General Attorney

Office of Chief Counsel, Administrative General Law Section (Ethics)
Arlington, VA 22202
United States
About the Office: 

The Office of Chief Counsel provides legal services and guidance to all components of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in matters that arise in the conduct of DEA missions to enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States.  The office provides legal support to the DEA by analyzing the legal implications involved in policy decisions; advising and training DEA personnel worldwide on criminal, civil, and regulatory legal issues; reviewing pertinent proposed legislation and regulations affecting DEA operations; and representing DEA in civil and administrative litigation.

Job Description: 

Incumbent will provide support to DEA's ethics program in an organization compromising of approximately 10,000 employees worldwide.  Incumbent will be responsible for reviewing and certifying financial disclosure reports; providing training relating to the Criminal Conflict of Interest Statutes (18 U.S.C. § 201 et. seq.), the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch (5 C.F.R., Part 2635), the General Services Administration (GSA) travel regulations (41 C.F.R. Part 304-1), Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) regulations (5 C.F.R. Part 950), the Department of Justice (DOJ) supplemental regulations (5 C.F.R., Part 3801), and the DEA Standards of Conduct; and provide oral and written counseling relating to the above authorities, particularly in the areas of gifts, fundraising, misuse of position, interacting with private organizations, outside employment, and post-employment.  The incumbent will also support the Administrative General Law Section, on as needed basis, in a variety of areas, including  contracting, fiscal law, information law, employment law, and other general law matters.


Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of a bar in good standing (any jurisdiction), and have at least 5 years of post J.D. legal experience.  Applicants must also have 1) exceptional critical thinking skills; 2) strong oral and written communication skills; 3) superior legal research and analytical skills; 4) strong familiarity with the criminal conflict laws, ethics, CFC and GSA travel regulations, and Office of Government Ethics legal advisories; and 5) a demonstrated ability to function with minimal guidance in a highly demanding environment.  Contracting or Fiscal law experience is desirable.  Applicants must also meet eligibility requirements for a Top Secret security clearance.

GS-14 position ($108,887 - $141,555) to GS-15 ($128,082 - $160,300)
Occasional Travel
Application Process: 

Applicants must submit a detailed resume, a cover letter highlighting relevant experience and a professional legal writing sample to:

Drug Enforcement Administration (Headquarters)

Office of Chief Counsel

ATTN:  Bettie E. Goldman

Deputy Chief Counsel

8701 Morrissette Drive

Springfield, VA  22152-1080

No phone calls, please.

Application Deadline: 
Saturday, December 31, 2016
Relocation Expenses: 
Relocation expenses are not authorized
Number of Positions: 
Updated December 2, 2016

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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 color, race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, marital status, disability (physical or mental), age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as a parent, membership or non-membership in an employee organization, on the basis of personal favoritism, or any other non-merit 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.

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 his  or her retirement was due to a permanent service-connected disability or that he/she was transferred to the permanent disability retired list (the statement or retirement orders must indicate that the disability is 10% or more).


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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.