Senior Counsel

Office of the Assistant Attorney General
Washington, DC
United States
About the Office: 

The Department of Justice, Criminal Division’s Office of the Assistant Attorney General (OAAG) is seeking candidates to serve as Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General. This position may be filled through a non-reimbursable detail for current Department of Justice employees, including Assistant United States Attorneys. The opportunity is for six months with the possibility of extension.  Applicants should receive management approval prior to applying.

The Office of the Assistant Attorney General (OAAG) ensures the accomplishment of the Criminal Division’s mission to develop, enforce, and supervise the application of federal criminal laws. The Division and the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices have the responsibility for overseeing criminal matters under more than 900 statutes, as well as certain civil litigation. Criminal Division attorneys prosecute many nationally significant cases. The OAAG directly supervises the various litigating and non-litigating sections of the Criminal Division, which have responsibility for a wide variety of subject matter areas, including public corruption, fraud, violent crime, rule of law initiatives, and asset forfeiture, among many others. In addition to its direct litigation responsibilities, the Division formulates and implements criminal enforcement policy, promotes the rule of law worldwide, and provides advice and assistance within and outside the Department of Justice.

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: 
  • Provide support, advice, and assistance on projects and programs for the Assistant Attorney General, the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, the Chief of Staff, and the Deputy Assistant Attorneys General in the Criminal Division “Front Office.”
  • Communicate, both written and orally, about criminal cases, policy, and other Division matters.
  • Draft testimony, speeches, talking points, and internal Division communications.
  • Draft weekly internal Department and Division reports concerning criminal cases and other Division matters.
  • Review and edit documents and memoranda, including press releases, correspondence, and reports.
  • Analyze legal issues in individual criminal cases and policy matters, and prepare legal or other memoranda in response to inquiries or requirements originating from Department management, Congress, elsewhere in the Administration, and other interested parties.
  • Participate in meetings, working groups, and committees on matters of policy or administrative interest to the Division.
  • Respond to requests for information and documents from Department management, auditors, Congress, the White House, and through the Freedom of Information Act.

Interested applicants must possess a J.D., or equivalent, 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.

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

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in analyzing programs and legal issues and making concise oral and written recommendations.
  • Experience in reviewing documents and responding to requests for information.
  • Experience working with inter-agency processes.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with high-ranking officials and representatives of law enforcement agencies and other federal agencies.
  • Strong organizational capabilities.
  • Ability to evaluate and analyze Division programs and activities, gather and compile data, analyze problems, and prepare well-written memoranda and other communications including with respect to emerging technologies.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the policies and programs of the Department of Justice and the Criminal Division.
  • Knowledge and experience with handling of federal criminal cases.
  • Self-motivated, with a high degree of initiative, adaptability, and resourcefulness.
Under a detail assignment, there is no change to the selectee’s base pay.
Occasional travel may be required.
Application Process: 

The Application Package must be received by 11 :59 PM, Eastern Time, on the closing date of this announcement.

Please submit your application through USAJOBS. The list of required documents can be found in the USAJobs announcement.

  1. If you do not already have an account, please create a USAjobs account before applying. You will be able to upload your resume and supporting documents and complete your profile prior to applying.
  2. Once you have an account, apply to the USAjobs vacancy:

Relocation Expenses:

Detailees selected for this position may be eligible for either a temporary change of station (TCS) relocation or EX-TDY. Upon selection, a cost comparison will be conducted to evaluate which option will be offered if the detailee is outside the Washington, D.C. area.

If a candidate is offered EX-TDY, transportation, lodging and M&IE will be provided in accordance with government regulations, Department of Justice policy, and the governing Memorandum of Understanding between the detailee and Criminal Division.

If a candidate is offered TCS relocation, relocation expenses will be provided in accordance with government regulations, Department of Justice policy, and the governing Memorandum of Understanding between the detailee and Criminal Division.

Applicants should familiarize themselves and comply with the relevant rules of professional conduct regarding any possible conflicts of interest in connection with their applications. In particular, please notify this Office if you currently represent clients or adjudicate matters in which this Office is involved and/or you have a family member who is representing clients or adjudicating matters in which this Office is involved so that we can evaluate any potential conflict of interest or disqualification issue that may need to be addressed under those circumstances.

Application Deadline: 
Friday, February 17, 2023
Relocation Expenses: 
See "Application Process" section for more information.
Number of Positions: 
Updated February 13, 2023

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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.