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Legal Careers

Experienced Trial Attorney

Hiring Organization
Office of the Solicitor General (OSG)
Hiring Office
Office of the Solicitor General
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Assistants, together with the Deputy Solicitors General, comprise the legal staff of the Office of the Solicitor General. The Office of the Solicitor General is responsible for conducting and supervising all aspects of Government litigation in the Supreme Court of the United States. Specifically, the Office determines which Federal cases will be taken by the Solicitor General to the Supreme Court, and what position the Federal Government will assume in the Supreme Court litigation, where it has an interest.  The Office also acts upon every case in which an adverse decision is rendered in any court against the United States to determine whether an appeal will be undertaken, and also decides whether the United States should file a brief as amicus curiae in any appellate court or intervene in any court.

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 incumbent serves as an Assistant to the Solicitor General. Each of the Assistants to the Solicitor General participates in all aspects of the work of the Office; none of them specializes in any particular subject. The work is assigned primarily on the basis of their availability and background knowledge when the particular matter reaches the Office. The Office primarily performs a reviewing function. Drafts of the various documents and papers filed in the U.S. Supreme Court are prepared in the various operating divisions of the Department or by the regulatory agencies. The incumbent reviews and revises these documents, often substantially or completely rewriting them. The Assistants work on briefs on the merits, petitions for writs of certiorari, jurisdictional statements, briefs in opposition, motions to affirm, papers relating to stays, and other forms of motion practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. They also review recommendations as to whether the government should seek U.S. Supreme Court review in cases it has lost, whether the United States should appeal to intermediate appellate courts cases it has lost in the trial courts, whether the United States should pursue rehearing en banc when cases are lost at the appellate level. They prepare memoranda to the Solicitor General containing such recommendations and also memoranda discussing other legal problems as assigned; draft correspondence; and advise the Solicitor General on different aspects of the work of the Office. The incumbent argues cases before the U.S. Supreme Court–ordinarily two to three times each Supreme Court term.


1. J.D. degree, active bar membership;
2. Exceptional and strong academic background;
3. Federal appellate clerkship or Supreme Court clerkship strongly encouraged;
4. Significant federal appellate litigation experience;
5. Broad experience in areas of law germane to federal governmental practice;
6. Exceptional writing skills;
7. Strong oral advocacy skills; and
8. Demonstrated ability to work cooperatively with less experienced attorneys, providing guidance and assistance.


Application Process

Applicants must submit (via mail or email): 1) a resume or current OF 612 (Optional Application for Federal Employment); 2) a narrative statement addressing the qualifications listed above; 3) a writing sample; 4) law school transcript; and 5) a copy of your most recent performance rating (if applicable).  Please submit to the following address or email.

Valerie Hall Yancey
Executive Officer
U.S. Department of Justice
Office of the Solicitor General
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Main, Room 5140
Washington, D.C. 20530


This announcement closes on November 1, 2019.  Please submit applications by 5:30 p.m. of the closing date.  If you applied to a previous OSG vacancy announcement, you must re-apply.


GS-905; $137,849 – $166,500 (Salary as listed includes locality pay.)

Number of Positions
up to 2 vacancies
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 October 11, 2019