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Legal Careers

Resident Legal Advisor, Mexico

Hiring Organization
Criminal Division (CRM)
Hiring Office
Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development Assistance and Training
Job ID
20-CRM-DET-037
Location:
Mexico City - Mexico
Application Deadline:
About the Office

This assignment is for a period of 14 months, beginning on or about January 2021, with the possibility of extension, contingent on the availability of funding.  Appointment to this position will be effected by reimbursable detail appointment.  More than one position may be filled from this announcement.

The mission of the Criminal Division's Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development Assistance and Training (OPDAT) is to develop and administer technical and developmental assistance designed to enhance the capabilities of foreign justice sector institutions and their law enforcement personnel.  This assistance is administered in order to enable those institutions and their personnel to more effectively combat terrorism, transnational organized crime, corruption, financial crimes and other types of crime in a manner consistent with the rule of law.  The assistance is also administered to enable those institutions and their personnel to more effectively cooperate regionally and with the United States in combating such crime. http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/opdat.

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 Resident Legal Advisor(s) will represent the U.S. Department of Justice through OPDAT’s field office in Mexico City, implementing foreign criminal justice sector development and technical assistance programs to combat trafficking in persons, corruption, organized crime, money laundering, and other transnational crimes, consistent with international standards.  The selected attorneys will work closely with local law enforcement and government officials, including prosecutors, judges, investigators, parliamentarians and others, to develop, implement, and strengthen OPDAT capacity building programs.  The RLAs will also work closely with OPDAT headquarters staff and officials of the Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), operational law enforcement agencies, and in-country U.S. and foreign authorities to ensure the assistance program meets the needs of the host nation while supporting Departmental and U.S. policy objectives.

The RLA(s) will be responsible for implementation of programs that focus on criminal justice sector institutional development in the host nation, including transition and implementation of the accusatorial system, assessment of the legal system, prosecutorial capacity building, investigation and prosecution of complex transnational cases, trial advocacy skills development, money laundering and asset forfeiture, trafficking in persons, evidence collection and preservation, pretrial alternatives; and judicial capacity building.

Qualifications

Required: We are seeking a current Department of Justice attorney.  To qualify for this position, applicants must possess ALL of the requirements below:

  1. A J.D. degree, be duly licensed and authorized to practice as an attorney under the laws of any State, territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia, and be an active member of the bar in good standing.
  2. Specific grade level requirements:
    1. GS-15: At least four (4) years of post J.D. legal experience, to include four (4) years of prosecutorial experience in Article III courts or comparable state level courts.
    2. GS-14: At least three (3) years of post J.D. legal experience, to include three (3) years of prosecutorial experience in Article III courts or comparable state level courts.
  3. The applicant must be a fluent Spanish speaker, as well as proficient in reading and writing Spanish.

Applicants must have, or be able to obtain through their Component/Agency, and maintain a Top Secret security clearance.

Preferred: Applicants should have a thorough understanding and practical knowledge of Department of Justice and other United States Government approaches and policies involving transnational crimes and security and justice sector development issues, including training and institution-building.  Experience living, working, and/or training in an overseas environment is desirable.  Experience with corruption-related investigations and prosecutions is highly desirable.

The successful applicant should also have:

  • Ability to function effectively in an international, multi-cultural environment;
  • Excellent interpersonal and management skills;
  • The ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing;
  • Extensive prosecution experience;
  • Experience in bar activities, teaching, designing course curricula, and/or work with international development projects; and
  • Experience in developing and litigating federal criminal cases involving international extradition and mutual legal assistance.
Application Process

Although this vacancy announcement closes October 14, 2020, the announcement may be closed at any time if selections are made.  The Application Package must be received by 11:59 PM, Eastern Time, on the closing date of this announcement.

All interested attorneys meeting these qualifications should submit a cover letter and resume to opdatdetails.whp@usdoj.gov.

Salary

Under a detail assignment, there is no change to the selectee’s base pay. If applicable, the selectee will also receive appropriate post and overseas salary differentials.

Number of Positions
Few
Travel
Extensive travel to/from and within the host nation will be required.
Relocation Expenses
Relocation expenses are authorized. This is an accompanied position.

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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 September 9, 2020