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Legal Careers

Operational Technology Law Unit Attorney

Hiring Organization
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Hiring Office
Office of the General Counsel
Job ID
OGC_MH_OTLU_2024
Location:
Quantico, VA 22134 - United States
About the Office

The FBI's Office of the General Counsel (OGC) is seeking highly qualified and experienced attorneys to join its exciting and challenging legal practice.  OGC provides legal advice to the entire FBI, including the Director, FBI Headquarters officials and agents in the 56 domestic field offices, on a wide range of substantive issues. OGC works closely with other elements of the Department of Justice, other members of the Intelligence Community, including the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and the White House.  OGC also assists the FBI in forming partnerships with other federal, state, local and international agencies, as well as private sector entities, in support of FBI operations.
 
Mission:

The mission of the FBI is to protect the American People and uphold the Constitution of the United States.
 
Operational Technology Law Unit (OTLU)

The Operational Technology Law Unit (OTLU) provides legal policy advice on and real-time operational legal support to on a diverse range of matters pertaining to the FBI's Science & Technology Branch, which includes the FBI Operational Technology Division (OTD). OTLU attorneys may be assigned to FBI Headquarters in Washington, DC or FBI facilities located in Chantilly, Springfield, Quantico or Fredericksburg, Virginia, or Huntsville, Alabama.  OTLU is responsible for providing legal support and guidance on the development and deployment of technology-based solutions to enable and enhance the FBI's intelligence, national security, and law enforcement operations; the application of scientific, engineering, and technical solutions in order to access, collect, forensically analyze, and exploit information in support of the FBI's intelligence and investigative missions; and the immediate operational and investigative issues involving the collection, processing, and exploitation of scientific, biometric and digital evidence for the FBI and other duly constituted law enforcement agencies.  The office also identifies and addresses gaps in legal policy and legislative legal authorities.

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

DUTIES

GS-14:
· Serve as legal counsel to assigned Operational Technology Division sections, units, and programs;   
· Advise client units and investigators on complex investigations and on the procedural and operational requirements for using technical investigative solutions; 
· Research and draft applications, orders and legal memoranda;
· Develop, maintain, and manage relations with prosecutors and defense counsel, and provide advice to other federal, state, and local enforcement agencies on the use of technical investigative methods, including federal electronic surveillance statutes; and
· Provide guidance on the application of relevant statutes and other authorities in all FBI operations and investigations as required, including the FBI Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG) and Attorney General Guidelines. 

GS-15: In addition to the duties described above:
· Identify gaps and develop legal policy solutions, including legislative and administrative proposals on emerging investigative technology issues and their impact on electronic surveillance and FBI criminal and national security investigation.

Qualifications

Key Requirements:
· Must be a U. S. citizen
· Must be able to obtain a Top-Secret/SCI clearance
· Selectee may be required to complete form FD-887, Request for Access to Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI)
· Selectee will be required to complete a Confidential Financial Disclosure Report, OGE-450 annually.
 
Demonstrated experience as a criminal prosecutor or prior sworn law enforcement agent/officer is preferred, as well as with the use and deployment of investigative technology.  This experience, if applicable, should be highlighted in the application materials.
 
SELECTIVE PLACEMENT FACTOR
In order to be considered for this position, applicants must respond to the following selective placement factor question:
 
Please discuss your experience, including as a prosecutor or investigator, in conducting, advising on, or litigating matters concerning technical investigative methods and tools in criminal or national security investigations.  Please include experience with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Communications Assistant to Law Enforcement Act, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, Stored Communications Act, or the Wiretap Act.  Experience in this area MUST be identified in your resume. 
 
All qualifying experience MUST be provided within your RESUME to be considered. In addition, the selective placement factor, please make sure your specialized experience/requirement(s) can be identified in your resume.
 
The Department of Justice will approve candidates that are selected for this position.  
 
Please ensure work experience/requirement(s) are identifiable in the resume.  The resume and supporting documentations will determine whether the candidate meets the job qualifications listed in this announcement.  Applicants must meet the qualification requirements at the time of application.
 
Applicants deemed most competitive will be sent to the hiring official for employment consideration.
 
All applicants are rated on the following competencies:
·    Analytic Thinking 
·    Communication
·    Governance and Legal Jurisprudence 
·    Leadership 
·    Oral/Written Communication
·    Research 
 
BASIC REQUIREMENT:  
·    Possess a law degree from an accredited American Bar Association law school; and
·    Proof of active membership and good standing with any U. S. jurisdiction bar association
 
Positive Education Requirement:  This position has a specific education requirement; all applicants must verify completion of this basic requirement by submitting proof of J.D. degree and proof of good standing with a U. S. jurisdiction bar association.  Please see the “Required Documents: section of this announcement for additional information.
 
Education:  Applicant must possess a J.D. degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (or have a LLM degree or other graduate law school degree in additional to J.D.) and be an active member of a U.S. jurisdiction bar association.
 
GS-14:  Applicants applying for the GS-14 must have 2.5 or more years post J.D. attorney experience.
GS-15:  Applicants applying for the GS-15 must have 4 or more years of post J.D. attorney experience.

Application Process

NOTE:  All FBI employees must undergo an FBI Background Investigation and receive an FBI Top Secret security clearance. For employment eligibility with the FBI, applicants must not violate any of the automatic employment disqualifiers, and adhere to the FBI's pre-employment drug policy. Please ensure you meet these standards before submitting an application. All of these disqualifiers are extensively researched during the FBI Background Investigation Process. The preliminary employment requirements include a polygraph examination; a test for illegal drug use; credit and records checks, and extensive interviews with former and current colleagues, neighbors, friends, professors, etc. Before applying for this position, please make sure that the FBI Employment Disqualifiers do not apply to you. https://www.fbijobs.gov/working-at-FBI/eligibility
 
How to Apply:
To apply for this position, provide a complete application package, which includes the following REQUIRED documents:  
1. Your cover letter and resume
2. A writing sample, not to exceed 10 pages
3. Proof of current and active bar association membership
4. Copy of Law School Transcripts
5. Current SF-50 (if external government employee)
6. As applicable, supporting documentation for veterans' preference eligibility (see below).
 
Please Note:  FBI employees currently assigned to a General Attorney position do not need to provide Law School Transcripts or Proof of Bar association Membership.
 
Step 1:  Create a new email and attach all required electronic documents.  Include contact information (phone number) and a brief introduction (2-3) sentences in the body of the email.
Step 2:  Title the subject of the email using the following format, indicating whether you are an internal or external candidate.  (Example:  OGC_MH_OTLU_2024_External/Internal)
Step 3:  Submit the completed application email to OGC-JOBS@fbi.gov
 
What to Expect Next
Once your complete application is received, the FBI will conduct an evaluation of your qualifications.  The Most Competitive candidates will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration and possible interview.  Interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis.  You will be notified of your status throughout the application process.  
 
Internal Applicants Additional Information
·    Management may select any grade for which this position is announced.
·    Identification of promotion potential in this announcement does not constitute a commitment or an obligation on the part of management to promote the employee selected at some future date.  Promotion will depend upon administrative approval and the continuing need for an actual assignment and performance of higher-level duties.
·    Probationary employees are precluded from being considered for all job opportunities until 12-months of their 24-month probationary period has concluded.  Probationary employees may be considered for competitive vacancies that are advertised within their respective division or field office after serving 90 days within the FBI.
·    Candidates will not be considered if currently on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP); a Letter of Requirement (LOR); or failed a PIP or LOR and are currently awaiting the final action by HRD.  
1.     A Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) is a 90-day written developmental plan for an employee whose performance on one or more critical elements is rated “Unacceptable.”
2.    A Letter of Requirement (LOR) is issued when a supervisor identified leave abuse and/or when frequent absences negatively impact operations of the office.
·    Limited Movement:  Policy has been implemented wherein support employees entering a position through competitive OR non-competitive action may be precluded from moving to another position within the Bureau by means of reassignment or change to lower grade for a minimum of 12 months.  
·    Relocation expenses will be borne by the selectee, except FBI employees returning from LEGAT assignment.  Employees returning from LEGAT assignments must advise the Staffing Unit, Administrative Unit, and the International Operations Unit of their application to apply.
·    On December 22, 2017, the Presidential Administrative signed into law the Tax cuts and Jobs Act.  This law may impact your transfer.
o    This legislation may previously non-taxed moving expenses reimbursement taxable as of January 1, 2018.  Please see HR Link for the list of FBI's current understanding of the applicable tax changes.  However, this may change upon receipt of official guidance from GSA and DOJ.
o    Current law provides the FBI with the authority to compensate employees for much of the tax burden caused by a transfer through the Relocation Income Tax Allowance (RITA) possess, in an effort to identify way to minimize the additional tax burden on transferring employees.
·    Candidates receiving a transfer of physical location, whether at the expense of the FBI or not, will be required to complete a one-year commitment to the assignment, prior to moving to a new position at the FBI.  The 12-month waiting period begins the day an employee reports for duty at the new location.
·    Employees selected for positions at the GS-14 level or higher, as well as employees selected for positions where a transfer of location is required, will be processed through the name check program prior to being notified of their selection.  
·    Memorandum of Understanding:  Work performed outside assigned duties (that would not normally be documented on a SF-50, i.e. back-up duties), has to be documented in detail by an immediate supervisor in order to receive full credit for amount of time worked in that position.  If no documentation is furnished, no credit will be given for the time worked in that position.  The following notations must be specified in the documentation (Memorandum of Understanding):  
o    Percent of time worked in the particular position (cannot conflict with main duties)
o    The month/year work began
o    Frequency worked (i.e. daily, monthly, etc.)
o    Specific duties performed
 
Attach the Memorandum of Understanding to your application in the “Cover Letters and Attachments” section of My Career Tools on the Careers Home page.  Please upload the attachment as type “Other.”
 
External Applicants Additional Information
·    The FBI is in the Executive Branch if the federal government.  It is one of the components of the Department of Justice (DOJ).  The FBI is the principle investigative arm of the DOJ.  All FBI positions are in the excepted service.
·    Applicants must be a U. S. citizen and consent to a complete background investigation, urinalysis, and polygraph.  You must be suitable for Federal employment as determined by a background investigation.
·    Failure to provide necessary and relevant information required by this vacancy announcement may disqualify you from consideration.  Additional information will not be requested if your application is incomplete.  Your application will be evaluated solely on the basis of information you have submitted.  
·    Management may select any grade for which this position is announced.
·    Identification of promotion potential in this announcement does not constitute a commitment or an obligation on the part of management to promote the employee selected at some future date.  Promotion will depend upon administrative approval and the continuing need for an actual assignment and performance of higher-level duties.
·    If you are hired, you will be required to serve a two-year probationary period.  Probationary employees are precluded from being considered for all job opportunities until 12-months of their 24-month probationary period has concluded.  Probationary Employees may be considered for competitive vacancies that are advertised within their respective division or field office after serving 90 days within the FBI.  The probationary periods will be served concurrently.
·    Memorandum of Understanding:  Work performed outside assigned duties (that would not normally be documented on a SF-50, i.e. back-up duties), has to be documented in detail by an immediate supervisor in order to receive full credit for amount of time worked in that position.  If no documentation is furnished, no credit will be given for the time worked in that position.  The following notations must be specified in the documentation (Memorandum of Understanding):  
o    Percent of time worked in the particular position (cannot conflict with main duties)
o    The month/year work began
o    Frequency worked (i.e. daily, monthly, etc.)
o    Specific duties performed
 
Veterans Preference
If you are entitled to Veterans' Preference, you should indicate the type of veterans' preference you are claiming on your resume and application.  Your veterans' preference entitlement will be verified by the employing agency.
 
Nepotism
Nepotism is the act of favoring relatives in the hiring process and is prohibited by law.  Public officials are prohibited from hiring or promoting relatives or relatives of officials in their chain of command, as well as actively or indirectly endorse a relative's appointment of promotion.
 
Reasonable Accommodation Request
The FBI provides reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of your application and/or hiring process, please notify the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Affairs (OEEOA).  Reasonable Accommodation (RA) Program by either email at REASONABLE_ACCOMMODATION@fbi.gov, telephone at (202) 324-4128 or FAX at (202) 324-3976.  Your request will receive an individualized assessment.
 
Benefits
The FBI offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation; sick leave; holidays; telework; life insurance; health benefits; and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System.  This link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered to Federal employees:  http://www.opm.gov/insure/new_employ/index.asp  

Salary

Huntsville, AL salary (GS-14: $139,395 - $181,216; GS-15: $163,964 - $191,900)

Number of Positions
Multiple
Travel
Some travel is required.

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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, https://www.usajobs.gov/Help/working-in-government/non-citizens/). 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, www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/SF15.pdf 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 February 20, 2024