Skip to main content

Legal Careers

Senior Executive Service

Hiring Organization
Office of Legal Counsel (OLC)
Hiring Office
Office of Legal Counsel
Job ID
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20530 - United States
Application Deadline:
About the Office

The Office of Legal Counsel provides legal advice to the President and all executive branch agencies. The Office drafts legal opinions of the Attorney General and provides its own written opinions and other advice in response to requests from the Counsel to the President, the various agencies of the Executive Branch, and other components of the Department of Justice. The Office is also responsible for reviewing and commenting on the constitutionality of pending legislation.

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

This position is located in the Office of Legal Counsel. As a Senior Executive, the incumbent provides legal advice and staff assistance to the Assistant Attorney General and has responsibility for handling a number of matters of ongoing concern to the Office, as well as special projects, subject to the general direction of the Assistant Attorney General.

Specifically, the incumbent will:

  1. Prepare formal written legal opinions for the signature of the Assistant Attorney General and as requested by the Assistant Attorney General, and under his direction, provide informal legal advice to other components of the Department and to other executive agencies.
  2. Assist the Assistant Attorney General in supervising the Office's counseling function in specific areas as assigned and advise the Assistant Attorney General and Deputy Assistant Attorneys General on legal issues within assigned areas of responsibility.
  3. Review executive orders, presidential proclamations, and Attorney General orders for form and legality, including ensuring documents do not pose constitutional, statutory, or other legal problems.
  4. Participate in the supervision and management of the Office's practice involving executive orders, presidential proclamations, and Attorney General orders and communicate with the White House Counsel Office, the Office of Management and Budget, senior leadership of the Department, and other officials with respect to these matters.
  5. Advise on legal issues regarding appointments and removals, acting officers, delegations, and related matters.
  6. Provide supervisory assistance to Attorney-Advisers and review their written work, as assigned by the Assistant Attorney General.
  7. Represent the Office at conferences and meetings within and outside the Department, as assigned.

The application process used to recruit for this position is TRADITIONAL METHOD. The applicant must address the Mandatory Technical Qualifications (MTQs) as separate narrative statements not to exceed 2 pages per MTQ. Applications without separate narrative statements will not be considered.

We recommend that your application emphasize your level of responsibilities, the scope and complexity of the programs managed, and your program accomplishments, including the results of your actions. You will be evaluated to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications required of the position and on the extent your application demonstrates that you possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of the Special Counsel. Please be sure to give concrete examples of your experience and demonstrate the complexity of the knowledge you possess.

MTQ 1: Demonstrated experience and expertise in interpreting constitutional provisions and Federal statutes, rendering authoritative opinions on a wide variety of complex legal issues, and ensuring legal documents do not pose constitutional, statutory, or other legal problems.

MTQ 2: Demonstrated experience advising and interacting with a wide range of lawyers and policymakers to help them achieve and implement policy initiatives in a manner that comports with all applicable legal requirements.

MTQ 3: Demonstrated experience in providing leadership and guidance to other organizational leadership and other attorneys, including to ensure final work products are accurate, precise, and legal.

Additionally, your demonstrated leadership ability and the evidence of the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) must be addressed as separate narrative statements not to exceed ten (10) pages. Applications without separate narrative statements will not be considered.

Note: Applicants who have completed the SES Candidate Development Program (CDP) and have had their ECQs certified by OPM must provide a copy of their certificate as part of their application. Candidates must still satisfy the MTQs of the position.

ECQ1 - LEADING CHANGE. This core qualification involves the ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.

ECQ2 - LEADING PEOPLE. This core qualification involves the ability to lead people toward meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts.

ECQ3 - RESULTS DRIVEN. This core qualification involves the ability to meet organizational goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks.

ECQ4 - BUSINESS ACUMEN. This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.

ECQ5 - BUILDING COALITIONS. This core qualification involves the ability to build coalitions internally and with other Federal agencies, State and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals.

Please refer to OPM's Guide to the Senior Executive Service Qualifications for more detailed information. Copies of the Office of Personnel Management's "Guide to Senior Executive Service Qualifications" may be obtained via the Internet at


In order to qualify, you must meet the basic educational requirements.

A. Law degree (J.D. or LL. B) from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association.


B. Bar Membership: Be active member in good standing of a State, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or territory of the United States.

IMPORTANT: Applicants are responsible for citing J.D. and bar membership information (institution name, state(s) for bar, and dates) on their respective resumes. Applicants who possess an equivalent degree rather than J.D., may be subject to additional review by the Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management.

Application Process

You must apply for this position through USAJobs at

Agency Contact:

Luis Figueroa


(202) 532-5022



Office of Legal Counsel
2 Constitution Square
145 N Street NE
Room 9W.300
Washington, DC 20530



ES 00; $135,468 - $203,700 per year

Number of Positions
1 vacancy
Not required
Relocation Expenses

*         *         *

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.

*         *         *

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 April 25, 2022