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Legal Careers

General Attorney

Hiring Organization
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
Hiring Office
Office of Chief Counsel
Job ID
Quantico, VA - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), U.S. Department of Justice, is seeking one experienced attorney to work in the Office of Chief Counsel (CC), Legal Instruction Section (CCT). This Office is located in Quantico, Virginia and provides legal advice and support to DEA management and field offices worldwide.

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 Legal Instruction Section (CCT) of the Office of Chief Counsel provides comprehensive legal training for DEA, state, local, and other federal law enforcement employees. CCT is primarily responsible for coordinating and providing legal training at the DEA Training Academy. The Attorney/Instructor is responsible for providing legal training to DEA personnel, as well as other Federal, state, local, and international law enforcement personnel; and Federal and state prosecutors. Some travel may be requred to conduct training activities. The Attorney/Instructor conducts research, produced writen legal instructional documents, prepares and reviews lesson plans, makes presentations, conducts training, and answers legal questions from students, other instructors, and senior DEA managers as necessary, and performs such other duties as assigned.


Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of a bar in good standing (any U.S. jurisdiction), have at least ten (10) years of post-J.D. legal experience, and have at least three (3) years of experience as a GS-0905-14 attorney or equivalent at time of selections. Applicants must also have: 1) significant experience in criminal law, with three (3) years of prosecution experience preferred; 2) excellent academic credentials; 3) strong oral and written communication and advocacy skills; 4) superior legal research and analytical skills; 5) experience in dealing with complex legal and policy issues; 6) the ability to identify and concisely explain complex legal concepts to non-lawyers in a classroom setting; 7) demonstrated ability as an instructor or ability to become a proficient instructor; 8) excellent interpersonal skills; 9) public speaking ability; 10) strong initiative and the ability to work with minimal supervision; 11) proficiency in computer-aided legal research and computer work processing; and 12) ability to formulate and implement Department of Justice and DEA policies on all matters pertaining to assigned areas.

Desired qualifications include: experience in addressing legal issues related to criminal investigations, diversion investigations, intelligence, and forensic science.

Application Process

Applicants must submit a detailed resume, a cover letter, the below-described Drug Questionnaire, and a legal writing sample by email to or by mail to: 

Drug Enforcement Administration
Office of Chief Counsel
ATTN: Dayle Elieson
8701 Morrissette Drive
Springfield, Virginia  22152

All application materials must be in at least 12-point font. Writing samples should not exceed 10 pages. The applicant’s cover letter should specify which position the applicant is seeking and should highlight relevant experience and qualifications applicable to such position.

Applications must be received by June 1, 2021. No telephone calls, please. 

Applicants who are found, through investigation or personal admission, to have experimented with or used narcotics or dangerous drugs, except those medically prescribed, will not be considered for employment with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Exceptions to this policy may be made for applicants who admit to limited youthful and experimental use of marijuana. Such applicants may be considered for employment if there is no evidence of regular, confirmed usage and the full-field background investigation, and results of the other steps in the process are otherwise favorable.

Compliance with this policy is an essential requirement of the position. All applicants must complete the DEA Drug Questionnaire and submit that Questionnaire with their application package. A copy of the drug questionnaire can be located at The link to the questionnaire is located under "Employment Requirements." Click on the blue highlighted “DEA Drug Questionnaire” link.

Additional Information: This and selected other attorney vacancy announcements can be found on the Internet at:


Current salary and years of legal experience will determine the appropriate salary level. The possible salary levels are GS-14 ($122,530 – $159,286) and GS-15 ($144,128 – $172,500).

Number of Positions
Occasional travel is required.
Relocation Expenses
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 May 18, 2021