimum qualifications to be deemed eligible. Only experience obtained by closing date of this announcement will be considered.


As a basic requirement for entry into the SES, applicants must provide evidence of progressively responsible leadership experience that is indicative of senior executive level management capability and directly related to the skills and abilities outlined under the Mandatory Technical Qualifications and Executive Core Qualifications.


Applicants must be a graduate from a full course of study in a School of Law accredited by the American Bar Association and be a member in good standing of the bar of a state, territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

We recommend that your application emphasize your level of responsibilities, the scope and complexity of the aviation, space, and admiralty torts litigation programs managed, and your program accomplishments, including the results of your actions. You will be evaluated to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications required of the position and on the extent your application demonstrates that you possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of the Director, Torts Aviation, Space & Admiralty Litigation position. Please be sure to give concrete examples of your experience and demonstrate the complexity of the knowledge you possess.

YOU WILL BE EVALUATED ON ALL OF THE FOLLOWING MANDATORY TECHNICAL QUALIFICATIONS (MTQs): Your responses to the MTQs should be submitted in one document that includes separate narrative statements addressing each of the 2 Mandatory Technical Qualifications (NOT TO EXCEED 2 PAGES PER MTQ, 4 PAGES TOTAL).

MTQ1. Demonstrated experience and expertise in tort litigation that includes handling aviation, space, and admiralty cases and claims.

MTQ2. Demonstrated experience in planning and oversight of the activities of a legal organization, including developing legal strategies in U.S. courts and providing sound and timely legal counsel.


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.

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.

ECQ3 - RESULTS DRIVEN. This core qualification involves the ability to meet organizational goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks.

ECQ4 - BUSINESS ACUMEN. This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.

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.

Fundamental Competencies: These competencies are the foundation for success in each of the Executive Core Qualifications: Interpersonal Skills, Oral Communication, Continual Learning, Written Communication, Integrity/Honesty, and Public Service Motivation. The Fundamental Competencies are crosscutting and should be addressed over the course of each ECQ narratives. It is not necessary for you to address the Fundamental Competencies directly as long as the narrative, in its totality, shows mastery of these competencies on the whole.

Qualifications include both general management skills and characteristics that are applicable to all SES positions and technical or program responsibilities specific to this position. Applicants must have a substantive general experience that provides a good basic or general knowledge of the principles of organization, management, and administration; and substantive specialized (operating, administrative or managerial) experience in a type of work or a combination of functions directly related to this position.

Applications without separate narrative statements will not be considered.

Note: Applicants who have completed the SES Candidate Development Program (CDP) and have had their ECQs certified by OPM must provide a copy of their certificate as part of their application. Candidates must still satisfy the MTQs of the position.

Please refer to OPM's Guide to the Senior Executive Service Qualifications for more detailed information.
Copies of the Office of Personnel Management's "Guide to Senior Executive Service Qualifications" may be obtained via the Internet at

Application Process

To apply for this position, you must complete the online application questionnaire and submit
your supporting documentation through USAJobs: USA Jobs JOA ​

Your complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on 04/07/2023 to receive consideration.

1. Click "Apply Online" to get started.
2. If you're not logged in to your USAJOBS account, you will need to login. If you don't have an account, please create one.
3. You will be prompted to select one of your stored (or uploaded) resumes, and any supporting documents you have uploaded to USAJOBS. If you have not uploaded these documents, you can do so later before submitting your application.
4. After acknowledging you have reviewed your application package, you will be asked to submit your demographic information (if you have provided this in your profile). Submission is optional and anonymous.
5. You'll be asked to confirm your choices and certify the accuracy of your information before you're able to continue to the Application Manager system. Until you see the blue border and DOJ logo, you are still on USAJOBS. You'll see a folder animation just before you leave USAJOBS.
6. Once you reach DOJ's Application Manager system, you'll be asked to verify the information you transmitted from USAJOBS. You will then respond to the application assessment questionnaires and indicate your eligibility options.
7. After responding to the questionnaires, you will have the opportunity to attach the documents you brought over from USAJOBS *OR* upload documents directly from your computer or device.
8. If you opt to upload a document directly, click the "Upload" button and select the document on your device, then wait for the upload to finish. Repeat as needed.
Documents must be less than 3 MB each and should be in a compatible file format
9. Once all your documents are uploaded, you must assign the uploads to the appropriate document category. You may attach more than one document to each category. Click the drop-down menu for a document category, and select one of the available options in the menu. The document will be listed under this category. You can click the drop-down again to add other documents, as needed. You can have up to 15 document assignments.
10. Once you've uploaded and assigned all your documents to an appropriate document type, you can proceed to the final verification step, and click Submit.
11. If you have correctly submitted your application, you will receive an automated e-mail notification within 30-60 minutes. Be sure to review the announcement fully to make sure that your application contains everything that is required.

If you need help with the application process, please see the USAJOBS Help Site (for everything on the USAJOBS-side), or the Application Manager Help Site (for everything on the DOJ-side).

Regrettably, the Department of Justice cannot assist you with USAJOBS account issues. If you contact us for assistance and the problem is related to your USAJOBS account, we will have to direct you to USAJOBS to remedy the issue.

If you are unable to apply online due to a disability or overseas deployment, you must request an alternative application, which is available from the Human Resources Office. Please contact Meghan Killiany at 202-598-3093 or to discuss your situation. Accommodations are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Indicate that you're asking for a reasonable accommodation in your e-mail so the HR Specialist knows how to direct you.

How You Will Be Evaluated 

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Only experience obtained by 11:59 pm EST on the closing date (04/07/2023) of this announcement will be considered.

You will be evaluated to determine if you meet the qualifications required of the position and on the extent your total submission package demonstrates that you possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of the position. Please be sure to give concrete examples of your experience and demonstrate the complexity of the knowledge you possess. OPM is required by law to review the executive qualifications of each new career appointee to the Senior Executive Service (SES) prior to appointment.

If you are currently serving under a career SES appointment, are eligible for reinstatement into the SES, or have successfully completed a SES Candidate Development Program and been certified by OPM, you MUST address the MTQs, but do not need to address the ECQs.

To be considered for this position, applicants must show evidence of experience related to the five (5) ECQs. Applicants must address the ECQs and MTQs. In addition to your resume, this additional documentation 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 contact. Copies of the OPM's "Guide to Senior Executive Service Qualifications" may be obtained via the Internet at

Applicants must address the ECQs and MTQs.

The resume 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.


Required Documents

To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

- Complete Resume
- ECQ Narratives (Not to exceed 10 pages)
- MTQ Narratives (2 pages per MTQ)
- Recent SF-50 that shows Official Title, Salary, Grade Level, Status and (for current or former federal employees)
- Recent Performance Appraisal (for current or former federal employees)
- Provide certification of OPM QRB approval (for graduates of SES Candidate Development Programs)
- Transcripts
- Proof of active bar membership
- Other supporting documentation as required.

Applicants who fail to submit all information and documents (i.e., resume, and documents addressing the MTQs and ECQs) will not receive consideration for this position. You must send this information to CIVIL/OHR prior to the closing date of this announcement.

ECQ responses are not required for current or former career members of the SES. Indicate in your resume that you are a current or former member of the SES. You must submit responses to the MTQs, and submit a copy of the most recent SF-50 documenting your SES career appointment.

Applicants who have completed the CDP and have had their ECQs certified by OPM must provide a copy of their certificate as part of their application. SES CDP graduates must also submit responses to the MTQs. Responses to the ECQs are not required for current SES or CDP graduates.



$141,022 to $212,100/year

Number of Positions
Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.
Relocation Expenses
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 March 7, 2023