Privacy Counsel

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Records, & E-Discovery Office
Washington, DC 20530
United States
About the Office: 

This position is located in the Office of the Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice, in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Records, & E-Discovery Office. 

The Civil Division's legal practice includes both defensive and affirmative litigation.  Each year, thousands of lawsuits against the government are filed as a result of its policies, laws, domestic and foreign operations, and entitlement programs, as well as law enforcement initiatives, military actions, and counter terrorism efforts.  The Civil Division defeats billions of dollars in unmeritorious claims every year. 

In its affirmative litigation, the Division brings suits on behalf of the United States, primarily to recoup money lost through fraud, loan defaults, and the abuse of federal funds.  Annually, hundreds of millions - and often billions - of dollars are returned to the Treasury, Medicare, and other programs as a result of the Civil Division's litigation efforts. 

Civil Division litigation falls generally into the following categories:  cases involving national policies; cases that are so massive and span so many years that they would overwhelm the resources and infrastructure of any individual field office; cases filed in national or foreign courts; cases crossing multiple jurisdictions; and cases to remove illegal aliens. 

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Records, and E-Discovery Office of the Civil Division is an innovative team charged with implementing legally and procedurally strategic approaches to FOIA, records, and e-discovery.  The President and Department of Justice leadership have prioritized the modernization of FOIA, records, and e-discovery processes.  To further these initiatives, the Civil Division established the FOIA, Records, and E-Discovery Office to develop and support the Civil Division's mission and service to the American public.  

Job Description: 

The Privacy Counsel will be responsible for providing legal and procedural advice regarding the Civil Division's handling of information protected by federal privacy laws, regulations, and policies.  Working with the Division's management and Departmental resources, the Privacy Counsel will research, draft, and update the Civil Division's System of Records Notices and other notification and consent documents required by federal privacy law.  The Privacy Counsel will advise Civil Division management, attorneys, information technology staff, and administrative staff on their obligations for compliance with these controlling laws, regulations, and guidance.  As part of this position, the Privacy Counsel will also create procedures for reviewing and implementing such practices and provide training to support those procedures.  The Privacy Counsel will also be responsible for maintaining the required privacy reports and filings on behalf of the Division.

·         Provides written and oral counsel, legal reviews, opinions, or decisions on the application of federal privacy law to Civil Division attorneys and administrative staff.

·         Assists in the development of privacy practices, policies, and procedures for Civil Division management, attorneys, and staff.

·         Assists in the research and drafting of documentation required by federal privacy law, policy, and guidance, regarding the information maintained by the Civil Division. 

·         Maintains a high-level of knowledge regarding the current status of case law, statutes, regulations, and guidelines related to the legal and technical requirements related to federal privacy protections.

·         Assists on Division records, FOIA, and e-discovery matters as assigned by the Director.


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. 

Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active member of the bar (any jurisdiction), and have at least two years of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-13 level; at least three years of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-14 level; and at least four years of post J.D. experience to qualify at the GS-15 level.  You must also be a U.S. citizen. 

Applicants should have excellent writing, negotiating, interpersonal skills, exhibit good judgment. 

$92,145 - $160,300 / Per Year
Not required.
Application Process: 

You must submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample (no more than 5 pages).  If you are claiming veterans preference, you must also submit your DD-214, and/or other documentation that support your claim.  PLEASE DO NOT SUBMIT ANY OTHER DOCUMENTATION. 

You must  EMAIL your application to:

Please use 'Announcement # 'FREDO-2016-03' as your SUBJECT LINE.

You must submit your application so that it will be RECEIVED by the closing date of the announcement, Eastern Standard Time


  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • Writing Sample (no more than 5 pages)
  • Veteran Preference documentation  (if applicable)
Application Deadline: 
Monday, October 17, 2016
Relocation Expenses: 
Not authorized.
Number of Positions: 
Updated September 30, 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 targeted/severe disabilities are encouraged to register for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Shared List of People with Disabilities (the Bender Disability Employment Registry) by submitting their resume to and referencing "Federal Career Opportunities" in the subject line.  Additional information about the Bender Registry is available at  Individuals with disabilities may also contact one of the Department’s Disability Points of Contact (DPOC).  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.